Choosing Right From Wrong

lifeIt’s been a very long time ago when I thought to myself that nothing is going right.  Life is crap.  Why is everything bad happening to me?  Why is there all of this drama?

It’s been a very long time since I even thought any of those thoughts.  I’ve had a few friends that have been telling me just how hard life has been for them as of late. It’s like they can’t catch a break and it feels like the world is against them. 

When I look at my life and then look at theirs, I think…that WAS the kind of person I was in the past.  It’s not who I am today.

I learned a few years ago that life doesn’t happen to you.  You are in complete control of how this life will turn out.  You just need to be given the tools to know the difference.

You’ve probably heard of the power of positive thinking from books like “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne.  The philosophy teaches that the positive thoughts you put out into the universe will reflect positive karmic action coming back to you. 

For many people this is a little bit on the weird “NEW AGE” side.  The truth is…that is the truth.  Just as much as you put bad thoughts, feelings and actions out there…you’ll have bad stuff coming right back to you.  This is a tested and true methodology.  After all, this thought process has been around long before Jesus was even born.  Even the Tao Te Ching (4th century BC) talks about doing positive actions at all times, especially if you want to reap the rewards that come with doing good, positive things at all times. 

If this methodology has been tested true over the last 2000 years…it can’t be NEW AGE.  It just has to be ANCIENT WISDOM. 

While I was in Dallas last weekend, I got into a conversation about religion with one of the men from Western Africa that I met.  He’s a Christian.  He hates Muslims.  When we started talking about the different religions, he told me of how rich Muslim men would always come to their villages and do the most horrible things.  I responded that I understood that.  They come to America and do the same things.  While, the poor practice their religion the way it’s supposed to be practiced.

We got onto the subject of sin.  I mentioned that the main problem with Christianity is that they think it’s okay to sin all of the time.  The response I got was, “What’s wrong with sinning?”

This is where I either bite my tongue or explain the whole Chrisitianity is a religion for sinners.  Just look at the Vatican and their notorious sexual abuse of children.  There is a reason why sinning is wrong.  You are not only hurting yourself when you’re sinning, but you are hurting others.  That is why it is a sin against God.  That’s why it’s NOT OK.

If you’re doing bad things all of the time, treating people bad, and thinking bad thoughts, guess what?  You deserve every ounce of a crap life you’ve got coming to you.  That’s the life that YOU have decided you want to live.  You trample on others?  You’ll be trampled upon by others.  You’re mean to others?  Others will be mean to you.  You think mean thoughts towards others?  Bad things will happen to you.

This is what it means to generate bad karma.  You’ve created this life wallowing in hurt and pain, whether you are inflicting it upon others or feeling that way.  It attracts everything that’s bad in the universe to you.

While on the other spectrum, if you’re constantly doing good, thinking of good things, remaining positive (not negative), and helping everyone around you in a good way…you’re rewarded for the good that you do.  You’ll attract good people to you.  You’ll attract a better life.  You’ll even attract a lot of good luck.

You’ll find that most people that have good luck…they’re happy, very positive people.  People that are down on their luck are usually bitter, very negative people.

The state of mind that YOU CHOOSE to adopt is the state of life that you will have.  You only have two options: a Good Life or a Bad Life.

I didn’t believe this when I first heard of it, but because I wanted to stop feeling like crap and having crap happen to me, I adopted the thinking positive principle.  It led me from one book to another to another on how to live the best life possible.  Then 9 months later, I entered the Meditation Center and learned just what the whole concept of good karmic actions meant, and how important the practice was.

It took a while to think beyond the bubble that was my life.  I started to see how important it was to create good karmic actions for others.  When I let go of worrying about myself, my life, and what was happening in it, I started to focus on what I could do for the world to make it a happier place.  It was in learning how to give good blessings to the world that my life changed. 

When bad things happened, it was all about my attitude towards it.  Did I rise to anger?  Did I freak out?  Feel hurt? 

I thought about the person that was doing the harm to me to figure out why they would harm me.  It was by understanding why they felt the need to harm me that I just noted that I felt sorry for them.  Maybe they will one day find their way to a better life.  You send off your good blessings and go on your way. 

Then you sit back and watch karma deal with them.  For each bad thought, bad act, etc. that you commit against a person, it comes back 7 fold.  That means, if you were the victim in all of this, karma will weigh and judge this person accordingly.  Depending on how bad this person’s actions and thoughts were…they could become slammed with bad things left and right.  Karma will always make sure you know all about it.

The adverse of this is that when you do good…it comes back to you 100 fold.

It was after I started practicing good karmic actions that my life changed for the better.  The only way I can describe it…it’s like living in a complete dream world.  Everything was just amazing. 

I think one of the most wonderful things I saw was last year, during the New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup run, I got fans on the ‘doing good karmic work’ for their team.  I saw kids with bags of candy at Newark Penn Station giving out goodie bags to the homeless.  Others gave away their shoes.  Some Devils fans bought the Flyers fans a beer.  They didn’t know what hit them.  The Devils took that good luck that was generated by their fans and went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.  They didn’t win, but the race to get there…they couldn’t have done it without their fans.

This was teaching the power behind the philosophy of doing good things for others with the best possible intent that you can generate.  There is no greater gift that you can give to the world then by bestowing incredible blessings unto the world…especially when you can inspire others to give, give, give to help the people they see every single day.

In a way, it was my “Oh yeah, We’ll do you one better!” to Newark Mayor Cory Booker.  He had bad mouthed and trashed the New Jersey Devils just a month before.  We showed him.  Better yet…we humbled him in those months.  Look what we did for the City of Newark.  He hasn’t said a bad word about us since then.  The city turned around and worked with the Devils, instead of working against them.  Perhaps the Mayor finally saw the benefit of having the Devils in his city. 

If you want to change the bad when it comes…do good.  It changes the entire story for the better for everyone.  This is how you change the world.  You become the change with each thought and each action.

Each and every one of us has a dream of how we would like to live our lives.  When we focus on how we can change the world with each thought and action, we start to see how our own life begins to change.

When I was first told that God delivers the greatest treasures in the world to you when you adopt these philosophies, I always thought of it as a chest filled with gold…that I would be rich someday.  It was only later after I received all of my treasures that I learned just exactly what I received…

I received the best life I could possibly ever dream of.  God took care of me.  Money?  He gave me way more than I ever needed.  All of the things I ever dreamed of having, he gave me everything and way more.  All of the fears I harbor inside, he not only silenced them, he gave me every reason to believe that he would always take care of me. 

I don’t wish ill will upon enemies.  I wish them good…good that they will one day find what they are searching for in this lifetime…even if they have no clue what that is.

When others seek to harm me, I’ve watched as people sweep in to protect me…or at least take over the entire mess so I don’t even have to think about it.  In other words, it’s dealt with so I can remain focused on what needs to be done and not get sucked up in the drama of this world and its bad people that don’t know how to do right.

I literally have sympathy for those who just don’t get why their life is crap so they try to make everyone else’s life crap.  Some people…I’m disappointed they couldn’t be a better person…or at least the person they said they were.  Instead, they turned out to be the person everyone else said they were.

In my meditation last night, I was told to look at myself.  I mean…really look at myself. 

Once I was looking right at myself, he asked me: Is this the person you see yourself as?  Or are you really this person?

Sometimes who we are and the vision of ourselves is not who we wanted to be.  The person I envisioned, she’s thinner, wiser, and she’s the change the world was seeking.

The person I am: I’m fatter, wise (not wiser) and still seeking to be the change in the world…or at least I’m still trying to find my way.  I haven’t become the person I see looking back at me.

That person looking back at me is my true self.  She is the person I dream to be.

Perhaps looking at that self image now, I’m ready for that next step in life…to become my true self.  I’ve followed the good karmic path in life.  I’ve done my best to remain in tune, even when the world becomes so chaotic.  There are times when even I slip up, but I chastise myself and say, “Are you hurting someone because they hurt you?”  It makes me seek to change the way I think about the matter…no matter how mad I am or how hurt I am.

People are going to hurt you, because they are hurting.  It takes being a mountain to not fall and to stand tall.  You let them thrash you and lash out at you.  You need to stand there and take it, no matter how deep the wounds cut.  When they are all done, you have to forgive them for they know not what they have done to you.  One day, maybe they will understand.  Karma will deal with them.  Just wish them good blessings that they’ll find an end to their own pain so that they will stop creating more pain for the world.

I know it’s hard to stay strong and grounded when shit hits the fan.  How you react to it all when it happens…that determines your strength and wisdom.  You can either play along with the drama and let life continue to suck…or you can choose to walk away and let it go.  In time, whatever pain you felt, you’ll witness karma feeding everyone’s just desserts.  You just better hope that your dessert is the sweetest kind, and not the bad kind that leaves a horrible taste in your mouth.

It’s all about remaining strong in your mind and emotions.  Compassion for even the worst…let it come naturally. 

The reason why sinning is a bad thing…you create bad karma.  You hurt others.  That’s why the 10 commandments are the way that they are. It’s to prevent people from hurting themselves and others.  Why break a commandment if the consequence is something really, really bad happening to you?

Another topic I do want to touch on is taking substances that can impair your mind and the decisions you will make.  I don’t drink in settings where I know I could possibly attract harm to me or I could harm others.  A glass of wine or a beer at home with a meal…it doesn’t hurt anyone.  Drinking or doing drugs to the point of impairment of some sort…you’ll hurt yourself by becoming sick or having a major hangover the next day…or you could bring harm to others based on your impaired actions.

I may have a glass of wine once a year with a meal at home…but even I’ve gotten to the point of just not wanting to drink alcohol, but cooking with it instead (burns off the alcohol).  I’ve never taken drugs.  I also don’t smoke because my lungs hate cigarette smoke. 

I’ve found that you can attract horrible things to you when your mind is impaired.  A few years ago, there was a young woman who was having a bad day.  She was a medical assistant here in New York.  She took out her frustrations and anger with everyone around her.  By the end of the day, she just wanted to go and get a drink to drink her worries away.

There was one bad thing after another happening to her the entire day.  When she came back to her apartment, she was so drunk that she didn’t realize she let a complete stranger into her building and onto the elevator with her.  He raped and killed her that night. 

This is a true story.  It was told to me by one of the sisters at the Meditation Center.  One of the girls that came to the Center said this had happened to her friend the week before…she was beside herself.  When the sister asked what the woman could have done differently.  For a lot of the new girls there, they said that the alcohol had impaired her judgment.  That’s where everything went wrong. 

I bit my lip, trying not to give out the answer.  They were all new.  They needed to see beyond the immediate. 

When the sister asked me, I said…the whole thing could have been prevented at the medical office that day. 

Everyone looked at me strangely.  That’s my answer?

I explained to them that her actions that day allowed for bad things to continue to happen to her.  Her mind was filled with hate and negativity.  She treated people poorly all day long.  She was mean to everyone.  If she had changed her mindset from the very beginning, thought of the good that could come out of this bad situation, she never would have gone to the bar to try to wash away her problems.  She would have been home much earlier and completely missed that guy that got onto the elevator with her.  She could have gone out to dinner with friends.  She could have laughed and cried the anger out of her.  She could have chosen to be happy even though someone tried to make her life miserable.

Her thoughts and actions were her choice.  She could have made the decision to be the better person.  She could have thought good thoughts and treated everyone kindly.  She mapped her own course throughout the day…and because she CHOSE to think and do badly, she attracted evil to her. 

After I finished explaining this to the class, everyone just sat there in silence.  The sister smiled and said, “That was the correct answer.”

This isn’t far fetched.  I’ve witnessed this in my own life.  When something bad happens, I have to take a step back and ask myself what I did wrong.  Did I do something or think something that hurt someone?  Sometimes it’s not at all apparent, but it reveals itself over time…and if you want karma to stop kicking you around, you have to make peace somehow to get it to stop.  That usually begins with changing your thoughts and your actions.

Karma isn’t just a punisher…she’s also meant to teach you a lesson.  Sometimes we need to be kicked around in order to understand there are certain things you can’t do to others. 

If you’re tired of being kicked around all of the time…then you should probably change the way you think and do things.  After all, life is what you make it.

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