How do you know if you have a problem with karma?
Sometimes it feels like life is against you. You’re moving along nicely, everything’s flowing better than usual, you’re beginning to relax…and then it hits you. Someone treats you outrageously badly and you know you don’t deserve it. Something happens that wouldn’t have happened to anyone else – so why does it always happen to you? And there you are again. It feels like you’ve been kicked in the guts for no good reason.
This used to happen to me all the time. I couldn’t understand it. I was trying so hard to be a “good” person. I did my best to treat people well. I listened to them and cared about them. I was sincere in my attempt to be a better person. And yet it seemed as if life was against me.
I remember walking into a meeting. I was in a business that was in trouble. I’d done a lot of work all week to try to find solutions. I had some fresh ideas. But when I started to talk I was treated with such a complete lack of respect, I was shocked. I had no idea what was wrong, but everyone in the meeting turned on me and it was simply horrible. To this day, I don’t really know what was going on, but that’s a typical karmic scenario.
The worst bit was that it made me confused. It turned my values upside down. Everything I believed in and knew to be true didn’t seem to work for me. I thought it was good to try to solve the problems, so why didn’t anyone else? I couldn’t make sense of it. If any of the other people in the meeting had come up with an idea everyone would have listened, but they didn’t. It was unfair, as if I had to live up to higher standards than anyone else.
I tried to tell myself stories that it was a good thing. Life was training me. I was lucky to have it hard. The strange thing is that looking back on it there was nothing badly wrong. I wasn’t suffering in the ways that many people do. No one was hurting me physically or endangering my life. But it hurt and I didn’t get it.
And then I was introduced to the concept of karma. At first I thought it would be yet another thing to punish me, another way to make me feel bad about myself. But I had to find answers so I worked weekly for two years with an expert in clearing karma. I discovered stories about possible past lives that helped me make sense of this life. In fact, without those stories, this life was very difficult to understand. And slowly I noticed that my life got softer and easier.
It was imperceptible at first. I was so geared to the unpredictability of life that I was permanently braced for it. It was hard to relax and a lot harder to trust. I knew the right language and could say all the right words, but inside, almost too far in for me to sense, I was deeply confused.
What I learned opened my eyes in ways I could never have predicted. People often tell me these days that they don’t believe in karma and I know then that they don’t understand what it really is. It’s so far from being a system of punishment.
In fact it’s a beautiful, elegant reflection of the deep patterns of nature and of life. Understanding it allows me to find freedom where others find blame and victimisation. Unravelling the strands of my hidden past gives me keys to a future that I wouldn’t have dared to dream up for fear that it would all be ruined out of some weird stroke of bad luck.
As I’ve explored it more deeply with client after client I see how it opens up the innate goodness in people and allows them to become their greatest self. It’s a step by step process that shows you how to leave behind the torture of self doubt, self criticism and self denial.
In my case I discovered that I blamed many other people for my own situation. It wasn’t overt, but I was unhappy with myself and yet I wasn’t taking responsibility. I blamed my circumstances which made me feel powerless to change anything. Ultimately I discovered that I blamed life itself for treating me wrong. I believed I deserved a better deal and often I wondered whether some mistake had been made in the way I was designed.
Slowly I discovered there was no mistake – and although it’s counter-intuitive, this was a relief. I let go of the blame and mistrust that was deeply etched into my consciousness and started to recognise the many ways in which I failed to treat myself with love and respect. It was no wonder that others appeared cruel to me at times. I was the master of cruelty, but I reserved it entirely for me. I never showed it to anyone else – another typical sign of karma.
Eventually, dealing with it allowed me to breathe and trust life, increasingly fearless and courageous in the things that matter. It opened up the path to my deeper purpose and inner power.
It’s not an issue for everybody, but in my experience, almost all leaders who have a conscience have an issue with karma. Things happen that sabotage your career or your success which make very little sense from the outside. You know deep inside yourself that you should be more effective than you are. People who are less conscious than you are being rewarded more than you. You don’t want to say it’s unfair, but it certainly feels like it on the inside.
Strangely enough, you don’t need to believe in past lives to unpack your karmic patterns. But you do need to be willing to face some uncomfortable truths about yourself. If you can face them you will no longer be controlled by them and the path to inner freedom opens up for you. That’s worth discovering and I can promise that the exploration is deeply fulfilling.
I’m running a 3 week Karma Masterclass starting Thursday 6 April 2017. Find out more here: sarahmccrum.com/karma