I've recently begun to go through/am continuing to discover what I like to so clichely call my "spiritual awakening". So, I don't think anyone was too surprised when I, a college-aged millennial hopped on the "karma" bandwagon. I mean, for starters, it's a comforting idea -- good things come to good people. It's relieving in a way when that kid that I saw out partying all weekend leans over to copy off my journalism midterm that I can just take a deep breath and let it go "karma will take care of it" I think as I exhale. In fact, leaving things "up to karma" has relieved a lot of stress in my life. It veers me from my instant gratification motivated lifestyle more towards one that relies on trust that what goes around comes around.
Lately, however, I've kind of been struggling with my new school of thought. Last week, it seemed as though just about everything that could've gone wrong did. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect my good karma to allow me to sail through life and I understand that a lot of times when something doesn't go the way I hoped either it wasn't meant to be or there is a reason and lesson for me to uncover. But when I was sitting in bed, crying about just about everything it was kind of hard to not think "WHERE IS MY GOOD KARMA?!?!" I mean I was the only one who 911 for a man having a seizure last week! You'd think that a life equals at least a new car or something in the cosmic tradeoff. But that's when it hit me.
What am I expecting? Do I just think that for every good deed I'll get a corporeal, material gift of equal value? Who is to decide what each act values? Grabbing a picture that fell out of someone's wallet and returning it to them could mean something completely different to the girl that dropped a picture of her ex because she wanted them out of her life; than it could to a mother who is working hard to send money to her children overseas. So what exactly does good karma mean, and how will I know when I get it? I pondered that question all last week.
Today, it struck me. This week has been GREAT. I've been getting myself to sleep early, my 8:30 am class got canceled for all of next week. I will soon be surrounded by the people I love that are coming into town this weekend and all the little things seem to be going my way. That is what karma is to me. It's not necessarily everything going my way. It's me having opportunities to take care of myself and get in an extra hour of sleep. It's all the things I never think about going right that are the reason I wake up feeling good in a good mood. Karma isn't something I can look for or expect, it just happens. And more than the extra sleep and the canceled classes, the biggest reward my karma gives me is a good feeling. Handing back that picture, knowing that that person's day just got that much better, that at least one thing in their life is going well or even ok makes me feel better and THAT is what karma is.