Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Their Karma, Your Karma

 Be mindful of your own behaviour, it will almost certainly impact upon others, and remember...
Karma is watching!

If you've ever been wronged, even slightly, you'll know that it can leave a person feeling somewhat grazed and disgruntled, but then hey, life's not fair, and so we move on.  However if that wrong-doing is of a more serious nature, perhaps unsubstantiated claims or false accusations where you find yourself the convenient and random mule for someone else's deepest issues and insecurities, now that's different, and much more difficult to simply shrug off.

Such experiences may well result in feelings of extreme hurt and betrayal (especially if you considered the perpetrator a friend, and have actually gone out of your way to support them many times). They may leave a person feeling confused and bewildered, and questioning themselves (especially if the nature of the accusations is illogical, absurd, and completely unfounded).  Who, in this predicament, wouldn't feel an overwhelming urge to clear their name and set the record straight?!

At just turned 50, I've made a few mistakes in life, and am not entirely proud of everything I've said and done during my first half century. Equally however, I have been on the receiving end of unpleasantness before, and have learned over the years (sometimes brutally), that one's words, actions (and reactions) most certainly have consequences. Karma? These lessons are not part of any school curriculum, but are learned by most of us between the lines, through our own experiences, but we can only benefit from them if we choose to learn and not ignore. If there is such a thing as Karma, I prefer not to think of it as punishment delivered by some cosmic force, but as a learning curve.

For me, "Karma" isn't about religion, retributive justice, or even spirituality, but about accepting the inevitable consequences of my actions, and the actions of others towards me (good or bad) - simple cause and effect really I guess.  The real power of so called Karma however comes from what these consequences teach us and how they can shape us moving forward. Just by being aware that our actions will have consequences sooner or later (and that they might not be pleasant) can certainly act as a prod from our conscience, and even act as a deterrent. It can also serve to encourage the good in us, trusting that in time Karma will deliver our just rewards.

But what about those who unwittingly do wrong, or who are genuinely remorseful (sometimes good people do bad things right?) does Karma come back to bite them on the bottom too? Well if you believe there is such a thing as celestial justice, this possibly lies in the reaction of the person wronged.  If they can forgive then perhaps Karma deems there is no 'grudge' to settle, and the vicious circle of revenging one another ends. If there is no forgiveness, then I guess Karma steps up and does its thing... who knows?  I guess it's worth remembering though that at some point we all make mistakes, but if we repeat them they're no longer mistakes, they're decisions!

So, where did all this deep and meaningful stuff come from? Well, as you may have already gathered, I've been on the receiving end of some unpleasantness lately, namely utterly false and completely unsubstantiated or evidenced accusations. My initial reaction was to retreat, lick my wounds, and admittedly feel a little sorry for myself - but we all know that gets us nowhere.  So what next?  Well, I decided that a great big slap around my own face and a few positive affirmations were in order.
  • Don't over-analyse false claims. If someone believes something untrue about you, that is their problem not yours.
  • Don't blame yourself for being falsely accused. You are responsible for the truth in your own words, not someone else's.
  • Don't ask your perpetrator to retract their false accusations more than once, their goal may be simply to bait you into further conflict.
  • Remind yourself that one person's opinion of you does not define you.
  • If someone says something you believe isn't true, it is appropriate to state your truth clearly. Once.
  • How people treat us is their Karma, how we react is ours.
  • Be kind to others, but just as importantly be kind to yourself.
  • Seek out the counsel of wise, caring and supportive people who you can trust and who will help you rebuild your self-esteem.
Thankfully, I have a wonderful circle of support. Shout-out in particular here to my handsome hubby, super son, and absolutely marvelous mum... not to mention my darling daughter who, although on the other side of the world, shared her very sound advice. I consider myself truly blessed to have these people in my life, and love them all more than they will ever know. They are fabulous!

And what of my particular perpetrator, do I hope Karma kicks their sad, sorry, unscrupulous ass until it well and truly hurts?.. well no actually I don't.  However what I do hope is that they reflect and learn, and think very carefully about the consequences of their actions in future.
In particular, I hope they realise...

  • That they cannot project their own insecurities on the nearest unsuspecting person, simply because they cannot bear to accept anything negative about themselves.
  • That their false accusations, distortions or smear campaigns, have the potential to cause enormous emotional hurt, and even impact on a person's profession or personal reputation and character.
  • That seeking to create divisions by sabotaging good relationships around them will not work in the long run.
  • That if they are going to make allegations of a serious nature against someone who has done nothing but support them, they need to be able to substantiate those allegations, and have some idea of what they expect to achieve once the distress they have caused begins to ease.
I fear if they don't learn at least some of these lessons, then life is going to be very very difficult for them, and presumably Karma will certainly not be on their side.

So what have I learned so far from this very unfortunate experience (and I say so far, as it is ongoing)? Well actually an awful lot, and dare I say, so much so that I'm almost grateful for it!  These difficulties have certainly served to remind and reinforce the wisdom behind words such as these...

"You can't change how people treat you or what they say about you. 
All you can do is change how you react to it".

"Don't let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace"
The Dalai Lama

Thanks for reading.

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