Sometimes, I walk through this world and just marvel at the fact that we are all souls with individualized karmic agendas. Our lives and stories are woven together in a perfect complexity of clearing our individual and collective karmic accruals. It is as though we have a kind of karmic DNA built into our physical, mental and emotional makeup, as well as our identity as male or female, our socioeconomic circumstances, relationship patterns, membership in a particular family, race and religious tradition. I have come to believe that before we incarnate each lifetime, we, as souls, choose the role we will play on the world stage that offers us the best possibility of clearing our karmic accruals.
I have always puzzled over the idea that we are all equal when our capabilities and opportunities vary so greatly. Prior to comprehending that we are divine beings, I thought equality was a nice idea destroyed by human greed. In fact, our equality exists regardless of human greed because it is as individual expressions of the divine that we are truly equal. Spiritual energy flows to us and through us as an equal-opportunity employer — like the sun. However, given our unique karmic accruals, we vary in our awareness of ourselves as spiritual beings and in our capacity to open ourselves up to the wisdom, guidance and upliftment of the divine. It is, therefore, for the highest good of our respective souls’ progressions to select unequal status in human form in order to work through our unique karmic agendas. So, on a spiritual level, a drunken bum is equal to a wise king, yet in physical and social status, he is not. Our equality is spiritual and manifests itself in physical form as an equal opportunity to fulfill our personal karmic agenda.
Our families usually provide fertile ground for encountering some of our heaviest karma. I was in my 50s when I started to see some of the actual karmic patterns and lessons presented to me through my family and woven into our lives together. Things that never made sense about our relationships suddenly made sense, and the childhood emotional wounds I had carried until then melted away in the light of this spiritual perspective. A resonance of truth and inner peace replaced all the years of anger, fear and frustration I had built up, especially in relationship to my father. I came to appreciate that we needed to be exactly as dysfunctional as we were in order to be presented with the opportunity to heal the karma involved. When I finally looked at my family relationships karmically, I saw them in an entirely different light which shattered many of my previously held beliefs, illusions and judgments about myself and my family members.
Here’s a specific example. Early on, I learned to give my father a wide berth. It was as though we had a personality allergy to each other. I could never get his approval, and spent a lot of time seeking it. He was a my-way-or-the-highway kind of guy, and I was one who needed to walk to the beat of her own drum. It was a strained relationship at best and I never felt loved by my father. Then, in my 50s, several years after his death, I had a spiritual experience where I encountered him in the theater of my mind. I was blasting him for never having shown me any love, and I watched as a tear formed and fell out of his eye and rolled down his face. This disarmed me, as I had never seen him cry in real life. He looked me straight in the eye and told me that his assignment as a soul in relationship to me was to be my father and to never show me any signs of love or affection. This was intended to serve me in learning to turn inward and upward to find my truth rather than seeking it out in the world. My anger fell away, and something let go within me that had restrained me all my life. Somehow, I knew that what he was saying was true. I also knew that for the first time in my life, I was seeing my father as a soul. We were communicating soul to soul, and that changed me forever after.
The reality of our essential identities as souls came through in that moment in a way that redefined me and my history with my father. I no longer saw him as the heartless, self-centered ogre who could not and would not love me. Rather, he was a fellow soul, who in the most extraordinary act of love, took on this awful role in my life, knowing that I would hate him, and that he could never demonstrate his love for me or receive love from me. A deep root of anger, tension and self-rejection was pulled out of me as I rose into my soul and knew us both as innocent and pure souls rather than as damaged people. We were right on course with God’s perfect wisdom, timing and plan, balancing our karma and learning our lessons.
Where or when I incurred this spiritual debt, I do not know or need to know. What is clear is that it was an enormous blessing and I had to walk through the karma to prepare me to recognize the truth when it was finally revealed to me. So, when I looked into my father’s crying eyes in that momentary eternity, I was looking into his soul from mine and seeing a truth far more real than all our battles as father and daughter over the years.
I don’t obsess about karma, but it has completely changed my way of understanding our lives. There’s karma, karma everywhere and I’m beginning to see it as the compost of our learning, growth and spiritual upliftment.
Australian Aborigines are reputed to go on a six-month walkabout as a rite of passage when they are 13 years old. Spiritually, I now see us as a bunch of souls on a great, karmic walkabout on planet earth, where we are given the opportunity to learn important spiritual lessons as balancing actions to our karmic debts. We are so many souls traveling side by side, passing each other by, perhaps connecting with one another and reaching into that oneness that is so familiar — for a moment or a lifetime — yet elusive somehow. Each of us marches to the beat of our own mysteriously unique drum. As fellow travelers in a giant cosmic labyrinth, we take the same journey into the heart of it all and out again, ebbing and flowing, alone, yet one. Day moves into night and night to day. We are born. We live and learn. We die. We are recycled.
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