I hear a lot of people saying things like, "Karma got them! Yay!" or, "That person finally got what they deserve!" and it makes me sad. I am sad because this is very clearly a negative view of the world and your fellow man. I have come to realize that, in our hurt and pain, we have chosen to take pleasure in another person's pain and hurt, thus perpetuating the cycle. No matter what someone else has "done" to you (more on this in my other post), YOU are responsible for YOUR personal karma, and the way you act towards another living being, determines what this is. It is totally separate from blame, or punishment. The way you treat others is YOUR KARMA, they way they treat others is THEIRS ALONE.
Many of you know that I struggle a lot with a neighbor family. They seem determined to be difficult, hateful, and completely uncooperative, no matter WHAT I do. Recently, I sent them a very strongly worded email, asking them to please respect the property lines, which they are not currently doing. They sent me a message back, basically, saying, "Eff you!" I was upset and extremely disappointed. I have tried to trust the universe to help me set loving boundaries, but it never seems to work with these people! I tried to respond in a way that kept my boundary clear, but was not mean spirited. They did not reply. The next day, I noticed that the mother (who is the most angry and tortured of the entire family), had become very ill. At first, I was "happy that she got what she deserved." I then realized that no matter what she has "done" to me, no one "deserves" to be sick, or ill in any way, and I decided to pray for her and send her healing energy. Is it difficult? YES. But since I believe we are all connected, who am I REALLY hurting by sending her negative and hateful energy? That's right, I am hurting myself, as well as adding to the mass of negativity that already exists in the world. I do NOT wish to participate in that.
I have a favorite quote from Pema Chodron which I think of often, especially in situations like this: "Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know." It gives me a good perspective when I look at relationships which have been a constant struggle for so many years. What is my lesson in those situations? Perhaps it can give us a perspective on those long standing feuds we have with certain family members. Why did we bring these people into our lives, if not to teach us something about ourselves?
Next time you find yourself taking pleasure in someone else's pain, ask yourself if that is the kind of person you want to be. It is actually a big shift, and it may take some time, but once you realize that we are all in this together, perhaps you can find your compassion, and love for others, as well as yourself. Do you want to spread love, or hate? It's an easy choice, once you really recognize your pattern. We can make a difference, one consciousness at a time!
Do something randomly nice for someone today, without any chance of recognition. I like to leave change next to parking meters. It's fun! Spread the goodwill and you will soon find it transforming your life.