Stop turning to karma for revenge

According to many social media contributors, we can conveniently call upon karma to fix almost any nefarious act we choose. Your girlfriend cheated on you? That’s okay, karma will get her. Your boss demoted you? No worries, karma will step in and save the day. Karma has now become a catchall phrase that evokes the desire for retribution and revenge for anything from divorce to financial hardship to car accidents.

But what most people don’t see is their own role in the karmic process. They don’t understand that they are as much responsible for those acts as the person who committed them. Knowing this, karma really can be a bitch as well as a good friend.

In traditional Eastern cultures, karma was thought of in terms of reincarnation: “paying” in this life for “mistakes” made in the last. It was viewed as a balancing mechanism, giving individuals the chance to make good on wrongs committed in previous lifetimes. But in recent years, the concept of karma has taken on new meaning.

Today’s more popularized version of karma is also based on the theory of balance. Westerners treat karma as an unseen force that rights perceived wrongs by having someone else suffer in a like manner. For example, when someone has been the victim of a so-called egregious act, they call upon karma to fix the situation by having the perpetrator suffer the exact same act. They feel justified and vilified by having that person experience their own pain.

How often do we hear friends and family members shout to the universe, “karma’s a bitch!” and then patiently wait for the universe to impose a justified payback that looks just like the original crime?

If only it were that simple

In conscious creation terms, karma has a somewhat different meaning. Your emotions, thoughts, beliefs and actions all have an energetic basis. When that energy goes out into the universe, it seeks out like energy to create your everyday life. This “law of attraction” takes your energy and lines it up for you to experience life in matching terms. To most people, that sounds nice as long as they’re talking about “good” or “wanted” manifestations. But what about the bad?

How do “you” fit in with karma?

By the time you experience an event—any event—you are at the tail end of an energetic exchange. Your beliefs, thoughts and emotions have already been broadcast to the world and found like-minded energy to interact with. A physical manifestation occurs and sometimes you like the outcome and sometimes you don’t.

That means you are responsible for creating your world and the events within it. And when you experience something unwanted, you want someone to blame. You want someone else to pay for the pain and suffering you’re experiencing. You want your friends, your family and even the woman standing next to you to acknowledge that you were wronged. And the best way to get that affirmation is to see someone else get exactly what you did.

In these terms then, many people turn to karma to justify their own reaction. An example: Someone sideswipes your car and takes off without leaving contact information. You’re furious! You justify your reaction to a friend: “karma’s a bitch. He’ll get his!” In actuality, you’ve already received yours.

Unknowingly, you have broadcast some pretty powerful energy into the universe. In the example above, perhaps you’ve been thinking about how you can’t trust other people to treat your property with care and respect. Maybe you’ve been feeling unsafe and are thoroughly convinced that the rest of the world is out to get you. The possibilities are endless and usually complicated. You don’t consciously think, “I want my car sideswiped today,” but you’re definitely giving off signals that are pulling event toward you. Since you don’t understand why you’ve created such turmoil, you ask for help from outside yourself.

You think about karma. You start to feel better believing that the universe will take care of the wayward driver. Your focus is on him and the fact that you were wronged. In essence, you feel powerless in the situation and hope that praying to the karmic gods will make you feel better. You dream that some day, some how, the other driver will have his own car side swiped and equalize the situation.

Now, those thoughts of karma and retribution and the focus upon negative events do something even worse—they create more of the same. The energy you’re emitting is composed of several dastardly ingredients: anger, victimhood, revenge, powerlessness and more. And the result of all of those thoughts and feelings will be, you guessed it, more of the same…for you.

Knowing this doesn’t help most people feel better, but it can.

Using karma as an indicator of your thoughts

Being aware of your desire for karma to kick-in for others can be a big help to understanding your own thoughts and emotions. When you find yourself in an undesirable situation and start to turn your thoughts toward revenge, train your mind to recognize you have created something that you don’t want. From there, you can refocus your thoughts and energy into more constructive directions.

Take our car example above. Instead of turning to karma to rectify the situation, immediately recognize that you yourself have created the event. Something in your thoughts, feelings, or actions has caused you to send out a signal that manifested the event. Take it easy on yourself, since most of this has been unconscious on your part.

Next, start asking questions of yourself. Why do you feel anger? Was it respect for your property? Was it feeling helpless in the world? Be aware of the thoughts you are wishing toward another person and then turn them around on yourself. Start probing into your own beliefs about safety, respect and karma. The more you investigate your beliefs and thoughts, the further you’ll understand your own role in the situation.

Remember, taking responsibility for what you’ve created is the first step in realizing that you have the power to change it. Self-empowerment begins with self-awareness and responsibility. You’re learning (as we all are) to create with your beliefs, feelings and thoughts and it takes time and practice to master these creations.

But what about the other person?

The other person—the perpetrator—has also allowed his or her energy to match yours. They, too, have beliefs about reality and are learning to create as well, consciously or unconsciously. Try as you might, you can’t control another person, so focusing on yourself is the best starting place for your own growth and development.

Does having these experiences mean you shouldn’t get mad, angry or upset? Not by any means. It’s always appropriate to feel and allow your feelings to flow as they come up. Get angry, cry, stomp your feet, beat your fists against a pillow. Engage in healthy, non-harming forms of emotional release. Feel your emotions and then let them go. The trick is to not stay stuck in them and create more of the same. Allow yourself the time to experience the frustration then set it aside and learn more about yourself and how you can change reality for the better.

Karma really is about understanding the energy you’re putting out into the universe and seeing how it is manifested in your everyday experience. Understanding it, learning from it, and adjusting your thoughts accordingly is the best way to honor your spirit.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hamiltonal
    May 09, 2012 @ 01:38:25

    “Remember, taking responsibility for what you’ve created is the first step in realizing that you have the power to change it.” These are HUGE words. Very empowering – if we have the courage to take that responsibility. If we don’t, we may continue to see ourselves as victims in a uncaring universe. Once we take up the yoke of responsibility for our thoughts and emotions, for the energy we send out into the universe, we are in the driver’s seat. Does it get easier? I sure hope so – I have my foot on the gas!


  2. cbmilne33
    Mar 18, 2013 @ 23:36:36

    Reblogged this on Cbmilne33’s Blog.


  3. Vinod
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 08:23:43

    The law of Karma is perfect. When we are spiritually awakened we know that Compassion is the basis of this law and spiritual redemption or liberation from all suffering (self -realization) is its most precious goal. The spiritual dimension is the realm of Wholeness, of Oneness, of Supreme peace and bliss, of unconditional love and compassion. When in tune with the vibrations of this realm, there is only one response that will emanate even for those, who in their spiritual ignorance, commit the most heinous crimes towards us or others. – Father forgive them for they not what they do.

    By understanding and experiencing the spiritual dimension and by being guided in our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, responses and actions from the wisdom that flows from this dimension, can we truly transcend the law of Karma or transcend suffering in our own lives. Through this self-transformation we can make a meaningful and lasting contribution to peace in society and in the world at large.


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