Karma? What’s That Got to Do with Aging?
If you want to age like a guru, then the Law of Karma is going to be good to keep in mind. Why, you might ask? It promotes mindfulness of our intentions. It encourages accountability for what we do, what we say, and what we think. It empowers us to look at how we choose to choose what we choose. Yep, you read that right.
Case in Point: People not showing up!
Alvin is suppose to show up to do some work on the roof of my shed. He isn’t showing up when he says he would. I’m upset. My response is anger, frustration, manipulation. Initially, I’m making him responsible for my upsetness and I want to do something so he will get the message that he’s breaking a promise. I say things like – "Man, Karma is going to bite him in the butt!" Or, "No wonder his life is so hard, he keeps racking up bad karma!" That makes me feel better – sort of.
However, since my intention is to walk my talk in terms of aging like a guru, I decided that rather than attempting to make him accountable for his actions, and justifying my negative responses, this is an opportunity for me to be accountable for how I’m being with this situation with Alvin.
I can hear people say "yes but, he should…." Yes, perhaps he should, but he’s not. And, the truth is that Alvin is in charge of his own accounting of how he lives his life. I can only be in charge of mine.
Any time we point the finger at someone else – expecting them to do the right thing, Karma encourages each of us to be accountable for being mindful of our intentions in pointing the finger, making other people wrong, or for that matter, making ourselves wrong, when truly we’re all being the best we can be, given the conditions within which we’ve been living.
When I ask, "What is my intention in making Alvin wrong or bad or evil?" I have an opportunity to see how I’m attempting to feel righteous, powerful, or invulnerable to judgment and attack. When I ask, "What is my intention in trying to get something from Alving that he isn’t open to giving?" I can see that I’m attempting to manipulate him and the situation so that I get what I want no matter what.
Alvin has been a great teacher because over and over again he makes a promise, and over and over again I trust that he will follow through. And, over and over again, he doesn’t show up. He isn’t the first person to attempt to teach me what I need to learn, aka what I need to be accountable for in my own life.
This pattern shows up over and over again. I thought I’d mastered the learning, but, when the teacher keeps showing up, I have to wake up and attend to what’s really happening. Rarely is the learning related to the specifics of the situation. It’s usually a much bigger principle of Life that is needing to be realized.
Now, I practice the intention of living in the spiritual principle that there is Divine Timing and Divine Order to everything. Living into these principles requires that I practice surrendering my will, that I see Alvin in the best light possible, and that I enjoy the beauty that is already present in my life. I am at choice. This is a practice that continually stretches me beyond my comfort zone. It is sooo much easier to just think bad thoughts about Alvin.
But I’m accountable for my choices. I can choose to hire someone else if I want, though not from retaliation, but because I’m ready to have the work complete. There is peace in that. There is serenity in that. There is kindness for all in that.
When I think about the Law of Karma regarding aging, I see that the work isn’t to be a good person, only thinking good thoughts, and doing good actions. It’s being mindful of something bigger – it’s being mindful of the intentions underlying my thoughts, and actions. It’s attending to my highest truths and practicing right living from there.
The advantage of this process of aging is that we continue to have opportunities to figure this stuff out and to experience the fulfillment of actually living life in alignment with our truest knowing. How fun is that?! I’ll tell ya: VERY!
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