This photo was one of many taken at Lake Tahoe in the Mountains for an album that I fondly refer to as my "dead tree" collection. For some strange reason, I was drawn to take photo after photo of these massive trees which have quietly watched the world go by for an unknown number of years. They still stand with such grandeur, but have withered to their current state of aged beauty. I find them ironic and a symbol our own divine journey on this earth.
If we could fast forward and see into our future, what would we see ? From time to time, we find ourselves daydreaming and wondering where we may be in the future, lets say five or ten years down the road. While imagining that what lies ahead for us may bring us some comfort and it may also motivate us in some way, it can also be a little intimidating as well. If we envision our future and what we want that to look like along with how we plan to get there, what exactly does that mean ? Does it mean that we are great planners, eternal optimists, or maybe we we just aren't so content to be in our present-tense ?
The future looks great....but what about today ? Everything we are programmed to do from the time we are very young is about planning for our "future". We are taught to prepare for school, college, a job, maybe marriage, save for a home, and possibly children....yes, it is all right there in the "this is how you plan for your future book" that we are each given ! Well, I do agree that you can probably find books on all of those topics and it is very important to plan for your future, however we may simply miss the biggest fundamental in my opinion, which is that while you are planning and figuring out your distinctive path into the unknown future, you should also focus on the "NOW".
Living for the future is what we are taught, learn, and work very hard for, but it takes an even greater determination to focus on today and find those things which make traveling into the great unknown future worthwhile. After all, it's all about the journey that we are on, the one which is happening right now !
The old saying we hear from time to time, 'what goes around comes around', just may very well be true. I have pondered about this a great deal. Over the years, there have been perplexing things which have happened to myself along with others, and I have searched to find a label to place on it.
I have watched people that have manipulated, cheated, and basically achieved success by stomping on other people in their paths, only to leave them as bread crumbs beneath their shoes. Some of those stompers eventually make it to the top, some are still there, but over time that bad "Karma" seems to eventually come back around and those very people whom inflicted that dark shadow are put back in their place somehow. In some way, they eventually face a brick wall which forces them to have a moment to reflect upon their mis-stepped deeds upon others.
Bad "Karma"...if there is such a thing, would of course be the opposite of good "Karma". Most definitions say that "Karma" is the effects of all deeds in the past, present, and future that make us responsible for our own lives, along with the pain or happiness we bring to ourselves and others along our path (well that and other religious definitions). In some religions, they even believe that Karma may extend through a present life, or from past or future lives.
I have often joked in my own life when things went wrong, and have said, "Well, I must have done something really wrong in a past life!", while I jokingly blamed that my crashed car, failed relationships, loss of money, spoiled kids, and pure rotten bad luck, were all due to just common bad "Karma".
However, my own recent self-loathing and condescending tone (some terms used to describe an incident of my own behavior), made me realize that "Karma" probably does have a great deal to do with it. My own bad "Karma", which I somehow create when things didn't quite go right or at least not the way I had originally envisioned, may very well be part of the boomerang effect . This effect, which is referred to as 'coming back around', may be just because of how I handled a particular situation.
Okay, so I realize that self-loathing and being condesending are definitely not very attractive traits, but there is always a reason for someone to get to this 'bottom of the barrell' kind of place. Although there is no good reason at all for it, for me, it came from a place that I could not quite pin down. I knew it was not just one specific thing, but a multitude of many. However, that one comment hurt me enough, that I have struggled to figure out why I indeed had acted that way.
I have come to terms with the fact that it was probably due to the infinite number of people that have circled around me like vampires from time to time, those people whom we will refer to as the "Karma Thieves" (or life sucking leeches). These are the people who slowly and in a sometimes a surprisingly charismatic way, pick away at our kindness, generosity, softness, passion, our innocent naivity, love (yes, of course love), along with the sheer beauty that we find in most things, then take what they want before they move on to the next victim, leaving us reeling in their dust. They are the "Karma Thieves", and yes they do exist.
These are the people that take advantage of all of those wonderful things about you as a person, and manage to use it to their advantage in some way, and then treat you like some of those little breadcrumbs beneath their shoes. These pieces which they take from you, are slowly stripped away and pushed down to some forgotten place inside. This is only because you believe that if you continue to allow it to happen, that it will be stolen again, and eventually there will be nothing left. So in turn, we lose our good Karma because other people take it from us, but we also begin to inflict bad Karma ourselves upon others because of what we have misplaced in our own hearts.... My thought anyway.
So recently it hit me like a ton of bricks, hey, this still means that we we make our own Karma, good or bad. Even if we have been unfortunate enough to allow others to take the good things away from us, those things are really still there. Maybe they are just buried away, down deep, until we can finally trust enough to allow it to resurface again.
So essentially, we really do make our own Karma. It's been described in multiple definitions that karma is the effect that our deeds have upon others and I never really understood that before....that this was the definition of karma. So, when we find ourselves facing some very bad "Karma" situations inflicted upon us in some way, we would be wise to remember that we always have a choice. A choice to also inflict some good, by how we react to others. A choice to simply remember that those things we say and do, have a profound impact upon others. This makes us responsible not only for ourselves, but for the karma and the well being of those in our path. What goes around comes around, as the saying goes.
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