Today, my childhood friend Diane tagged me in a post
on the Humans of New York facebook page. The post read this:
“My mother died rather suddenly when I was eighteen. One thing that I didn’t expect was the amount of resentment I would feel. I know it’s not fair of me to put that sort of thing on other people. But when I see someone walking down the street with their mother, I feel jealous. I know their relationship is going to have its ups and downs, and it’s going to evolve, and it will have this trajectory to it that I’ll never have, and it just seems unfair. Of course I know it’s absurd to talk about fairness in the universe.”
“Why is that absurd?”
“Because there’s no such thing as karma. I mean, when you’re a good person, people can sense it and they’ll reciprocate that goodness. But the universe isn’t keeping some balance by guaranteeing you a reward.”
She encouraged me to respond & so I did with this, which ultimately I can sum up as–Be your own karma.
My mom died when I was 10 and my dad when I was 2. I grew up with my brother, 18 at the time, and my sister, 14, so I basically raised myself. I’ve definitely had moments of jealousy and as I’m planning my wedding right now, I’d love nothing more than both my parents to be here to walk me down the aisle & help plan, but ultimately, I have an amazing life, I am so blessed to be living on this beautiful earth, and so, I’m not quite sure I would throw this life away in order to have the life I was “supposed” to have with my parents. I really can’t say I would ’cause I really don’t know what that other life would’ve been like; all I know is this life is pretty good even with all the struggles I’ve had to endure. There is beauty everywhere if you want it.
Back to choosing a life with my parents vs. the life I have now– of course, it would be an extremely hard choice because it would be an absolute dream if I could see my parents again but how do I know if my life with them would be like I imagined? After all, this picture only exists in my mind; not in reality. I realized that every time I see a mom or a dad and felt a twinge of pain or jealousy, all I saw was the projection of my desires so what I used to be jealous of was actually my own feelings I put onto others. I asked myself how I could be jealous of something that doesn’t exist- how can I only look at the ‘good what if my mom was still around and we had an amazing relationship’ picture without looking at the ‘bad what if we had a terrible relationship’ picture? Thus, instead of living in this imaginary world of painted ‘what if’ pictures, I can really only look at my life and how it is now, and despite it all (the days of food insecurity, self inflicted pain and the never ending black hole in my heart no one but my mom/dad will ever be able to fill), life is unbelievably beautiful day in and day out.
Life is this beautiful and this breathtaking to me because of the effort I put into my own life and the way I’ve grown to see the world. Perhaps there’s no such thing as karma & the universe isn’t keeping track of what it took away and what it should give back, but if that’s what you believe, screw the universe, screw karma and screw whatever else you believe in. Look at your every day life and look at who exists in it daily– that’s you. You are the most important part of your own universe so don’t wait around for the world to recognize the good in you & the good you give out–
Let yourself give you the reward you need because there’s no one else better in the world to do so than yourself.
Be your own karma.