I remember the last time I pulled the Nine of Swords in one of my personal readings. I had a very spiritual reaction, which was, “Well . . . shit.” Swiftly followed by another, which was, “Why me?”
It probably wasn’t one of my better days.
The Nine of Swords absolutely screams, “karma.” The individual is lying in bed with his head in his hands, a perfect image of someone who has just awakened from a screaming nightmare. The quilt on the bed is covered with astrological symbols showing past incarnations in different signs of the zodiac. The swords behind him seem locked together like the bars in a prison cell.
There can be no doubt that this is someone who has just realized that he’s accumulated some terrible, terrible karma and is going to have to pay a serious price for it.
There’s another way of looking at it, though.
If you’ve spent any substantial time in spiritual exploration then you’ve had that, “Ah HA!” moment when you realize that you are a co-creator of your life. It goes something like this:
I control my thoughts. My thoughts cause my emotions. My emotions cause my energy vibrations. My energy vibrations, through the Law of Attraction, determine what’s going to manifest in my life. Therefore, I control (or create) what’s manifesting in my life.
To put it more succinctly, if I’m broadcasting a lot of negative vibrations I’m going to attract a lot of negative crap into my life. If my vibrations are positive, positive things will flow into my life.
There’s a real rush that goes along with that revelation. We feel very liberated from random circumstances and from people victimizing us. We realize that all of this isn’t being done TO us, we’re making it happen to ourselves, which means that we can change it.
But there are a couple of, “Well . . . shit,” moments that go along with that.
The first one is, “Well . . . shit . . . I made this. This is MY karma. I’m totally responsible for this mess.”
It wasn’t our abusive fathers, or our crazy ex-wife or husband, or the country or culture we grew up in, or the opportunities we did or didn’t have, or anything OUT THERE. We manifested all of it into our lives or we chose to NOT manifest something better. We made it.
Well . . . shit . . .
The second appallingly scary moment happens when we realize that it means that we’re also creating what happens next.
Alcoholics Anonymous and the other 12 Step Programs have a saying: “You can start your day over whenever you want to.” In other words, if you’re having a terrible day you can always take a deep breath, reconnect with your serenity, and change how your day is going.
Tibetan Buddhism embraces the concept that we can start our karma over whenever we want to. No, we can’t escape the unfolding of consequences from our previous actions but we can make those consequences a lot better by starting to live our lives with love and compassion and the creation of good karma.
And when we realize – truly realize – that we are creating our lives right now, right here, with the choices that we’re making, that we’re starting over, that’s a pretty heavy responsibility.
For one thing we have to get really clear on just what we DO want. What are my values? What do I want in my life? Peace? Serenity? Happiness? Family? Sex? Money? What do I want to create in my life? If all of this isn’t just stuff that’s happening to me, if it isn’t just things that people are doing to me, if I’m MAKING my life . . . what do I want it to look like?
And if we’re going to choose to consciously create our own lives – and we don’t have to, we can stay unconscious – then we have to consciously choose, every day, every hour, to control our emotions, our vibrations, and our manifestations.
And that’s not easy.
Well . . . shit . . .