’ve figured out this Karma thing, which I never really believed in. “What goes around comes around”, yeah sure, just like praying will magically turn your life around. Thanks, I’ll stick to the old boring way to get what you want, which is actually putting in work.
Ok, I am exaggerating, as a matter of fact, one of my mantras in life is “What you think will happen”. If I have a goal in mind, I first of all envision it, make it a reality in my head, and only then I’ll start working towards it.
Worked like a charm so far, you wouldn’t believe how much. I am convinced it was for that reason that, throughout my studies, I’d passed all exams on the first attempt.
I am not particularly smart and definitely wasn’t studying hard, having had a social life and two jobs on the side. In fact, I am pretty fucking lazy, it took me a year to graduate high school, go figure.
I still remember vividly how I would always get myself into the zone, about 2 weeks before any exam. I would tell myself how I got this, how I will succeed and pass.
No matter what.
There wasn’t any space for even the tiniest shred of doubt, regardless of how boring the subject matter was. Sometimes these mind games started before I’d opened any textbook. The last days before the exam, – instead of proper studying – I-d merely flip through the pages, “confirming” with myself that I know it all, without actually checking whether I really did.
So, you see,
the idea of manipulating my reality with my own thoughts and actions isn’t all that alien to me, in fact it is my modus operandi.
The thing is, I never applied that to negative situations. Just like I thought I could wish for the good and thereby make it real, I was convinced I could just as easily fence off unpleasantries.
Oh boy, how wrong I was.
Thinking about it now, it is all so clear and I feel stupid for not seeing through, all those years. Just like it is often in life, I had to crash and burn, to eventually muster the courage to take a deep look at myself. What I saw wasn’t all pretty.
So, why doesn’t it work like that, why is Karma a thing?
Let’s take a step back to my uni exams. What did I do there? It’s wasn’t magic, that’s for sure.
All I did was boosting my confidence. I pictured myself as a top student guy, who knows it all and if he doesn’t he’ll just wing it. I mean, you can always improvise, right?
Well, actually you can’t but the confidence I gained had its effect regardless. It greatly diminished any anxiety or nervousness, which is the number one enemy at exams. That simple.
Obviously, having a healthy sense of self-worth helped a lot, but even more so the positive feedback loop as it worked again, and again, and again.
Any doubt could have erased all that in an instant, and would have left me afraid, emotionally not in charge of the situation. It was for that reason that I never dared to test myself shortly before the exam, but just reiterated and reinforced my mastery of whatever I had to know.
Because I couldn’t have failed such a test and still fully believe in myself.
Just like I can’t walk around and act like an asshole, all while thinking only good will come my way. It is actually ridiculous to think that.
If I can be an dishonest so can be others. Moreover, you’ll attract what you are, because we relate to the world through ourselves.
We see ourselves in others. Vice versa, we also see and feel others in ourselves.
For us, our reality is everyone’s reality, even though that’s not true. But it’s not that we have a choice, our perception is all we have to work with, and while we can try to expand our horizon, we will always remain somewhat limited by who we are and also see ourselves.
There is a pretty interesting example, which shows how we relate to others through ourselves:
In a study, scientists wanted to learn about the effect of cosmetic surgery in interpersonal relationships. They looked at people who had face lift procedures done, like, for example, Botox, and measured how they interact with others. The results were astounding.
You know, Botox remove wrinkles, obviously at the expense of a strong facial expression. Which is normal, in fact, it is the expected outcome.
What’s not expected though, but what’s happening regardless according to that study, is that it doesn’t merely remove wrinkles, no. It actually also strips that person of empathy and emotions.
Interesting, or? So, why’s that?
Because, as said, we relate to others through ourselves. We empathize with people by mimicking their emotions. When someone is sad, and looks at you with a sad face, you’ll subconsciously also make a sad face, just as if you are sad. Your body recognizes that and it will allow you to feel similar emotions like the the person you interact with.
Of course that helps tremendously to show genuine compassion and comfort that person.
If, however, your face doesn’t move, if cosmetic surgery reduced your ability to look sad, or happy or whatever, you won’t be able to fully feel what the other person is feeling.
You might see their tears and recognize their sad look and state of mind. But that’d be on an intellectual level, you wouldn’t be able to connect on an emotional level, and thus won’t be able to relate as much.
Back to topic. If you are a jerk, you will see the same traits in others. It’s what we do. We only see a fraction of this world and to deal with that we substitute it with our own experiences, and – most importantly – according to who we are.
Enough beating around the bush, let me give you a practical example: Me.
I’ve been a lying and cheating piece of shit at times in my life. And I thought it wouldn’t matter, as long as I keep it to myself, so as to not hurt people. Well, as you might have guessed already, it didn’t work like that. At all.
It poisoned me, it completely and utterly messed up my idea of love, loyalty and companionship, and I didn’t even realize before it blew up in my face. By then I was already thoroughly toxic, seeing myself in each and everyone around me.
- Unable to trust,
- unable to love,
- unable to form a genuine bond with someone I deeply cared about.
I won’t talk about the people on the receiving end of my dishonesty here, it’s not the appropriate space. What I want to say though is that these people could eventually move on. When they could finally see me for who I was, they could take their pure heart, full of love, and give it to someone deserving.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to talk down their suffering in the slightest. It must have been a tremendous shock, to see my mask fall. It surely gravely messed with their perception of reality, of love and relationships, and even though meaningless, words can’t express how sorry I am for that.
But, as said, eventually they were able to move on, they could trust in themselves, in the love they hold in their hearts, in their honesty and loyalty, and find and attract someone like them.
I, on the other hand, I have to get straight first, and it is all but easy. I’ve since changed my ways, but I still have to face those demons of the past, and it is fucking hard.
I neither want nor deserve your sympathy, I just wanted to share what really was an enlightening moment for me, fully accepting that, for you, as an emotionally healthy individual, it might not be.
So yeah, imo Karma simply means that you become how you behave and you will attract others like you.
Don’t be like me. Choose wisely who you want to be and who you want to be with.