Karma… Do good and good will come to you.


Earlier this week I was speaking with a very good friend of mine, probably my best friend, someone who knows my deepest darkest secrets and I his. We can talk about anything and everything and do. He brought up the subject of Steve Jobs and Apple and how he met someone who had a very high level position in Apple. This ex-employee said that all the rumors about Steve Jobs was true. He was a demanding, tough, nasty son of a bitch, yet his employees were extremely loyal to him because he made them all a lot of money.

My friend (Mr. X) said, “Makes you wonder if his painful death was Karma paying him back”. I quickly replied that I would hate to think that his Cancer was Karma, because if that was Karma, what did I do to deserve the 4 years of suffering I’ve been dealing with.

I have always conducted my life on a moral high ground. I always treat people with respect and kindness and always put myself in their situation. I was brought up by two parents who followed the letter of the law and never strayed from doing the right thing, even if it was to their detriment.

So it got me thinking, why am I suffering and is Karma paying me back for something I am unaware happened in my past?

I read alittle more about Steve Jobs and that he believed in Zen Buddhism, but in an interview when he was asked about whether he believed in an afterlife, he said 50-50. He wanted to believe that accumulated wisdom didn’t just die with a person, but somehow endured.

I looked up the definition of Karma and it stated that Karma is the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence. A human being is a subject with a consciousness and everthing is saved and this consciousness works as a spirit and when the spirit meets death, it separates from the body and then is reborn as another life.

The Buddha taught that one’s present condition, whether of happiness or suffering, is the result of the accumulated force of all past actions or Karma. So was my spirit reborn from someone who was cruel and hurtful and is my suffering the result of that spirit? If this is so, does that mean that I will never experience joy or happiness and that all my good deeds will help the person that my spirit is reborn into.

I would hate to think that I can’t reverse actions and do good in this life so that I can appreciate the goodness of my own actions. I would like to think that every action I perform has some effect now and in the future and that Karma is like “paying it forward”, so that you can do an act of kindness to someone else and then somebody one day in this present life will be kind to you.

I have never thought much about the afterlife until my dad passed away alittle over a year ago. When I go visit his grave, I know his spirit isn’t there and I know it’s just the shell of his body, so where is his spirit. If his spirit was reborn, I know he is now in a being that is kind, gentle and loving because that’s how he was every day of his life in this world where I knew him.


Does Freedom come with Acceptance?


Acceptance is a tricky word when trying to explain to people that I have “Accepted” my illness. Acceptance does not mean that I am giving up or giving in. In fact, the ability to accept one’s current situation comes from a place of incredible strength and not weakness. I wish people in my life would understand that if I was giving up, I wouldn’t get out of bed every day and face the world. I wouldn’t continue to go to countless doctor visits or try new supplements or medications or continue with physical therapy.

Accepting the reality of my current situation means that I don’t have false expectations of myself or others. It means that I can finally look truthfully at my current life situation and try and figure out how to live differently, but still live a life with meaning. Unfortunately we can not alter what has happened to us in the past, we can only adjust our expectations and our actions to fit into our new life.

I am not a buddhist, but recently read a very insightful book by Toni Bernhard entitled “How to Be Sick: A Buddhist Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill”. I would highly recommend this book for anybody struggling with a chronic health situation. Buddhism teaches that one of the main paths to spiritual growth and awakening, is the acceptance of all things, as they are in this moment. It teaches us to acknowledge that things are the way they are and that we need to accept the situation as it is. Rejecting our current situation and pushing reality away, only causes us more hurt and suffering. Toni’s book shows us how she dealt with her suffering and was able to find happiness even in the most difficult situation.

I have to accept my limits or else I will constantly be relapsing and collapsing and what kind of living is that. I am still on my journey to find happiness and contentment, while living with a chronic condition, but at least I have stopped pushing the truth away and have begun to accept where I am.

Perhaps happiness is right around the corner. One can only hope….