Back to blogging with my three co-bloggers! Each week, one of us chooses a topic and we all post a blog entry on that topic, usually on Thursdays. (Usually we are on time. Usually. Ok, mostly. Sometimes? Don’t judge me.)
Here are the links to the other fabulous blogs:
We didn’t have a group topic this week, so I’m going with a topic suggested by my friend, Laura: Do you believe in karma?
Long answer short: No – but I sure want to.
I’ve mentioned before that I am not much of a believer in tenets like fate or kismet or things happening for a reason, et cetera. I don’t pray to any higher power (though I do send energy – more on this later). I believe in randomness and coincidence; not very romantic, but very true, for me, anyway.
I know karma is not as simple as we tend to think it is. It’s a whole complex “thing” (at least from what I’ve read), but in our society, we tend to break it down simply into “what goes around comes around.” Said otherwise, karma means that if we intentionally do something wrong or hurtful, we can expect something bad to happen to us at some later time (this also applies to good behavior, as well).
The idea of such an evenness appeals to me. I appreciate the thought of a balance of good versus bad; I enjoy the idea that if you intentionally put bad into the world, it will come back to you later in another form so as to smack you in your face and teach you a lesson, or that if you give something good, it will be returned to you. However, I also like the thought of unicorns and jackaloupes, but my wishes won’t make them real. I have lived a lot of life, and I’ve seen too many people behave badly and put horrible, negative energy into the universe with little to no negative karmic reaction. I know that if you think about it, you, too, will be able to picture at least one human who seems to skate through life doing as s/he pleases with nary a consequence in sight. Hell, three faces immediately come to mind. Three. Then, too, I know of truly good people who seem to have fallen in the path of not-so-good life experiences, people who suffered unduly or died young. There is no fairness there, only randomness.
I have seen what looks like karma in action, and it has given me pause, but only briefly. For example, I know of a few people who were less than faithful in their committed relationships and then who, years later, were “rewarded” by their later partners cheating on them. It’s tempting to scream, “Karma!” But then I remember a few other people I know who behaved the same way and never had the behavior turned back to them. Which leads me to believe the first set weren’t experiencing karma at all but instead were just suffering the downside of being bad at choosing and staying in relationships. No karma – just poor choices.
Funny thing: Although I don’t believe in karma, I live my life as if I do. A few years ago, I had a convo with a friend who is not religious and doesn’t believe in an afterlife, etc., but who baptized her kids into a church that does embrace these beliefs. When I asked why she bothered, she said, “Well, what if I’m wrong?” That’s kind of how I feel about karma. I try not to put too much bad out there, and I never, ever intentionally mistreat anyone, lest it happen to me. I try to do right by others, and I try to do good where I can. I suppose some of these choices are rooted in my desire not to want to poke the bear that is karma (should she exist) – but maybe I behave this way simply because I’m not a jerk. Either way, I’ve got myself covered. Or so I hope.
Karma aside, I do believe that humans share energy: good, bad, and other. Everything in this world is made up of energy, which means, to me, that everything is connected. I believe that someone’s negative or positive energy can affect someone else and change the other person’s mood. (I’ve seen it happen, more than once.) A handful of times in my life, I have been near a person whose mere presence made the hair on the back of my neck stand up – and I have gotten away from that person as quickly as possible. I believe those people emitted energy incompatible with mine. Dangerous energy. I don’t know whether we can direct the transfer of energy, but I sure try: If someone is sick, I close my eyes and focus on healing and feeling well, and I try to send some of that healing energy to that person. Do they feel it? I can’t say. But I can say that the times I’ve asked people for supportive thoughts and energy, I’ve felt buoyed simply knowing they are thinking about me. And that’s good enough.
So, no, as much as I’d like to, I don’t believe in karma. I don’t believe that what goes around, comes around, or that someone reaps what s/he sows. There’s no cosmic scorecard in my world, no threat of lightening bolts or karmic retribution. Could I be wrong? Of course. But I hope to never know. Because even without the threat of a universal wrong-righter, I choose to live my life putting as much good into the universe as I can and making amends for the times when I misstep, which is often. Should it come to pass that I have misjudged how the universe works and should karma, indeed, exist, I sure hope she – and karma is for sure a chick – doesn’t unleash her wrath on me . . . because I’ve heard she can be a real bitch.