Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Karmic Chameleon

I've been thinking about karma recently, since I learned of a book called "...to be continued..." by Karen Berg -- its subtitle is "reincarnation and the purpose of your life."  I won't buy the book ~ I can't afford it ~ but I got the gist so I don't need to.

Although I'm not sure how I feel about the word reincarnation, I do believe at some level that we humans come into this manifestation with specific lessons our individual souls need to learn.

If this weren't so, then everybody would have the same experiences in life.  And how else can you explain bad people having good things happen to them or being gifted with tons of money...or good people repeatedly having bad things happen to them...or people starving and suffering brutality in many parts of the world...

Each of us has something to work out, some major theme (or themes) to work with in this life.  For me, the big one is being poor.  I've just gotten this, in my gut.  I've spent years kicking and screaming and railing against this reality, to no avail.  In a larger sense I am in a grief process -- grieving for my life turning out the way it has, grieving for the reality of my situation.  I know I've been in a many-years-long phase of denial until recently.  I just haven't wanted to admit the truth.  And I keep alternating between anger and depression lately, on my way to eventual acceptance.  I'm not there yet, though.

I think if my family had been poor, then I wouldn't be having so much difficulty with this.  But they weren't.  They weren't really rich, but they certainly weren't poor.  And they flaunted what they had -- except when it came to me.  My mother was stingy with me in both support and spirit.

I lived with some fantasy of trickle down, which never manifested.  I was never guided helpfully and instructively in seeing that I had to make choices that would enable me to take care of myself.  I was naive for a very long time.  This is one of my major failings in life.  I didn't see the writing on the wall.  I glommed onto some magical thinking that everything would work itself out -- the right partner, the right job, the right location.

And because I never had any help -- neither financial help nor, again, helpful, instructive guidance -- I just kept falling farther and farther behind...until here I am today.

So I'm looking at this more and more as a karmic thing.  Not the concept of karma as repayment for erroneous things I did earlier in this life or even in past lives.  But karma as, This is my life's work, my life path ~ accepting this life as a poor person and learning to be gracious about it.

This is so hard for me...because everywhere around me I see people I know and people I don't know who do not appear to be having any problems financially, who buy what they want when they want it, who travel extensively with absolutely no thought about what it costs, who's larders are stocked to the gills, who eat out frequently, go to cultural events, buy art, etc. etc. etc.  Even right here in rural Humboldt County, people who are in my wider circle of acquaintances who are not rich by typical standards -- but who have the resources to respond to life. 

So it is being excruciatingly difficult for me to feel as though I am a part of life, seeing as I cannot afford to participate in it...and for me to feel anything but a second- or third-class citizen.  I know my ego is intricately wrapped up in this, that I take it personally.  I'm not sure how not to take it personally, as though it is due to some intrinsic lack of mine, or a lifetime of nothing but bad decisions.

Underneath the outer me, I am a soul in manifestation as a human working this thing out of being a conscious, creative person in a bubble of poverty swimming in a sea of financial ease that I am apparently immune to.  And my karma, it seems, is to embrace it just the way it is.


  1. Oh my. Seeing this in print, articulated so well, really gives me pause. This comment applies to all four of these recent posts, as I can't begin to respond as I'd like.

    I identify with you on being poor, years of magical thinking, true puzzlement at how some people have what they have and are able to do what they do financially. I am constantly reminding myself that these others are usually part of a couple, or widows w/ seemingly endless resources. And most have worked many years in the same job with benefits and generous pensions. I choose not to do that for many years, and then illness cut short my time working a job w/ benes and pension.

    And then I look back at choices I've made, and bad luck--or the kind of karma you're talking about that "blessed" me with a lifelong struggle with depression, and ...what? I don't know, but it's not comforting. I'm still in denial, I guess. And struggling to get my life on some kind of even keel, while I can, so that I can address how I'll live my life in the future, when this phase is done: when my parents (one with Alzheimer's in assisted living, and the other, who's hale and hearty, living with me. In a house that he owns, BTW) are gone. Gone. No more house. No more $ backup.

    I have received enormous amounts of help both financially and emotionally from some members of my family over the years, yet there have been many rough spots. And I feel guilty, embarrassed, and angry that those who have fared better in all aspects of life--or so it seems to me as an outsider--have what they have. I don't begrudge them, I just still don't get why I'm alone.

    There's so much more to this, and every time I talk to you or read your accounts of your journey, I feel you are several steps ahead of me, showing me the way, showing me that it's possible to live on very little. And do it with grace. Most of the time, anyway! :-)

    I am your friend, Connie. I wish I could be there for you beyond phone calls and emails and FB posts and comments.

    I've been crying while writing this--for you and for me. Good thing Dad is hard of hearing, sitting on the sofa while I'm at the table behind him. I don't want to burden him with my stuff.

    hugs and kisses,

  2. "choose" above should be "chose"

  3. Powerful post. There are times when I want to scream at the universe and say "Enough!!! I got the message! I don't need yet another lesson to learn". I have come a long way, I have mellowed, yet I slide backwards to the little girl trying to be everything that her mother wants her to be, yet never "good" enough. I understand the lack of funds and how that adds to daily stress. I have been there and never want to go back.
    My friend is "golden". Everything seems to turn out just right for her. Yet, she is not happy. She has purchased 5 homes in the 20 years I have known her. She is like Goldilocks looking for the just right fit, not realizing it is not the house that can make her happy. That has to come from within. I think of her as my mirror. She is searching and will search the rest of her life because she hasn't figured out what makes her happy. Whenever I get a wild idea about a big house and things, I think of her. I'd rather be happy. :)

  4. You have voiced some very powerful insights here, Connie. I realize just how fortunate I was growing up, in spite of having both my parents die before I turned 16. But I got some very strong guidance and messages from them that helped me to make decisions throughout my life. And I totally agree about Karma... it's not about punishment for previous lives, but I truly believe that we each come here with tasks and goals that were decided before we got here. Sometimes we are able to recognize these goals early, sometimes it takes a lifetime. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!