What Is Karma?
Simply expressed, karma is the idea that what you give is what you get — that what you do comes back around to you. In Sanskrit, karma means “action.” It represents the spiritual cycle of cause and effect. The concept of karma is a major part of Buddhism and Hinduism, as they believe that someone’s karma plays a major role in determining how their next life plays out.
The Difference Between Good and Bad Karma
Good karma isn’t necessarily about giving people material things. Offering your time and energy to the people around you is just as (if not more) significant. Helping someone with a chore, offering someone a cheerful word, or simply listening to a person in need are all acts that count. In fact, making sure that others feel seen and heard by validating, appreciating, and uplifting them can be an invaluable gift.
Even though donating money to help other people and ensure their happiness can be a great way to give to others, remember that when it comes to karma, the intention behind each action is what matters most. Real good karma can’t be bought. Acting from the heart is the best way to reap karmic rewards, and there are so many different ways to give.
The law of karma says that everything you do tends to affect you later down the line, even when you don’t ask for it. It may return in a different form or situation, and it may involve different people, but the energy will be the same. When your actions are positive and loving, karma will return that light to you in countless ways. You may meet kind, generous, and loving people, or receive things you need — potentially including money, as life seems to smile back at you.
But remember that the inverse is also true. Deliberately doing things that are selfish or harmful to other people creates bad karma. This negative energy will return to you, perhaps through difficult, challenging, and/or painful experiences. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does to you what you once did to others, leading you to experience the same hurtful, mean, or spiteful energy that you previously sent out.
Generosity and Good Karma in Your Life
When you help others, does it feel good? Does it warm your heart and delight your soul to see another person smile with happiness at something you gave them? This is how giving can turn into good karma in your life.
Doing what you know is right creates good karma that can work to your benefit in the long run. You do this by helping others and keeping them in mind when you make decisions. That doesn’t mean that every single thing you do has to be for the sake of other people, but it’s a good idea to avoid causing harm whenever possible and to always consider how your choices affect the people around you. If you do, the people in your life usually want to give all that good right back to you, and the Universe itself begins to work in your favor.
This can positively impact almost every aspect of life. Here are a few areas in which good karma can play a particularly powerful role.
There are a lot of ways that good karma can benefit your career. In this example, though, let’s say that you have a coworker you’ve treated with respect and appreciation, helping them whenever possible without any expectation of reward. One day, they perhaps unexpectedly rise to a higher position with more authority. They are sure to remember how you treated them and how you made them feel. If you were unkind, they will know that you are not a collaborative employee and treat you accordingly. If you were compassionate, though, they will go into their new role with an understanding of the fact that you’re a team player who uplifts the people around you.
If you show your significant other the same attentiveness and care that you want them to show you, they are likely to emulate your example and be more open than they would be if you ignored them. When you treat your lover as well as you can, showing them tenderness, compassion, and kindness, all while being loving and faithful, a good partner will give that devotion right back. Additionally, if your feelings and thoughts about your lover are affectionate and positive, they will sense that energy and, ideally, reciprocate. If you follow up your positive thinking with action, you will eventually find a partner who’s a good fit for you, and together you can build a powerful union with a lot of good karma.
Being loving to your family, having their backs, and putting your all into everything you do with them strengthens your bonds with each other and creates good karma. Sticking by them through good times and bad, uplifting them when they’re down in the dumps, and being a rock for them when they need it can help you create happier, healthier relationships.
In turn, you will find that when you need your family, they will surely be there for you too. This system of mutual support can bring both you and your family feelings of safety, comfort, and security. Most importantly, you will all feel genuinely loved. Of course, it’s important to note that this is not necessarily about biological family — but rather, this applies to the people who reciprocate your kindness and value you for who you are. Familial good karma is about your chosen family, and whether there’s any overlap with your biological relationships is entirely up to you.
Getting Rid of Bad Karma
If you want to get rid of any bad karma that you’re worried you’ve accrued, the solution is thankfully pretty straightforward. Bhagavad Gita teaches that self-knowledge reduces karma to nothing. Follow your intuition, practice meditation, and give to others — but do so with pure intentions. Proceeding through life with self-reflection and genuine compassion can help you overcome any bad karma that you’ve previously earned.
Create Good Karma Through Giving
To paraphrase the Dalai Lama, a simple smile is the first step to opening your heart and being compassionate to others. Who needs your smile today? Look for someone who could benefit from the gift of kindness right now. The world needs you to be your loving self every day, so go forth and give from the heart. When you do, you’ll be able to watch your good karma unfold in surprisingly beneficial ways.
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