Can We Talk About Karmic Retribution?

Karma is real, y'all. I firmly believe that.

However...

I also firmly believe that how you deal with what karma delivers you determines your happiness and success.

I've had a lot of discussions in recent days about karma. When something that seems negative happens in one's life, it's easy to say, "That's karma! Something was done to deserve it!"

Perhaps. That's certainly an easy perspective on which to fall back. I typically do. Karma is just cause and effect. We do something, a reaction happens. Pretty simple. Pretty straightforward, I think. There is "good karma" and "bad karma." For example...

If I eat this awesome Subway Turkey Sub with veggies, cheese AND extra jalapeño peppers three hours before class... I'm going to feel like vomiting from the first Pada Hastasana.

One could interpret this "vomiting" sensation as my body simply processing the food. No big deal. But in my mind, in class, my reaction as I am going through it is...

OH FREAKING BLOODY HELL! I WANT TO VOMIT! WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN? I LOVE YOU WHEAT AND JALAPENOS! YOU GIVE ME EXCITEMENT AND MAKE LIFE SPICY! BUT I DESERVE THIS PAIN FOR LOVING YOU! I WANT TO DIE! THIS IS MY FAULT!

Sure. It clearly is my fault. I made the decision to cause the reaction. But I have to decide how I am going to react to this decision and its outcome. Am I going to live in fear of eating the sandwich and not ever do it again? Hell no! You better believe I will eat it again. I will just maybe decide not to eat it before a class, and instead after a class. Either way, I'm not going to live in fear of the sandwich altogether. I'm wary of it. But I'm not afraid off it.

Of course, not all worries and concerns from karmic retribution are as frivolous as my sandwich experience. But the principle is the same. You can choose to live in fear as a result of your actions, letting life weigh you down and spending your days miserable.

Or...

You can recognize the fear, figure how to make things right to win over karma (apology? restitution? ask forgiveness?), and decide how you're going to move forward in life. Everyone deserves peace no matter what they have done. It comes down to how they are going to pursue that peace.

But the first step, naturally, is to believe you have the right pursue it.