All About Karma - Part 2

Earlier in the month I chatted a little about karma, what it is and what are some things we can do to eliminate or reduce our experience of negative aspects of it.

Remember that not all karma is bad! We like to focus on the "what goes around comes around" mantra that many people associate with the thought that if you do something bad, something bad will happen to you. But it also works the other way!

We sometimes tend to forget that if we are kind and giving, our life should be some experience of the same. However, we can look at people's lives and see that this is not always the case. What about good people who are murdered, raped, stolen from, or abandoned? What about people who lose their homes to natural disasters or die unexpectedly or unfairly? These are not all repercussions of bad karma.

I remember when Hurricane Katrina hit, my mother, an extremely religious woman, was in the hospital due to her battle with cancer. She was not a bad person. Cancer was not necessarily punishment to her for doing something bad. In the same way, the victims of Hurricane Katrina were not experiencing the wrath of God due to the lifestyle of the people who lived there, despite what some preachers that my mother followed were declaring. I remember preachers at the time, who my mother supported, visiting her in the hospital praying for her recovery, while at the same time chastising the people of New Orleans for their lifestyle and calling them to repent to avoid the wrath of God. Can we assume every natural disaster or tragedy is a result of bad karma? Of course not. Who gets to decide which events are karmically related and which ones aren't?

So can we explain why bad things happen to good people?

There are a number of explanations.

If I live in fear of being murdered, for example, my fear and my repetitive thoughts about being murdered are like praying for things I do not want. So one of the ways bad things happen to good people is the mere fact that they could be manifesting in reverse. It is well known that Natalie Wood had a fear of dying in dark waters, which ended up being exactly how she died. To be fair, we could wonder if she was having premonitions of her own death or if she just had an irrational fear that ended up coming true. It is also known that a psychic foretold Natalie's mother of her death in cold water, which also creates the question, if the psychic had kept that information to herself, would it have happened anyway, or did the power of suggestion bring it to pass? This is why I never never never do death predictions.

Another reason why sometimes bad things happen to good people is that there is an ancestral connection. Yes, we can reap consequences for our ancestors! If we do not resolve our lives before we die, there is a chance we can pass down through our bloodline a pattern of repetitive happenings. We have all heard the eerie stories of generations of family members all committing suicide or experiencing sexual trauma. This does not seem fair! Why is this even a thing?

In my family, at least in the generations I am aware of, the women in the family were forced to be the main bread winners due to some sort of incapacitation of the men in the family. My grandfather had an accident which forced him to become disabled. My father had repetitive illnesses which created the necessity of my mother to work. In my first marriage, I was the main bread winner for various reasons. My daughter is also the main bread winner in her family due to the fathers of her children being absent. In my second marriage, my husband's father also became disabled causing his mother to be the main bread winner, which has reoccurred in my stepdaughter's experience with the fathers of her children. This is no coincidence!

The third possibility for difficult karmic experiences is the possibility that something occurred in another lifetime that went unresolved. I am not here to argue whether or not reincarnation is real. Whether you believe in it or not is not the point. If you do believe in it, then there is the possibility that something occurred in another lifetime which either repeats in this lifetime or is an experience of some sort of consequence of that lifetime.

Another less talked about possibility is the practice of judging someone for bad behavior. The Bible states, "do not judge, lest you be judged." In other words, what you judge someone else for, you will probably eventually be guilty of yourself, or, in some cases, reap difficult experiences related to that judgement. One client I had several years ago judged his father for his repetitive affairs, only to find that he was unable to be faithful to his love partners. Another client also judged his father for infidelity, but in his case, he reaped marriages with women who were unfaithful to him. This could also fit into the category of ancestral patterns being passed down to the children.

There are other possibilities as to the whys of karma. Guilt is a huge attractor of events that in some way "punish" us.

But what do we do about it?

If you are aware of any unresolved emotions, beliefs, thoughts, or actions that could create difficult karmic repercussions, it is important to make amends.

In the twelve step program for addicts, one of the twelve steps is making amends for past actions. If you have stolen, pay it back. If you have done something that lacks character, do your best to make amends in some way. Res