“I’ve had a really horrible life, Erin. My husband left me for a younger woman, one of my kids is heavily into drugs, and I have some really bad health problems I just can’t seem to get past. Is all of this happening because I was bad in a past life and now I’m being punished? Am I paying off karmic debt? Will this follow me into my next life?” – Andrea
People often write to me with similar questions. Their life is not going well and they think it’s because they are being punished.
I don’t believe in karma or karmic debt. I don’t believe anyone is being punished for actions in previous lives.
Every single thing that happens to you in this life occurs because of your free will choices and their natural consequences, or the free will choices of others.
For example, if you abuse your body and put toxic substances into it, you may develop health problems.
If you marry a man with an anger management issue, he may hit you.
If you like to speed on the freeway, you may get into an accident or get a speeding ticket.
If someone is driving drunk, they may slam into you. Not because you deserved it, but because you were driving nearby when the drunk crashed his car.
Maybe you’re trying to win a spelling bee and you are an ace speller, but someone else wins because they happened to be able to spell chrysanthemum and you lost track of where the “y” goes.
The bad things that happen to you in this life are a direct result of the free will decisions you make. Nothing more, nothing less.
This also applies to all of the good things that happen to you in this life. They are the result of free will choices and consequences.
Maybe you studied like crazy and worked your tail off to get into an ivy league school, and you got accepted to the university of your dreams.
Maybe you work out every day and fill your body with vegetables and you’re the picture of health.
Maybe you got the Volunteer of the Year Award because you dedicated 1000 hours a year to helping the homeless.
The life you have is the life you’ve created.
There is no being on the other side keeping track of your deeds and doling out punishments or rewards. You’re doing that with your actions.
You are not being punished for something you did in a previous life. There is no slate that has to be wiped clean. There is no debt which must be paid. On Earth, it’s all choice and consequence.
But what about murderers, you ask? Don’t they get punished for what they’ve done? If they murder someone in a past life don’t they have to be murdered in a future life?
No. Let’s imagine that conversation.
God: “Hey, Paulo, that guy over there murdered someone in a past life. To make him pay, I’m going to need you to put a bullet in his head. Can you do that for me?”
Paulo: “Uh, gee, God, I’d rather not murder someone. Won’t I incur karmic debt myself if I kill that guy?”
God: “Yes, I’m afraid so, but justice must be served, so I need you to be a sport and just handle business. In your next life I’ll find someone to murder you so you can clear your karmic debt. How does that sound?”
Paulo: “Not all that great, to be honest.”
Can you imagine if that was the system? It would be never-ending.
Start looking at the results you’re getting as the natural result of actions you’ve taken, and realize how empowering it is to know that you can change your outcomes by making different decisions and taking different actions.
You are not being punished. You have no karmic debt. Every moment of your life you are weaving a tapestry using threads you’ve chosen. Choose wisely and make your life exactly what you desire it to be.