How Karma Works
Karma: The Game of Life
Karma is the game of life. It is driven both by the false belief in our own victimization as well as our earnest desire to shift our consciousness to a higher level. Karma is our method of righting wrongs and transcending the world (or at least the human perception of the imperfect world of pain and suffering). Karma is not a bitch, although until you get the hang of it, it certainly feels like one.
At the outset, let us clear up a common misconception. There is a popular belief that we clear our karma by suffering.
This is completely untrue, and in fact, it is the opposite of the truth. We do not clear one bit of karma through our suffering. We clear our karma by releasing our negative patterns and feeling compassion, gratitude and forgiveness towards those who have reflected them back to us. That’s all it takes, and it can be done in an instant or it can take several lifetimes (literally).
It’s up to us. We decide.
This is how karma works: when we leave our bodies and pass on, we have a “life review.” During this time, we relive every part of our lives, every interaction we had with others, and every consequence of our thoughts and actions while here on Earth. This may be a learning experience for us – most of us have no idea of the true consequences of our actions and thoughts. During this life review we come to understand and feel the depth of the pain that we caused to others during our lifetime.
This is so heavy and painful for us that sometimes we beg the Divine for a chance to come back, make it right, and become the kind of people who would never, ever make that kind of mistake again.
To do this takes much planning and arrangement – it is a Divine gift that allows us to correct old wrongs. The key here is to remember that karma is not a punishment, it is a gift, and furthermore it is a gift that we specifically requested from the Divine.
Most of us forget this, and often, when we are struggling in the pain and heartbreak of karmic consequences, we become angry at the Divine, and blame the Divine for “punishing” us. This is simply a false belief. The Divine is too pure to ever punish. In fact, the Divine has nothing to do with karma at all. Karma is the result of our own free will, and our desire to release our negativity so that we might consciously realize our own Divine nature.
Remember this: karma is not a punishment. It is a gift.
Of course, when we come back (incarnate) again we immediately forget everything– we forget our true identity, and we forget what we learned about our negative patterns and how we want to lose them. This is part of the game, and we re-enter the game in precisely the same state of consciousness, with all the same negative and positive patterns that we had the last time we left it.
We then find ourselves in situations with the same souls that we hurt the last time around, only this time those souls are positioned to give us a taste of our own medicine. It’s important to remember that none of this is conscious – they don’t remember anymore than we do. They aren’t trying to hurt us, they don’t feel any conscious animosity toward us. Yet they are occupying positions in our lives where they have power – they may be a family member (often mother and father have karmic relationships with their children, and sometimes siblings or other family members), they may be a romantic partner, they may be a boss, co-worker, or college roommate. Due to our fervent request that we be allowed to come back and make up for our shoddy behavior with this particular soul, it is inevitable that he or she will be put in a position where we cannot get away from him or her. Why?
Because if we could get away from these karmic teachers, we would.
After all, he/she is now giving us a taste of what we gave to him or her – this person is reflecting to us the very same negative pattern that we acted out towards him or her last time around. In fact, this person is a perfect reflection of our own negative tendency, and naturally, that is not something that we enjoy. In fact, we usually suffer deeply – just as we caused suffering to others in the past.
Sometimes karma is not so specific. We don’t always act out karma with just the specific individuals on whom we inflicted our negative tendencies in the past. Sometimes we inflicted ourselves on so many different souls that we realized when we saw it that it would be impossible to pay it back to each of those individual souls. What was really necessary was that we drop the negative pattern, shift our consciousness and completely erase any tendency to ever treat anyone that way again. So instead of just one relationship with one person from whom we cannot escape, we have the same issue played out in relationship after relationship after relationship until we shift our consciousness.
The question remains, “How do we release our karma?” It’s not enough to just learn the lesson – no, there is more to it than that.
Let’s say that before I came into this life I had a lot of negative tendencies in my relationships with women in general. I was not a loyal friend. I saw women as weak and easily manipulated, so I was a conniving, disloyal “friend” who treated my “friends” with no conscience whatsoever. The karmic result is that in this lifetime, I have friendship after friendship in with women that were disloyal to me. So now, I get it – it’s important to have female friends, it’s important to respect them, value, them, and treat them with conscience and loyalty. I know this because I now know first-hand how much pain it causes when one is not treated with respect, loyalty and conscience and because I know that so well I am no longer a person who could commit that kind of negative action against another. My consciousness has completely shifted.
But because I don’t remember who I was before, I still feel like a victim of all of those conniving, disloyal women that pretended to be my friends! I have forgotten that I was ever like that so I believe that I am superior to them, that I would never treat anyone the way that they have treated me, and because I am so hurt by their actions I refuse to trust women in general. I believe that because every woman I have interacted with in this lifetime has behaved that way that all women are that way – all women except myself, of course.
The voice of my ego inside my head is saying, “No one gets it but me.”
So even though I have learned the lesson, and shifted my consciousness, and become the kind of person who would never behave that way again – I have not cleared my karma because I am still holding onto resentment, bitterness, and a fervent belief that I am a victim of all the teachers that I forgot I asked for. My karmic lesson is not complete until I have compassion, forgiveness, and complete release of the entire situation, including my own mistakes in the past and the negative feelings I have towards my “karmic teachers.” How do I do that?
It’s simple, and once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll find that it’s easy. Let me warn you now about a potential pitfall: if you are trying to forgive someone by telling yourself, “He/she did the best she could with what she had,” that is NOT forgiveness or release. What that really amounts to saying is that while you still believe and judge this person as “bad,” because you know that this person is chronically or clinically deficient in that way you will excuse him/ her on the grounds that she/ he simply couldn’t help him or herself. This is not forgiveness, this is misdirected pity combined with a not-so-subtle feeling of superiority.
Instead of that, practice real forgiveness. Here is how you will know that you have not only forgiven the entire situation but totally released any negativity associated with it:
You have achieved real forgiveness when you realize you would never wish for any part of your life experience to be any different than what it was.
You will feel that way when you fully comprehend the depth of the negativity that you were carrying, and recognize that you are no longer carrying any of it. It’s just gone. You are no longer the person that you were in your past lives – indeed, you are no longer the person that you were born in this life. You are a better person, a brighter light in the world, carrying less negativity and shining more love, and you are that way because of these experiences with other people that taught you about the kind of pain those negative patterns cause.
Coming to this place in consciousness involves three things…
First, you must have the humility to admit that prior to this “lesson,” you were not as good a person as you are now. You had a negative pattern (or several) that was still active within you.
Second, it requires the self-love and self-appreciation to see yourself as you are now, which is a brighter, more loving light in the world than you were before because you have now released those negative patterns.
Lastly, it requires a profound gratitude for the part that your karmic “teachers” played in reflecting that negativity back to you.
When you have arrived at this point, you are free from the negativity and you have cleared the karma.
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