I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about the fact that I’m not religious on here before but I have to admit that there are certain aspects of what some might call karma that ring true for me. The concepts goes by a lot of names or if you’re more jaded the sentence “they’ll get theirs eventually.” But it’s not all bad, sometimes the universe uses it’s power for good too. I’ve also realized that karma has little to nothing to do events as I once though but everything to do with relationships in your life.
While I’ve joked that I like karma because it’s basically a cosmic revenge system where I don’t have to get my hands dirty, and that’s not, not true it’s a bit deeper than that. Lately though, perhaps it’s a tad more maturity and life experience, this tends to work in the positive too. Realizing that eventually a situation will essentially resolve itself has made me less stressed overall and less likely to poke a metaphorical bear simply because I can and it’s on my mind. I remember my teeny tiny grandma shrugging her shoulders and saying “what are you going to do?” But with a thick Polish accent so add that to the picture in your head. I’m starting to get there and it’s brought me a lot of peace so I figured I’d write about it!
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Is this the hill you want to die on?
In my younger, feistier 20’s I heard this piece of advice and it rang really true for me. It’s this piece of advice that helped me most with friendships in that decade of my life. I sort of remember one night in my early 20’s when a friend did something really shitty to me at the time. I say sort of remember not because it was a party night but because it’s not important to me anymore. But it was something like ditching me to be with a guy for a couple of hours and she either left me somewhere or blew up my cover story at the time but I was pissed and she really let me down. I remember thinking “do I still want to be friends with her after this?’ and the answer was yes. So when she picked me up I remember telling her that she upset me, let me down, I was pretty mad but that I wanted her to know so she hopefully wouldn’t treat me like that again in the future and that I planned on getting over it quickly because otherwise, she was a good friend and that summer my partner in crime. Not real crimes, just shenanigans.
It was a really powerful experience because I managed to say my peace but not cause drama or have a fight over it or really even any unpleasantness, which for two 20-year-old girls is pretty impressive. Since then I’ve asked myself two questions when someone does me dirty; Do I want to keep having a relationship with this person or should it change? And is this the situation to dig my heels in on? I have used these criteria once to step away from a very important friendship to me I think I can say with no regrets.
It’s also kept me in relationships that I thought really really hard about leaving for good. While this might seem only barely connected to the title concept it’s actually a central point. If you decide you want to hang in there and stay connected then it’s a really different path forward, possibly a harder one. If not then the universe is done because they lost a great friend in you. While we might think of karma as ‘event’ related it’s actually all about relationships. Decide if you do want to go on having a relationship with this person and is this the situation you want to leave on. Once you take in the big picture the minutia works itself out.
Lots of times it’s a crappy situation that is not really anyone’s fault
We all do stuff and end up in situations that are not really one person’s fault. It builds up over time, people act poorly in response to a set of circumstances. This often happens to us with customers towards the end of a job. Renovations and construction can be difficult in your life, things might have gone over budget or time and you might have ended up with more of a project than you envisioned. The finish line is the hardest and most expensive part too. So sometimes, not often, but in those types of scenarios, we leave on let’s say strained terms. We want you to be totally thrilled at the end and that’s disappointing to us. We might be late starting another job and that person might be angry so that’s stressful plus money, that always makes things tense.
For a long time this stressed me out and kept me up at night but now I stress a lot less about it. That’s because I’ve realized this is temporary and we’re all lacking some perspective at that exact point in time. The customer hasn’t gotten to live in the finished product yet and realize it was all worth it in the end. We’ve been in your grill too long and we’re anxious to start the next one but given some time we’ll all be totally happy. This also doesn’t take that long, I’ve learned once out tools are out of your hallway, there’s no pile of sawdust on the lawn and the words ‘building code’ haven’t been uttered in a moth people get to that so happy about a project stage and that’s when you’ll be super pleased.
So I guess what I’ve learned is that most things with time will heal themselves. In the past, I would have called and texted and tried to do all sorts of nice things and keep inserting myself into the situation if a situation went a bit sideways with a friend. But now I can just let it ride, not every day can be a good day in any relationship. But every once and a while someone truly heinous happens and how do you deal with that?
What about the really crappy stuff?
Every once and a while people do terrible stuff, maybe it’s even you or somehow you get to know someone else’s terrible stuff. Occasionally someone does something to really blow up a relationship but you still have to see each other, even if you really end up hating that person. It can take a really, really long time but I’ve learned eventually the universe will make it right. There’s one person on the fringes of my life who is not important to me at all and I’ve happened to know them since I was like 6 but the crappy stuff I see them do on the regular in the world pisses me off to no end. Plus adding social media to that and realizing it doesn’t match up drives me even more nuts. Basically, I consider them to be a jerky Mc-Jerk-Face and it bugs me just how much it bugs me if that makes sense.
Well recently I was chatting with someone who loves to talk about people and their name came up. My friend is WAY more connected to the social circles around here and she let me know that literally no one is fooled by the act and even though she doesn’t know him that well no one has anything nice to say about him. It’s not my business and I didn’t offer my feelings on the subject but the universe still found a roundabout way to tell me not to give it my energy anymore.
Sometimes you have to take a hard line in a situation and really think about your moral compass in a situation. Think reporting on a boss or co-worker for stealing from the company, reporting a neighbor to the police or out someone to their spouse for cheating or in some other way blow the whistle. These are things we don’t or at least shouldn’t do lightly and after a lot of thought. One of two options exist to stay quiet and not blow up that section of your life but you’ll always know the truth or take steps to out that person. They’ll likely know it was you eventually and hate you for going out of your way to step into their lives, at least they’ll see it that way. People will either side with you or with them maybe depending on who they’re taking too at that moment. You might even have to see that person for years after and deal with the fallout. The other thing is even if you think long and hard you really have no way of knowing how that person’s life may or may not unravel after. So what do you do?
Over a decade ago honey had to make that choice in a situation like this and without getting into the details that person had a strong hate on for all things connected to him for years, they even damaged his and my property on occasion. As it turned out that person ended up staying on the fringes of our lives and I run past their house all the time. Sometimes he’s in his yard and we always pretended not to see each other and put out heads down. The reason I bring this up is that I never, ever thought that in a million, billion years tensions would thaw even slightly based on all the facts and the personalities involved including my own. Understandably so everyone had really dug their heels in on this one. This went on for years he hated us, made those actions known after a few drinks from time to time and then heads down next run. One day things just lined up, he was working at the edge of the yard gazing my way when I came around the corner, no way he didn’t see me and that I didn’t see him. Because of the corner and the length of time we’d be looking at each other the head down thing was going to be WAY more ridiculous than it ever had been before. So I just waved, he waved back and I think we both smiled just a crack. I expected to be mad at myself for cracking first but instead it felt AMAZING. That was five years ago and we’ve never had a problem with him since.
The thing was something had to give and there was no sign of that in sight. I look at it as the universe put that exact moment together and exaggerated the awkwardness so that something at least had the chance to change. I get that it was all just the laws of probability but that wave was literally all it took for tensions to thaw. Now I get that if it didn’t happen that day it would have eventually. What I’m getting at here is that no matter how bad things are or get and as much as you don’t want to hear it, time really does give you the ability to move on.
I started writing this post over a year ago, left it came back to it time and time again and then kept pushing it forward in the schedule. Truth be told I’m not totally happy with how it came out. Every time something would happen, and there were quite a few since then, that showed me after a while this situation will too be made right or at the very least I’ll feel very differently about it I opened it an worked on it some more. I wanted to talk about it because as the concept of things being made right without really doing anything really freed me and improved my life in a lot of ways. That idea helps me let go of things, obsess less and really boosts my mental health by lowering those sorts of anxieties. I guess it really reinforces the truth and meaning behind cliches and things people say. Things like:
- Time heals all wounds
- Karma is a bitch
- Hurt people, hurt people
- How can they live with themselves?
- This too shall pass
- Stop giving it so much of your energy
- It will all work out in the end
And in the words of my grandma
- What can you do about it (shrugs shoulders)
Have you found that the universe seems to have a way of making things right over time? Is there a situation you’ve found yourself in that you never thought would work out but it did? Did this realization come to you later in life too?
I wrote an article that sort of hits on the same notes (kind of) as this one over on another site here so go check it out.