Dear R*, Today is going to be a good day. This morning you are going to take two yoga classes and when you come home you will do some house work and some yard work, you will un-decorate from Halloween, and in the evening get a good hot shower and smell like Dr. Bronner’s tea tree soap as you quiet your mind from the day, and when you lay your book down on the night table to go to sleep, you will know that you have done all that you could today to do unto others and to be the best version of your best self. With love, R*
My friend took me to the movies a few weeks ago to see Dear Evan Hansen, and I really liked the idea from the story of writing myself a letter every day. I guess, in a way, I do this anyway; I do write every single day, and have been a journal writer since I was 14 and a blogger since 2006, and I also talk to myself, in my head, day in and day out…my whole existence is practically writing letters to myself!!! LOL!!! I once read a quote that said something like, never piss off a writer, she’ll put you in her book, and while I am not a “writer,” I do write, and I only write about what I know, and what I experience personally, and what I think about the experience…I’m not at all creating anything, or imagining alternate realities, or developing deeply complex plots and colorful characters with lots of descriptive details…it is rather self absorbed actually, the way I write, I know this, just writing what is in my head, but it’s what I do, and honestly, I can’t seem to stop even if I wanted to!!! I know that every day I try to be the best me that I can, and when I fail, which is often, I know I can do better tomorrow. I assume that everybody thinks this way, that making plenty of deposits in their karmic bank is a “goal” but I have lived long enough, and been disappointed enough, to know that this is not the case…LOTS OF PEOPLE DON’T know about karma. Writing a letter to yourself every day, even just in your head, keeps you accountable, in a way, at least to yourself.
For my whole life my dad has used an expression about “making plenty of deposits in your karmic bank” and I kid you not; almost every single choice I have to make in life, for as long as I can remember, has been made with this thought, mantra if you will, in the back of my mind. LONG before I learned yoga I learned karma and I know, ABSOLUTELY know that if more people understood the laws of karma, people would be better towards each other. The laws are rather easy to follow, and the funny thing is, in a nutshell, for people who claim to be christian or claim to believe the bible, karma is not much different than doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, which I think might be bible-ish, no?? Yet I have known too many people who go to church and went to Catholic school for example, or sent their kids to private Catholic school, and yet, when it was time to STEP UP AND DO UNTO OTHERS…blah blah blah, they did not step up. In fact they just looked the other way…and those people, well, in my world it means pretty much you’ve struck out, because karma takes care of everything…and when some awfulness befalls them or someone they love, and they think, oh how could this happen to us? the only answer that makes any sense at all to me, is karma…You made a terrible choice to treat a person terribly and look what that got you…So for me, and since I can only speak and act for my own self, the best version of myself is when I treat others as I would want to be treated and I forgive when I would want to be forgiven and I move on when I would have wanted someone to move on…I do not dwell on mistakes and I do not dwell on wrongdoings and I do not dwell on woulda-shoulda-coulda…I believe that every action has consequences and I believe in karma. It’s my station, it’s my hub, karma is my home base.
In general, when I write, I don’t ask others if they mind if I share, because my experience is my own, and I have said and written for decades that I am an open book, I have no secrets, and the one secret I once held (for decades I might add) I finally told, over ten years ago…so to say that my heart and mind is pure, that there are no lies hidden within me, there are no issues that I hold back, there is nothing but openness and truth in my world and I intend to keep it this way until my last day on earth, is the truth that is me. What I understand to be true is MY TRUTH; my reality of events or circumstances is colored by my own perceptions, bias, history, and opinions, but it is still my own. The truth and the reality of another person is their own; their own history, their own opinions, and their own experience is not mine to judge or twist or manipulate the details thereof, but I can write about how their truth impacted my truth…does that make sense to anybody but me?? I guess what I mean is that I can write whatever I want, about my experiences, and there is nothing that anybody can do about it…it is mine to write.
I had an experience this summer that broke me open and caught me by surprise but now it is November, my birthday month, one of my favorite months of the year, every year, and so the summer is now my past. It is now part of my personal historical record and part of my story and my truth, but it is over, over and done and how I go forward from the experience will color my future, because, like it or not, experiences change us, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse…experiences teach us lessons, experiences give us wisdom, experiences prepare us for what may come next and profoundly influence how we move on, and get on with each of our days. I think about my karma & my place in the universe & the implications of my actions with every decision I make and every experience that I have had moves me to act in my next act…I make choices and decisions often because of what I think the karmic implications may be…karmic deposits are a HUGE FACTOR IN MOST OF MY CHOICES and for those who do not “get” what this means, well I guess you just will never understand. When people behave badly, or lack compassion, or are greedy and selfish, or cold and unfeeling where there should be empathy, there are karmic debits that come from that kind of action, or lack thereof. People either understand karma or they don’t. I live my life with the understanding, or belief, that my karmic deposits are an integral part of who I am, how I live, and how I want to be in this life, BECAUSE I 100% BELIEVE that what you put out into the universe you get back…if you do good and think good your life will be good…
When I think about what might be the last moments of my life, I am pretty sure that I will have few, if any, regrets. When I want to tell someone how I feel or what I feel, I do, and when I want to celebrate a person or thank a person, or express my love and appreciation for a person, I do. When I am angry or hurt I try to express and discuss those hurts and then move on, rather than dwell…so all of that end of life narrative or dialogue, “I wish I had,” is not something I expect to experience. I believe that living as fully in my truth as I can is exactly why I will never have regrets, or wishes that I had acted differently or behaved better…I really try to make those deposits in my karmic bank. I feel like if tomorrow is my last day on earth, no one who loves me, or who I love, will wonder how I felt, I feel like no stones were left unturned, and no wrongs needed to be righted, nothing needed to be explained. FOR ME, this is how I have to live. It feels “off” to me, when I don’t live this way…when I do something because I think it’s what somebody else thinks I should do, or I make a choice because somebody tells me it’s what choice they would make; when I am guided by that, well, I feel like I am not myself. I have to be able to close my eyes at night and feel at peace. I simply must be able to do that in order to be who I am. SO I make choices that make this happen, FOR ME. When someone disappoints me, I let it be known, and I modify my behavior and make changes so that my expectations and boundaries are such that I will not again be disappointed, and when I have disappointed someone I listen to what I have done, and process it and try to correct my behavior for next time. When someone hurts me, I let it be known, and when I have hurt someone I listen to how my behavior caused pain and I process it. There is no other way to live, no other way to be, as far as I can tell, than to be fully engaged with myself this way and the laws of karma.
“I’m not aware of too many things, but I know what I know, if you know what I mean…” If it seems “silly” to write yourself a letter every day, then don’t do it. By all means, just keep doing whatever it is you have been doing…but if like me, you feel like you could do better, be better, well, there is no harm in making a letter to yourself, identifying where you need to make adjustments, recognizing where you have totally F**ked up your karma, and understanding how you can modify your behavior, your thoughts, whatever…BE AWARE. BE ACCOUNTABLE. BELIEVE IN KARMA, it’s not difficult…here’s your stop, mind the gap…