I do believe in Karma. When Danny left me I went out and bought Justin Timberlakes’s album ‘Future, Sex, Love Sounds’ for the song ‘What goes around comes around.’ I still love that song today, but over the years I have learned that Karma is not about revenge: Karma is a lesson: for us all to learn from our experiences, and more often than not it is hard lesson.
Many people believe that Karma is payback, I don’t. In fact I don’t even think that Karma is like for like: you stole my phone so one day someone will steal yours.
Believing it is a lesson I think that it is more likely to be: you stole a phone and one day, when stranded in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain, with nobody in sight, you find that you no longer have access to a phone, your phone has died, the battery has run low, you’ve dropped it and it broke, and there is your karma: knowing what it is like to be without a phone when you really need it. I believe that to truly gain from Karma it would be at that point that you look back and think: now I know how that person felt when I stole their phone. But sadly there are so many out there that don’t reflect, and so don’t get the message, don’t learn the lesson; and so the lesson gets harder, and harder, and sometimes gets carried over into another lifetime.
I know that it is commonly believed in today’s media that Karma is revenge, Karma is like for like, Karma is someone suffering for what they have done in the same way that they made someone else suffer; and so some people may find this post outrageous. But some will totally understand it; and I think it is important to discuss and get people thinking about their understanding of Karma, with particular reference to infidelity.
When I researched for this post I asked whether Karma was a lesson in the search bar, because I believe that is what it is. Of course I also asked what Karma was and was bombarded with the sayings like
For me I find these types of sayings what I call ‘spit out words’ or ‘spit our sayings’: said with venom, anger and bitteness. I can’t see how this helps anyone. I get the anger and the rage , been there, done that, punched him, gave him black eyes , wished ‘her’ dead. But as time wore on I realised that the only person I was damaging was me, and that takes me back to Karma and what I believe it truly means.
The basic rule of Karma is cause and effect: We do something and it causes an effect, but as a result of that effect something will happen which means we will be affected by our actions in the future (even in another lifetime). But more importantly it is the intent with which the deed was caused that relates to Karma: intent to hurt someone, intent to destroy someone; to deliberately play mind games with someone (all so common where infidelity is concerned),then one day those actions that you deliberately took will affect your life in such a way as to make you think.
Let me use our story as an example: Danny deliberately gas lighted me to cover his actions. He played mind games (not a lot, but enough) to cover his tracks, and as a result I started to feel insecure, but also unsure of my gut feelings. Now, even all these years later Danny feels insecure where I am concerned. Not through any of my actions (I reassure him and tell him I am not going anywhere) but through his own. His own actions, that were taken with intent all those years ago, now make him feel insecure; and he ignores his own gut feelings because often the demon in his own head gets the better of him. That is Danny’s lesson: This is how it feels to be insecure, this is how it feels to have a demon in your head, this is how it feels to not be able to trust your gut. And more importantly this is how it feels for you and yet your’re the one who put it there.
I read an excellent analogy that compared Karma to when water is disturbed: as the pebble hits the pond the water fans out to make room for the pebble, but inevitably the water returns again in a constant cycle to whence it came: to the thing that caused the effect.
With Karma every action has an equal and opposite action, but it does not have to be an identical action.
So again lets apply Karma to our situation: Danny left because he was afraid that I would do to him what he did to me (what he thought to be Karma). Although I have learned over the years that it was never his intent to destroy me, or even hurt me (but cognitive dissonance came into play there,) it was his own fear of what he thought was Karma that got the better of him and he left. The intent was to stop his fear of me leaving him, the action was to leave me and the effect was that although distraught and broken I grew stronger, I lost weight, I found me, I got my career back on track and I didn’t need Danny. Therefore when Danny came back his Karma was to face the very fear that made him leave: that I was too good for him. If he thought I was too good for him before he left he was terrified that I was too good for him when he returned. His Karma was to face the fears he ran away from every day; only this time they were bigger because he had broken my heart and I no longer needed him.
This leads on to an important point: Danny was insecure about our relationship and keeping me all those years ago. By coming back he faced those insecurities because he realised that the only other option was to not be with me. So he faced his fears and he still does every day, this time he does not run away. He learned that lesson, and he stopped the continous cycle of running away from things that frighten him.
I did nothing, I didn’t have to, Danny’s deed of running away was now matched with his fear that one day I would do the same, but it was not like for like, not in the way that most interpretations of Karma would have you believe. And here is the crux: if I had done back to Danny what he had done to me with the intent to get my revenge, then at some point in the future my actions with intent would come back to me and I would be taught a lesson again. I didn’t want that kind of revenge, I could see at the very beginning that to do that would have been pointless and have us on an never ending circle. So I ‘rose above it’ (more of that in a future post) I have said all along in our story that no matter what was taken from me I was not prepared to lose my dignity.
There is another important part in that I do believe that Danny never had the ‘intent’ to hurt me (we are talking us now and whilst I know this does not apply to all I also know it will resonate with some.) he just ran away. Perhaps that is why I let him come back. The woman who always said she never would, perhaps that is why I stayed and worked through the madness: because it had never been Danny’s ‘intent’ to hurt me, even though he had.
But…. what I did do during our recovery was punish Danny for what he did. I would leave work and turn off my phone and disappear for hours, knowing that Danny woud frantically be trying to call me. I knew that with every ounce I lost, with every new outfit I bought, with every promotion I got, I was hammering home to Danny the message of what he was at risk of losing. I did a lot of that with intent, not all, but some mind games. As a result Danny’s mental health suffered and as a result I now have a caring, gentle, loving and supportive husband who still lives in fear every day despite all my reassurances.
Karma did revisit me with regard to my actions: I put so much into my career letting it define me, and I was treated badly, and feared losing my status, and worked so hard that it took over my life. As a result I had mini breakdown and only now, looking back, I can see that it was Danny’s love and care at that time in my life that finally put paid to ‘The War’ and it’s importance where our relationship was concerned. Karma revisited me and showed me what it was like to risk losing something that I thought was important, to experience people trying to undermine me and to understand what that felt like. Danny did not take the opportuniy to play mind games with me, at that time, he cared about me and worried about me: he had learnt his lesson.
I read people wishing bad things on their spouse, the AP, everyone, and I understand why they feel that way, God knows I do. But here I am over twelve years on and I know now that the only people that those thoughts are damaging is them. That is why I ALWAYS say find yourself why I challenge people to face their fears of doing that, because if you truly want to balance things out then I believe that is the only way you will do it. Don’t sit waiting for a magical, mystical being to come along and take revenge for you, in fact don’t search for revenge, take control of your situation and don’t let bitterness suck you in. Teach by example.
So that brings me to the point of this post. What do you believe Karma will to be, and what do you hope to achieve from it?
At what point do we stop?! At what point do we say that they gave us pain, but we are not going to perpetuate the never ending circle? When are we are going to stop and learn our lessons: that to give more pain will just mean that we will receive pain again in the future?
I don’t believe that Karma is about bitterness and revenge, I believe that Karma is about learning to ‘rise above it.’
But it took me a lot of years to get here!
Making This Better the book is now available including the journal entries for the first 5 years of our recovery & the whole 21 days of ‘The War’. Available internationally in paperback and ebook at Amazon and Barnes & Noble also available at Xlibris and Apple Books for iPad and Waterstones Bookstores for click & collect
I would love to hear your feedback.
So many similarities despite the non-addict/addict difference in our stories…
My husband has an insecure attachment style, stemming from his childhood. His karma, to me, is that if he felt insecure before – when I was fully present and completely devoted to him – he must be downright panicked these days to see my detachment and occasional avoidance. He caused it, and it’s the ripple in the water you mention.
I feel like karma is irony in action.
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Oh yes, totally. I think it is so important for recovery to be able to see that and understand that, as you have. When I read so often about Karma being vengeful, how is that conducive to moving forward. Our stories are all so similar, but all so different and that is why I love interacting with others, we can all help each other. ❤️
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