One of the most overused and often misunderstood term connected with the concept of past lives and reincarnation is the idea of karma.
What karma refers to is the idea that the things that we have done in our past lives, our deeds and actions, will influence the quality of the experience we have in this life, as well as in our next incarnation.
You even hear people talk about it in absolute terms such as having “good karma” or “bad karma”, implying that there is an element of luck or misfortune attached to it.
I have found that it is not quite that simple, that the concept of karma is much more complicated.
Karma not transactional, meaning you don’t necessarily “get what you pay for” in a past life.
Let me explain.
This question, of “why bad things happen to good people” was something I thought a lot about when I was young.
It didn’t seem fair to me that some people lived to 100 and others died young.
Or why some people seemed to have more than their fair share of challenges in this life.
Did those people struggle because they had “bad karma”? No.
It wasn’t until I understood that there is a much bigger picture to our existence over many lifetimes that these inequities began to make sense.
What I have learned is that karma is something we carry with us and is a kind of personal ledger of both our accomplishments and failures from the many times we have lived life in human form here on planet earth.
We choose to incarnate in order to be challenged and to learn lessons, as well as to give these opportunities to our loved ones and the people around us.
And when we “fail” or make a mistake, as we all inevitably do, our karma doesn’t dictate that we need to be punished for it, but rather that we take on additional challenges that will allow us to learn these life lessons in a much deeper way.
In fact, many of the people I have worked with that have had significant life struggles are actually some of the more evolved and wise souls – those who decided they were ready and capable of taking on big challenges.
Karma is not about punishment. It’s a challenge and an opportunity.