Better be

Whenever I get a little bit loose with my manners karma has a way of reining me in. A few weeks ago I fell down a couple of stairs and didn’t get something I really wanted, and that’s when I knew, I had to pause and reset. When I say reset, I basically mean that I have to try to be a better person. Andrew gave me a high-five at this declaration and I told him that the universe also rewards the intention to be good. Sometimes the both of us get down with our judgemental selves and he nodded “yes,” because refinement of self is an art that we try to take part in.

Personally, I like my karma straight up and all at once. Like, if it’s coming just make it into a stick and give it a gentle wack. I’ve accepted it as part of my existence and these little reminders make complete sense upon reflection. When I was near the end of my undergrad studies and working in a hellish restaurant, I sliced my finger open one particularly busy day. Standing over the sink with the tap on full blast, I honestly thought I had never felt to so miserable in my life. Then, the thought occurred to me that this was probably my karma for being mean to my grandparents or something. So, I got a band-aid and got on with the rest of my day. I also vowed to not be so flippant and it’s a part of my nature that I try to monitor and check. There you go.

My project to be better is not as abstract as you would think and it’s twofold. One, words matter so I work on not being so reactionary and saying things I usually regret. Secondly, I work on my thoughts and try to keep them on a higher plane. I feel that it is so much more productive to expect the best outcomes before you get the answer because I personally find pessimism to be so toxic. I don’t see the point of worrying about problems and setbacks until I’m in the middle of trying to solve them. We live in society and not a vacuum so frustrations will ultimately test your resolve to roll with the punches. Though I don’t always succeed, taking part in the challenge makes me feel like I’m trying to whittle away at my faults.

I personally find these checks and balances to be helpful. It’s comforting to me to know that bad things don’t happen to me because I am a bad person. Rather, unfortunate circumstances are opportunities to work off wrongdoings from the past and try to prevent further failings in the future. As I gained more life experience and have had the chance to mature, I’ve come to terms with the fact that being an adult means that you often have to do things that you do not want to. Participating in life as a mature individual means that you have to be gracious and understand the concept of duty while still not losing your own beliefs in the process. I now understand that there are individuals I would be fine with seeing once a year for twenty minutes tops, but, they are part and parcel of my life’s choices. Everyone understands that you can’t just quit your job because you don’t like one or two of your co-workers. That’s why it’s perfectly acceptable to take your commitment to being professional and cordial in your workplace to other aspects of your life. It is so refreshing to know that you don’t have to be best friends with everyone and they don’t have to be best friends with you.

Are these types of tension-filled relationships salvageable? I used to think so but I’m not so sure anymore. I believe that over time, continued hurtful behaviour towards someone, whether the individual is aware of the consequences or not, changes a dynamic. Most humans will begin to shut down and close themselves off from these triggers and circumvent any further damage by being hands-off. In the past, I thought that this form of coldness was a shame but I now believe that it can be the most healthy remedy for dysfunctional relationships. The best part of being born is that you enter the world able to connect with so many others. A part of that too is that there will be loads of people who become sources of friction and resentment. But that’s not say that you can’t be civil and co-exist. I’m pretty sure that’s what an adult would do. Now, in your downtime, be with people who bring you light.

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