Bless those who curse you.
I would go around saying this in 9th grade. A lot. I used to write it in my journal. I would use it to pacify myself whenever my arch-nemesis in school irked me. I had read this in a Chicken Soup book.
Yes, 9th grade was the time when I had discovered the self-help section in my school library and it was the most comforting thing at the time. It gave me the perspective and encouragement I was not getting from anyone in my life. I ate it up.
It was also the time I was studying Shakespeare at school. And I was head over heels with the way he wrote. Poetic and dramatic. Oof. So, naturally, I would break into dialogues from his play like this one.
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
9th grade ended up being a time when I swung from one end of the spectrum to the other. Bless those who curse you. If you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
And as much as it felt nice to say both of these things, I had a hard time truly believing in either. The idea of being the bigger person was beautiful. It was full of grace. And the idea of revenge and not letting anyone wrong me was powerful. It was badass and made me feel confident.
But I was neither. I was neither full of grace, and I was neither so badass. I don't know when and I don't know how, but I stumbled upon the concept of karma around then. And that finally struck a chord with me.
I did not have to bless anyone. I did not have to curse anyone. I did not have to revenge. And I did not have to offer grace. I had to do nothing. Karma would take care of it all. What goes around comes around. What you sow, so shall you reap.
It freed me of the responsibility of having to do something in response to the shitty things people had done and said. I could just decide to disengage and move on with my life. Karma would take care of it. In a way I would probably never know. And in a timeline I had no clue about. But my faith in karma for years to come was unwavering.
Until a few years ago.
Now that I think of it, I don't think I've thought about karma in a long time. I haven’t believed in it in a long time. The last few years haven't been the kindest to me. And I felt like life kept slapping me to wake up to the reality that you can be a good person, and you can do everything right and still bad things will happen to you with no sign of any significant, lasting good.
I had to finally see and accept that there was no correlation between being a good person and living a good life. It made me bitter, and it felt like the deepest cosmic betrayal. How could I believe in karma anymore? Karma was as much about receiving the kindness I had shown to others as it was about others paying for the wrongs they had done.
Sure, I would never really know how karma would make them pay. But wasn't I supposed to at least know that the good comes back, too, because I was actually supposed to live it? A good life?
I know they also say: कर्म करो फल की चिंता मत करो.
Do your duty without worrying about the results.
But for that, you need to have a lot of faith. In God. In energies bigger and grander and purer than anything on earth. I want to have faith like I used to again. But I can't force it. I need karma to settle my accounts first. I feel like I've faced my bad karma.
When will the good be delivered?
And if not, then where the hell does the good go?