Women's March Chicago 2018, by Karen Craven

Karma is Life’s Boomerang

I remember once sitting at my Aunt Mary's table on a Sunday morning after mass at St. Thomas More. I told her I hated something. I have no recollection what it was that I hated. I only recall her response. "We never hate," she said. "We only dislike." 

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have this belief that when you put things out to the universe, the universe will respond in-kind. Probably sounds corny, but it’s the way karma works, right?

Catching bubbles at little lost lake, by Karen Craven
Catching bubbles at Little Lost Lake, by Karen Craven
  • kar·ma | kärmə/ | noun: karma(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. | informal: destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

Karma is life’s boomerang. It’s like the old saying, “I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you”. As a kid, I said that in defense to someone who was mean. If you are a good person, the bad stuff should bounce off of you. The trick is knowing when to let it bounce.

And that’s the tough part. Not letting it stick. For those people whose offenses toward me were the most grave, at some point, I trusted that their actions would come back to haunt them.  Some people say, give it up to God. I’ve learned that spending my energy hating them only made me angrier. Plus, hating is wrong.

I remember once sitting at my Aunt Mary’s table on a Sunday morning after mass at St. Thomas More. I told her I hated something. I have no recollection what it was that I hated. I only recall her response. “We never hate,” she said. “We only dislike.”

I have a few theories on her correction and instruction. But first, I need to write that I have repeated those words dozens of time in my life, half of which were probably in the last 12 years. Second, think of what Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote. Picture yourself as a glass of water. What do you see inside? Dirty, murky, yuck-filled water? Or clear, clean, and crystal water? I’d like to think of the latter. Hate is clearly the former. You know the feeling. When your intestines are all cramped up. There’s a lump in the back of your throat. Every part of you is itchy and twitchy and the negative energy drains you and robs you of anything good. Yuck. And where does that get us? It just makes us feel ickier.  Then throw karma into the mix, and what you put out in the world is sure to return. Do you really want your ickiness to come back and stick to you? I don’t.

And that’s the lesson of the day. Be a boomerang. Let the hate stick to someone else. Because it’s what’s inside that counts. And drink plenty of water.

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