The problem with knowledge is that you realize how damn stupid you were before you had it. There is an old saying that youth is lost on youth, I assume because when you are young you have all the benefits of youth, but only the knowledge of youth. When you get older you get wiser, but you lose the benefits of youth. Then again, I believe that maybe youth needs its stupidity so as to passionately go after the impossible (read: that which will take them through a million battles before they reach their goal), as those that succeed make it ever so little more possible for the rest. (It’s fascinating how new world records are set all the time – somehow every year we seem to get a little bit faster.)
Do you believe in karma? I’d like to believe in it, as I’d like to believe that we have some sort of way of controlling our own fate. I’d like to believe we reap the seeds we sow. I don’t, however, believe that just because you may have committed a crime in this or a past life time you should feel ashamed of yourself. In general I think being ashamed of oneself should only be a trigger to sort something out, not an excuse to sit and wither away in one’s own misery.
I started thinking about karma the other day as I came to think about a guy I was madly in love with way before I understood anything about love. I was just in love, full stop. Looking back it’s a rather funny story about ego, but at the time it was a very painful story. We never dated, but somehow I was madly in love with him and I gave him my heart to break in a million pieces. I was so in love with him that for me he became the symbol of love – for ten years I’d dream of him when I wanted love. Because the emotions I had for this guy were so strong I wondered if I had been with him in a past life and if I had hurt him greatly?
If you look back on my present life you can easily say that love has been the greatest confusion and source of pain. It’s only in the last year that I have gotten my head round the whole thing and I’m still learning. Through all this learning I have come to appreciate love. I also decided the other day, as I came to think of this guy, that I was going to take karma seriously. Whether it exists or not, I have something to learn from everything that goes wrong in my life.
If I was truly a heart breaker in a past life, I clearly did not understand what I was doing to people. In this life I have learnt what it feels like to be on the other side of the equation. If I caused people to feel like I have felt in this lifetime from family issues, men and bullies, I was a nutcase and I am truly sorry. I can only be sorry because I now understand the pain you can cause others by playing with them in ways they don’t necessarily understand, so they fall foul for the game due to their lack of knowledge. I also think that the people who have caused me pain, often, were not aware of it, or pretty much unable to stop themselves from doing it because of how life shaped them. If I think of the things I have done by mistake to hurt others, or because I didn’t know better, or couldn’t control my own behavior, it makes it easier to forgive them. Basically, by looking at the situation from their point of view I can finally forgive them.
Also, if I ask for forgiveness, I learn what it feels like to be on the other side of where I am at right now. It allows the mind to travel. I am not what happened to me and I have to learn to detach myself from it. And by genuinely apologizing you learn some humility – I’m sure I’ve broken a few hearts in this lifetime too and I know for sure that my ego enjoys when I know I can have a guy, even though I don’t want him. However, I don’t encourage guys I don’t want. I may be friends with them, but that’s that. It’s harder with guys that you feel that you have some sort of connection, but you know you don’t want to be with. Attraction is a complex thing.
If I look back on my heart-breaks in this life (which may be the only one I’ve ever had, or will have, I don’t know) I have learnt a lot from that. I guess there are two ways of learning about love: getting it right from the start and experiencing what it should be like so you know what you want, or failing in all ways until you figure out what it isn’t and therefore what it should be. Some of my main learnings are that for certain a guy can be “your type” but that’s not love. For certain there are a few people in this life that have achieved the level that you would like to achieve and that you admire, but that’s not love. For certain there are people in this life that mirror you in more ways than one, but that’s not love. For certain a guy can tell you the most amazing things till your ego feels like it’s flying to the moon and back, but that’s not love. Love, to me, is an understanding, a connection if you so like, a dose of attraction and a willingness to create life together. I have discussed that under the page titled Love here, so I won’t go into it again, but it’s very different from when I was a teenager and hopelessly in love with a person who was no good for me at all, so if I admired him and we mirrored each other in some ways.
Another of my beliefs is that if you ask for something and you are prepared to do what it takes, including apologizing for your karma, you will get it. However, most people probably don’t try to learn from every event life throws at them. Most people don’t want to take hit after hit so as to reach a certain destination. Most people blame others for their failure, or are jealous of others for their success. If someone was to ask me if I was willing to climb one of the hardest climbs there are and fall a few times along the way, so as to reach one of the greatest mountain tops there are, I would have said yes. I know myself well enough to know that. I had to slip and fall on the head a few times for me to realize that life isn’t about success – that I can be happy in the here and now. I’ve had to fall maybe even harder to let go of some of my ego. And I’ve definitively fallen a few times when it comes to love. Why did I have to fall so many times? Because I simply didn’t get it the first time! That’s not necessarily my fault – I didn’t know better. Am I happy I got to where I am now though? Yes. Yes, I am.
It’s hard to forgive those that inflicted pain on you. It’s hard to forgive them unless you become them. If you imagine what they went through to become whom they are. If you see life through their eyes. And if you imagine, just for a minute or two, that you are them, trapped in that very set of circumstances and thoughts and you see you doing what they did, only now it’s to them…maybe then you can forgive yourself and by doing so, forgiving them. And maybe, just maybe, do you learn the lesson that life was trying to tell you so desperately with signs as big as elephants, that you, of course, did not see. From what I’ve learnt, I can only thank the people who ruined me for being so kind to do so.
I have to say, in my life, karma, if it exists, has been a big sexy beast…I mean all those men were just so friggin yummy!!!