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Friday, 24 October 2014

Clean anger

 Karma. What a loaded word. So many people think 'karma' means 'paybacks'. No, no, a thousand times no. It does not mean paybacks. I've written about this before.

What's happening to me is not because I deserve it, or because of some 'sin' from a past life, or because my 'negative energy' has 'drawn it to me', or even because of some 'lesson' I need to learn. There is no cosmic tick sheet keeping track of lessons we all need to learn, and meting them out to us in different forms depending on how much pain we have 'earned'. That is bullshit! And I don't believe for one single minute that someone's 'soul' decided to it would be good to born profoundly disabled or to die after a few hours in this world in order to 'learn' some 'lesson'. Bullshit! Bullshit!

What's happening to me is simply what is happening to me. It's not happening for a reason, it is just happening. The way I choose to deal with it, the actions that I take in response, that is my karma. That is what karma means.

The word karma means 'action'. I will show you again the actual scriptural teaching on karma from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:

'Now as a man is like this or like that, according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be; a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad; he becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds;
And here they say that a person consists of desires, and as is his desire, so is his will; and as is his will, so is his deedand whatever deed he does, that he will reap.'

This is where my karma comes in. How do I react to what's happening to me? How do I respond? What actions do I take now that this has occurred? And it's not so much that my actions should be 'good' instead of 'bad' -- it's what I will reap within as a result of my actions. Will my actions be congruent with my true self? (That would be a good action.) Or will my actions be incongruent, perhaps conforming in some way to outside expectations, or based on knee-jerk emotional responses, but not in sync with my own truth? (Those would be bad actions.) 

First, my karma is to face the reality of my situation and not to deny it. It's true I could kick the source of my pain out of my life entirely. Or I could flee the situation and return to America. But these two choices, for me, would constitute non-acceptance of reality, and would be incongruent with my truth. (Not to mention that not only would those choices not rid me of this pain, they would add even more pain, confusion and heartbreak.)  Eckhart Tolle has taught me: 
'Accept -- then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will miraculously transform your whole life.'
This advice actually has transformed my whole life. I have applied it many times, in all sorts of situations. This is the advice that cuts off the 'WHY??' response. You can spend years wallowing in 'WHY? Why did that person do that? Why did this happen to me? Why did he betray me? Why did she lie? Why was this going on and I couldn't see it? Why did she get a fatal disease? Why was he born profoundly disabled? What did I do to deserve it? Why? Why? Why?!' 

It is so tough to take what life has handed you and 'accept it as if you had chosen it.' My god, those are hard words. That is a hard teaching. But it is true. Until you accept the cold, hard, painful REALITY of what is happening, you cannot move forward. So. Yes, this is happening. These are the facts. I will not waste energy asking why. Even if I was given full and instantaneous comprehension of every WHY that ever was, the facts would still remain. The situation would still be same. And I would still have to take steps to deal with it. So fuck the why. The why is not the issue. What am I going to do next, that's the issue. And that's my karma -- my ACTION. 

My first action after getting one of the biggest shocks of my life (after lots of crying and wailing) was to go to the GP the very next day and get meds to support me through the severe initial anxiety. Then take a week off work. I may take next week off as well. This action is supporting my mental well-being and getting me in a place from which I can proceed. No way could I go 10 of Wands in this. Screw that. My first action has been self-care and a strategic retreat. My second action has been to organise for some counselling.

For now, that is enough. Another action is realising that things must be done over time. I know that I cannot formulate a full recovery plan in one go. My first reaction was that I could but of course I was in shock, I can't do that. What I must do is bit by bit. All the while acknowledging the reality of my situation and being vigilant not to fall into the wallowing despair of 'WHY' which solves nothing and could lead to years of pain and suffering. 

I acknowledge all my feelings. I have expressed them as well.  This could go on  for a very long time. I can do nothing about that but sit with it, acknowledge it and allow myself to feel it. It is a righteous anger and it is a clean anger. And it does not outweigh the love. And the love does not outweigh the anger. They are both real. The time may come when one does outweigh the other. Or when one or both dissolves entirely. I don't know. And this is real, too. I remain open to and aware of all possibilities. I am making no rules for myself of how I must behave, how I must react, or what 'can' and 'cannot' happen. I acknowledge that anything could be the outcome. 

My Indigo Angel card for today: 

I've given you all I've got. 


  1. What a profoundly written post. I wish I had read these words when I was in your situation. I feel so much better now I've learned how to deal with reality. The Why's always stagnate the healing process
    I wish you well and I think it is very brave to share this with us

    1. Thanks, Ellen. I am grateful for many things right now, not least is a job that allows me space to begin to get my head around my situation.

  2. Ah karma... I got into a grand "discussion" on the purple pages once because I said it had nothing to do with reward and punishment (gravity will make a person go splat if they walk off a ten story building regardless if they are moral or amoral). As you said, it is about cause and effect. A quote from a version of the Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran:
    “The Buddha says that we are not punished for our anger; we are punished BY our anger.”
    It sounds like you are making a thoughtful (rather than reactive) plan for dealing with the reality on your doorstep.

    1. Thank you. I have been advised not to do too much. So I am making an effort to slow down -- even though my impulse is to rush headlong, get into counselling, read every book out there, and do everything all at once. I know that's not the way forward though. Must take things slowly. Simply must.

  3. A lot of wisdom there, Carla! Beautiful that you share it with us, and that also feels like an action in line with your true self - teaching and enlightening always.
    So good to hear your first actions were self-nurturing, and the honest acknowledgement that you cannot yet know where all this will go. As you say, stay with what is, and with your own ability to act from a place of acceptance. (((Hugs)))