It is hard to look people in the eyes when you are ashamed of your past actions. How we feel about the things we’ve done can sometimes be like carrying around a large weight on our shoulders.
It’s not the same Karma from Buddhism, but a new interpretation to describe our judgement of our own actions.The things we do stay with us. We carry the memory of what we’ve done like weights, they can drag us down and create toxic shame. So how do we let go of this weight?
~ ‘Honoring the Self‘ by Nathanial Brandon
Karma, for the purposes of this article, is the memory of what we have done, our opinion of our own actions and how we judge ourselves for having done them. Karma could be interpreted as self-esteem in western psychology. I’m not talking about the traditional sense of the word. I’m giving Karma a new meaning, but just for this article in order to explain an idea.
Build a daily habit of letting go of stressors and responding with equilibrium and honesty. This does not happen immediately and everyone but everyone will fail from time to time as no one and nothing is perfect.
A coworker is rude ~ let it go and do your best to continue with the day. Take that opportunity to practice the art of letting go.
A driver cuts you off ~ you have a choice, road rage or simply do not accept that driver’s invitation to stressville. Accept that people’s driving is not something that we can change, is not likely to get better anytime soon and so the only thing we can do is let it go.
There will never come a time when these things don’t bother us, but with the daily practice of letting go of these stressors and choosing balance, it does get easier.
Karma Cleansing – A Practical Approach
It can be extremely beneficial to cultivate a habit of giving and a focusing on the needs of others. Charity and volunteer work is nice but a daily, moment to moment habit of giving and being present does not have to mean money or time. It can just be giving our whole selves to the world such as being present for a friend and truly listening to them and their story.
~ Excerpt from “Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabat Zin, University of Massachusetts Medical School
As a society we are not very kind to each other. We cut each other off on the road, try to out compete our coworkers and sometimes don’t say nice things about people when they’re not around. Just because it is not normal in society to be kind, does not mean that we have to let others damage are image of ourselves by allowing them to get us upset to the point where we fire back the negativity they give us.
Each time some one does something that hurts us and we react with anger, that action stays with us. Our judgement of our own action weighs us down little by little with each time we act out. Reacting with compassion and balance we build an image of ourselves as patient and calm. It might be hard at first, but once this becomes a natural reaction, our self-esteem (karma) will get better as time goes by.