Is Karma Kaput or Am I My Own Karma?
Yes, I know, this week’s blog is late.
Last night when I was trying to write a blog, my Google Chrome froze and crashed on me about 3 times and each time the draft of what I was working on disappeared and I was left with two choices:
A) Publish a blog that was just 1,000 words of me swearing
As much as I like showing off my vocabulary, I went with B.
As a reward for my good lifestyle choices, the Universe has seen fit to restore the following draft of my blog.
Talk about karma!
Which is…actually kind of what I’m going to talk about.
Yesterday, I felt like I failed because I had a rather visceral reaction to something that shouldn’t have bothered me at all.
I found out that someone who didn’t treat me very well is enjoying a pretty successful life. It’s not so much that I begrudge them success, it’s more that I’m resentful of how quickly they’ve gotten that success when the way they treat people (even excluding my personal experience) is kind of shitty.
It doesn’t matter that logically, I know their behaviour routinely bites them in the ass (though they don’t seem to learn from it) and it doesn’t matter that I know it’s none of my business and has nothing to do with me if they’re doing well, but still, I found it really grating and I found it even more upsetting that I let it upset me at all!
As most of you know, I DO NOT LIKE FEELINGS.
I also don’t like failure and to let something that shouldn’t bother me, bother me, feels like failure.
I think part of the reason this particular person’s success upset me is that I never did call them on their shitty behaviour. I just distanced myself until we were naturally completely unconnected as people. There’s no closure there.
As any of my girlfriends who have ever been touched against their will by a strange man in front of me will tell you, I am very good at calling people out on their shit…I’m just not good at it when it comes to myself.
When someone treats me poorly, I tend to internalize it. Even when I KNOW it wasn’t my fault, I still ask myself what I did to be treated that way. This is a ridiculous line of questioning because the answer is invariably “You were there and didn’t conform to their world view of what you should be,”
A part of me, a large part, wants to believe that when someone acts badly, the Universe will step in all sassy and be like “Oh HELL no. You better watch yourself!” and then slap that person, but realistically, that isn’t how it works.
I think that the concept of karma we have in Western culture is a bit too much like an idea of revenge where we don’t have to get our hands dirty. Maybe it’s not even that so much as it is our desire for things to have a clear plot line, but Life isn’t like that.
This person, let’s call them Asshat, treated me poorly.
I never stood up and said “Hey, Asshat. I’m really trying here but when you treated me like this in this situation, you really hurt my feelings and that’s no OK.” I did try a couple of times, but could never seem to get past the part where they blame their behaviour on me or the part where I just give up because I don’t value my own point of view enough to fight with them over it when I don’t think they’re going to change. When everything was said and done, I could have said “Hey Asshat. I don’t want to leave this on bad terms, but I want you to know that your behaviour was not OK and I get WHY you did it but that doesn’t excuse the fact that you did it.”
So it’s only logical that some part of me would want them to have to answer for their actions, but people pay for their actions in ways that we don’t always see.
Maybe I need to be a little easier on myself and learn to let go. Maybe the way they’re answering for their shitty treatment of me is that I’ll never be in their life again. Maybe that’s enough. Maybe I need to learn to value myself enough that I’m not bothered by their lives.
After all, as any of my girlfriends who have ever been touched against their will by a strange man in front of me will tell you, I am a pretty good friend. I will defend you if you’re being harassed or assaulted, I will happily help you out if I can, and I will never judge you on anything other than the way you treat people and how you react to your mistakes.
It takes me a lot, though less than it used to, to write someone off. I don’t like doing it because it makes me feel selfish and even a bit powerless, but I think it’s important that we all remember we have no duty but to treat others as best we can and try to treat ourselves with the same courtesy.
Maybe you don’t have to call someone out to have closure, maybe it’s enough that they aren’t welcome into your life anymore even if they don’t know that’s a place they should want to be.
Still, closure is rather cathartic…
Hey Asshat, if you’re reading this? Your reasons for treating me the way you did are not a justification for your actions. I’m not saying I was never part of the problem, I know I was. I tried really hard to communicate without placing blame and maybe I wasn’t always successful but I sure as hell was willing to be accountable for my own actions. You didn’t take accountability for anything and that’s what bothers me the most- that you wouldn’t accept any accountability and your actions seemingly never had any consequences…but they did.
I forgive you, but I won’t ever forget. THAT is the consequence of your actions.
Posted on October 17, 2015, in Serious Life Stuff and tagged anxiety, appreciate what you have, Be yourself, Don't be an Asshat, Karma, you can forgive without forgetting. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.