Sunday, February 7, 2010

Behind the Scenes of Karma and Acceptance

Among the things that are hardest for some people to do, accepting help or blessings probably ranks toward the top of the list.

In many cases, the awkward feeling we experience when presented with a gift goes back to how we feel about ourselves. We are conditioned, since early childhood, to associate rewards with “good behavior”. In our minds, in order to reap fruits, we must know we deserve them, and many times we fall short of our own expectations.

We’ve all seen people who seem to have all the luck, while some others appear to walk from one disaster to the next. Many describe this as Karma. We experience good Karma when we feel in our hearts that we have done the right thing and have lived according to our system of beliefs. When we feel we are “good”, good things come to us. We project good thoughts out because we feel at peace and happy, and those feelings allow us to accept whatever blessings are on our path. Similarly, bad Karma works on the same principles. If we have done something we feel bad about, or have indulged behaviors that are condemned by our system of beliefs, then we feel we must be punished, rather than rewarded. We put a lock on the door of blessings, and open that of misery instead.

Traditionally, karma is believed to be something we carry along through lifetimes until we have experienced what we have caused in the past. One wise man whose name now I can’t recall, once said that if you wish to discover who you were in your past life, or who you will be in the next one, you should look at the life you are currently living. Looking at the big picture, it’s not hard to see how that process would work – our body dies, but our soul remains and continues to record experiences through different incarnations until we “get” all the lessons we are supposed to assimilate. Interestingly, in the field of child psychology, children are observed during play sessions, while they “act out’ their blocks. The human mind needs to rehearse events it doesn’t have a clear picture of, and repeats their pattern until the cycle is broken by an outside catalyst. When our inner blocks trigger an emotional charge to external events, we subconsciously set out to “replay” the original block.

Our subconscious mind – connected to the mind of all creation – has two roles; the first is to store information catalogued according to the emotional charge attached to it; the second is to pick up “thoughts” and requests filtered through the rational mind, and manifest them into our daily reality. Learning how to accept involves learning how to get rid of buried guilt and feelings of low self-worth. Each of us deserves to be happy, regardless of what we might feel bad about – consciously or subconsciously.

So, rather than “you shouldn’t have”, our response to someone offering a gift should simply be “Thank you”. After all, if that person, or Universe itself, decides to bless you with something, you are, obviously, worthy of it.

In the Christian belief, Jesus told sick people they were forgiven for their sins, before he told them they could get up and walk, or go back home and find their child healed. Once they felt their sins, and the guilt associated with them, were lifted, they were ready to accept the blessings.

A psychologist in Hawaii, convinced that perception affects our personal reality, decided to try a test. He became acquainted with a group of violent inmates, and every day he took ten to fifteen minutes to sit still and repeat a simple mantra: “I love and I forgive”. When he repeated those simple words, over and over, he did not choose to direct those words to a specific person, but only to attract a positive emotional charge within himself. In less than a month, as his perception of them had shifted, the behavior of the inmates had greatly improved.

Ultimately, we can change our reality. All we need to do is believe it, forgive ourselves for what we can’t change, and know that we are good enough to receive the blessings already on their way.

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