Even more importantly, my karma is something that I spend a lot of energy worrying about. I honestly try to be a good person these days. I try to always choose right instead of wrong. When presented with a really tough choice to make, I do make a strong effort to do what I think the universe would want me to do. I tend to view life as one big, long, extended school year or something with every event and crossroads along the way acting as another test that will help decide the direction in which I progress. I feel like I really do have the choice to study up and prepare so that I get good grades and continue to progress... or else I can spend my life in and out of detention hall and summer school.
I don't really know why it is that I'm so sure I'm failing at that... or at the very least, not doing as well as I could be or should be. I suppose I'm just hyper-aware of the fact that I'm not perfect. I've made a lot of bad choices in my past. There was a point in time when I knowingly chose to hurt others instead of treating them with kindness and compassion simply because it made me feel better about myself at the time or perhaps it was just the easier choice. Sometimes I still choose to wallow too long in indecision instead of be proactive about things because I feel sorry for myself and the fact that my life isn't as rich, full, or meaningful as I'd prefer. It's hard not to feel like I deserve the bad things that happen to me for those reasons. My karma still needs a lot of work.
In the end though, I suppose all we can really do is try. Little things make a big difference, I think, because they add up. It may take 100 pennies to equal a dollar, but.. hey, a dollar, right? Here are some of the pennies I try to collect when I see them lying around. I'm only human, so sometimes I do decide it's not worth it and just forget the damn penny, but like I said. I try.
- If I see trash lying around on the beach or in a natural area, I pick it up and throw it away. For whatever reason, I feel really strongly about trying to keep natural areas beautiful for ourselves, as well as livable for our plant and animal friends.
- When I'm out and about, I'm as nice to people as possible. I'm introverted, so I rarely want to... but when people catch my eye or smile, I try to smile back at them in a friendly way. If someone pays me a compliment, I say "thank you" even if I don't want to talk to them. No, I don't want to sit and chat or interact a lot... but I don't want to be rude or ruin someone's day by making them feel like they did something wrong in being friendly either.
- I go out of my way to be very appreciative of and kind to service people. I worked retail for a long, long time, so I remember all too well how thankless and degrading it can feel to make your living having to wait on others. It made so much difference to me when people treated me like a human being instead of a servant, so I try to do the same.
- I'm not good on a spoken word basis with others. I am definitely not good at doing things like saying "I love you" enough and I dislike the sappy displays of sentiment that so many other people seem to like. However, I do try to remember to at least show people how I feel about them. I try to remember not to take them for granted. There's nothing in this world worse than not feeling loved and appreciated by those you love and appreciate, so I would never want to be someone who perpetuates that feeling for others.
- I'm a grudge holder. I'll probably always be a grudge holder to some extent. Really, "forgive and forget" doesn't work for me at all because try as I might? I can't choose how I feel and I feel extreme anger that lasts and lasts when someone wrongs me. However, I try to just choose to separate myself from the person in question if I feel like I can't forgive them so that I can at least move on from my anger, if not exactly get over it. It's better for me and it's better for them. There once was a day when I would have tried to get back at them instead which, of course, only perpetuates a cycle of negativity and nastiness.
- When people from the past that I thought I didn't want to talk to anymore inevitably track me down wanting closure in regards to their relationship with me, I do try to reassess the situation to the best of my ability. Unless I have a reason to think that the person hasn't changed their ways and has unsavory motives for coming around again, I try to give them the closure they want. I've done this recently with a couple of ex-boyfriends I didn't treat very well in the past and I was surprised to find out that giving them that closure helped me as well.
- This one is extra hard for me, but I try to remember to be kind to myself as well. I know I don't treat myself with the same care and respect I do others. I hold myself to standards that I would consider impossible, unacceptable, and even cruel if inflicted upon somebody else. I'd never deprive a loved one of love, understanding, or acceptance... but I do it to myself habitually. I doubt the universe really likes that much.
How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.- Wayne Dyer
I found the intro picture and the above quote online earlier. Really, I think that's the secret to getting through life right there. You can't control other people, or your feelings, or circumstances... but you can change the way you process and deal with them if you really want to.