Good Fortune and Bad Karma Have Something in Common
It all points back to you ...
We thank our lucky stars, the universe, guardian angels, and our spiritual guides if things are going great.
When life is grand, we feel good about our direction and our satisfaction level escalates. And we quickly give credit to what we believe to be the source of our current success — an entity or concept we can count on that guarantees a repeat performance, without much help or effort on our part.
And if rotten tomatoes head our way and splatter all over our freshly laundered shirt? We blame everything and everyone in sight. Because when our life circumstances go south, we immediately start looking for a scapegoat.
I’ve tried both tactics to justify my personal ups and downs. And frankly, I’m not sure either strategy is realistic — or desirable.
In the past, my periods of irresponsibility have cost me big time. Loss of income, diminished motivation, weight gain, listless libido, and complete indifference. Oh yeah, I readily adopted a careless physical and mental state of mind in search of the empty brain and apathetic attitude.
Truthfully, settling into that empty, lethargic mindset wasn’t very difficult to accomplish. Fortunately, it didn’t take much time to figure out that reveling in a vacuum devoid of inspiration left me lacking any sense of meaning, purpose, or direction. And that uncomfortable tidbit of truth sent me on a diligent search for an exit door.
While I wanted to extract myself from what had quickly evolved into an irrelevant existence, my desire to re-insert myself back into the mature, responsible world of personal accountability made me pause. Because I realized that streak of luck that occasionally delivered the fruits of my labors into my lap had nothing to do with the stars lining up in formation.
A return to reality-ville meant any progress of a positive nature would take a huge dose of commitment from yours truly.
I began to wonder if there was a middle ground.
Was it possible to create some kind of neutral zone — somewhere between being overly responsive in acknowledging my obligations, and excessively indulgent in pitching the liabilities of life out the door?
It seemed to me that giving credit to an unseen force for our good fortune or blaming our failures on outside circumstances and people seemed like opposite ends of the spectrum.
The downside of this unwieldy juggling act became clear. Relying on something or someone beyond ourselves to carry us to new heights or expecting others to absolve us of our trespasses leaves a lot of room for interpretation — and mistakes.
The situation worried me. And I needed to come up with a plan where the two opposing hands of responsibility and dismissal could come together in a firm grip — or at least lightly brush fingertips from time to time.
Apparently, achieving a degree of balance and sanity would take some effort.
The truth is neither scenario serves us well, if at all. Because the ability to change or control anything or anyone at any time is beyond our power.
After plenty of internal arguments and crying jags, I finally fessed up to my weaknesses and tightened my bootstraps. Now, when I’m tempted to throw a tantrum and start pointing fingers, I recognize my reaction as a signal to step back and take the licks for my behavior.
Because holding a grudge or blaming others does nothing to solve the problem. And I discovered that if I chose to dig in and do work that’s important to me, I could take personal pride in the results. I realized the decision to be independent of influences beyond my control could take me much farther than waiting for a sign from the universe to pat me on the head.
Sometimes you have to learn the lesson, to learn the lesson.
As it turns out, good fortune and bad karma have something in common.
Either one is the result of the choices and decisions you make in life. And the tipping point that determines which direction the pendulum will swing is completely up to you.
In health & happiness,
Jill Reid is the author of Real Life, Discover Your Personal Truth, Life in Small Doses, and Please God, Make Me A Writer. Her books, videos, and newsletter explore life, relationships, self-improvement, health, and personal success strategies for working through the challenges of everyday life.
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