September 4, 2015

The Generous Gift of Karma & How to Unwrap It.


courtesy of author, Elles Lihouis

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

With the passing of Dr. Wayne Dyer I would like to share one of his brilliant teachings with you, an understanding that continues to guide me in my life—the creation of our own karma as a gift.

As humans we all have the choice in how we are going to react to the circumstances around us. And how we react will in the end determine our fate.

Are we going to react with anger to somebody offending or hurting us? We’ll end up feeling angry and spiteful, damaging the relationship with the other and damaging our own peace of mind.

Are we going to react with desperation about a changing situation? We’ll end up feeling desperate and helpless, stifling ourselves and going nowhere.

The choice we have to determine our reactions is a huge responsibility and a big blessing, a generous gift at the same time.

Only we are responsible for our actions and reactions, so let’s choose sensibly.

Only we are gifted with the capacity to choose, so let’s choose lovingly.

Now that’s easier said than done, I know. I’ve been there more than once (and still go there). Even if it is our genuine intention to respond sensible and lovingly at all times, there are circumstances that are just incredibly challenging—especially in relationships.

So what to do? How do we control ourselves and choose our actions sensibly and lovingly when we feel challenged?
I think the key here is the awareness that we can not negotiate human behavior. People do what they do because that’s what they do. That is it. And often people don’t have another way to do what they do. It’s up to us to realize that we can’t bargain with human behavior; it will get us nowhere.

And with this realization, that people do what they do because they simply don’t have any other way of doing, comes letting go and not judging. Letting go of the expectations we place upon others, and not judging the behavior of others.

A story one of my teachers once told me illustrates this well I think:

There once was a boatman who had to cross the river late at night, all alone with a big load. It was pitch dark, the moon had disappeared behind the clouds. The boatman knew the way well, so he lit his little lantern on the front of the deck and set out confidently.

Suddenly, half way, a big bang. Another boat had crashed into him. Another boat with no light on his side of the waterway. The boatman, first stunned, now jumped up in anger and started tearing into the other boat. How could this other boatman be so stupid. No light at night, on his side of the waterway—had he no sense?

Silence, no reaction from the other side. Shouting and jumping up and down our boatman got even more agitated. Why did this other boatman not react? Was he drunk? He must be! Completely incompetent, that he was, for sure!
And our boatman booted to the front, raised his lantern to view the other boat and saw…an empty boat. It was an empty boat, adrift in the water, flowing with the tide that had bumped into his boat.

Feeling his anger fading into foolishness the boatman lowered his lantern and pushed the boat away, only to resume his way, the way he always went.

As the boatman gets angry with the empty boat adrift, we often feel agitated and angry when others do not treat us the way we want them to, when others behave in a way we do not want them to.

And the same way the boatman has to accept that the empty boat adrift has no other way but to flow with the tide, we have no other choice than to accept that others behave in certain ways, whether we like it or not.

And like the boatman allows the boat to go on drifting, all we can do is allow the others to be.

With this allowance letting others be comes release of our judgements and our expectations of the others. We just let them be and treat them as a gift, as an opportunity to grow, as Dr. Wayne Dyer put it.

And our unwanted feelings, our rising emotions of anger and frustration? Exactly the same. We sit with them and observe them, and as with the behavior of others, we don’t judge them.

Being aware of our rising emotions and treating them as an opportunity to grow, we start to develop our own capacity to choose our actions with sense and love.

Being aware of our rising emotions and treating them as a gift, we take responsibility for our actions and reactions, thereby taking full responsibility for ourselves.

That is the karma Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about—treating every opportunity as a gift, an opportunity to learn and taking full responsibility for our actions.

Yes, taking the responsibility, that’s a skill to be mastered, that’s for sure. But having the opportunity to take the responsibility, that’s a gift.

Because let’s face it, in the end it all comes down to taking up the challenge of this precious human life—with sense and love. And having the opportunity to do so, that’s a gift, that’s for sure.

Thank you Dr. Wayne Dyer.



Inspirational Words by Dr. Wayne Dyer & Oliver Sacks: A Tribute to 2 of the World’s Greats.


Author: Elles Lohuis

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Courtesy of Author

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