Darlene recently made a decision that might upend her life in ways she never wanted. She did want, with all her heart, to be successful in her profession. To that end, she did something scary and invested heavily in a program that promised to help her achieve her dream. The scary part was that it was a big risk for her: she was close to retirement age and this money was earmarked for just that. She knew that if this didn’t work, she’d be in trouble.
Before she made her move, did Darlene do her homework and base her decisions on what she really knew about herself? Or did she blindly jump in, trusting in others instead of herself? If she blindly jumped in, then she’s just increased her own karma.
Karma is the sum of our actions in this lifetime that will determine our next lifetime. This means if we’re considerate in our actions, that sum is lower; if not, it’s higher.
Even if it ends up being a mistake – what Darlene did – if she chose with care and consideration, whatever happens won’t be as gloomy as it would have been had it been a thoughtless move. She need not recriminate herself – it was a risk. She loses no self-esteem, and can as a result bounce back much easier.
I’ve noticed in my practice and in my own life, that people can make themselves miserable if they let other people run their lives. For instance, if I react to a comment from a friend that feels hurtful, that “friend” is momentarily running my life – and I’ve just added to my karma. If I make any decision based on what I think others in my life want instead of what I want, I’m building karma.
It’s the source of human suffering – this build-up of karma. The best way I know to begin to reduce that suffering is to empower myself by clearing out judgments and comparisons, and living life on my own terms.
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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .