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Karma arises out of our choices.
Posted: 19 Apr 2016 04:25 PM PDT
Everyone has regrets. We've all said or done things we're not proud of, or that failed to get us the results we want. But torturing yourself by rehashing those moments isn't going to put the past to rest any more than ignoring them would. Karma isn't a cosmic evaluation slip that says, "Too bad, you failed the test." It's merely a clue to where you need to do some self-reflection. Karma says, "Mine your experience for what it can teach you about your habitual responses to the world." You need to find out what's keeping you from expressing fully who you are.
There's a common misperception that karma locks us into what was true in the past. Fortunately, that's not the case. Character and personality are malleable. We can and do change. In fact, our inner experience of the world changes constantly. That's why it matters so much what thoughts we entertain. If we cling to our old ways of thinking, we'll simply respond as we always have and the same things will keep happening to us. The first step toward awakening is admitting you want something different.
The only place you can change the past is in the present. By not focusing on the "story" of your life--the events themselves--but rather on how you interpret and shape those events, you will start to see patterns emerging. Insight into the assumptions that have been running your life will tell you why things turn out in certain ways. The patterns and habits you've developed are karmic opportunities. Unlike age or eye color or family of origin, they're aspects of yourself you have the power to change, which could, in turn, change your life. Karma arises out of our choices. When we choose not to respond as in the past, we create the possibility of a different future.
Joan Duncan Oliver