For many years, karma was perceived as “cause and effect” and as “reward and punishment:” In our current incarnation, we experience the consequences or results of things we did in a previous incarnation.
This way of looking at karma creates an experience in us of being helpless and of unaccountability.
“My life’s not good now because of something I did at another time, I have no idea what. As such, there’s nothing I can do, change, or improve.”
It also cancels out the present:
“You’re being punished or rewarded because of something you did in the past, and in order to be satisfied in the next incarnation, you should do good things now.” The discourse is about what was and what will be, and the present is merely a byproduct.
As I see it, this is a super depressing view of our lives and I prefer to look at it differently.
Karma is not punishment.
Karma is a choice made by the soul.
It is a choice to have experiences in order to grow, learn, and develop from them.
Our soul makes choices based on previous incarnations: what it learned in them and what remained for it to learn, but it’s not like someone decides for us.
And even if life is unbearably difficult – that’s a spiritual choice and not a karmic punishment.
Karma, or the “result” part of karma, is also often a mass of energy that comes from previous incarnations and that dictates to us here, too.
Sometimes connections with people resonate memories in us of previous incarnations, and if the relationship between us wasn’t good in previous incarnations, this unconscious memory will control the relationship and not just the experiences we have in this incarnation.
When we look back at the incarnations:
We can release our hold on them and their hold on us.
We can release their energies from us, which still control us.
We can create a new life in the present.