Sunday, April 13, 2014

Karmic Relationships

*Disclaimer* Today's fare may be a bit of a mind bend because this is a "World according to Lyndsay" download.

To my mind there are four groups of people in everyone's life:
  1. Strangers
  2. Acquaintances
  3. Friends
  4. Karmic relationships
And given that most of the over 7 billion people who inhabit the planet have never heard of you or me, it makes sense that strangers make up the largest group. Billions of people right this minute are going about their business with absolutely no idea we exist. In this light our angst, suffering, joy, and anxiety become meaningless in the grander scheme of things - but if we dig a little deeper, we would find that the essence of our significance is found in relationship.

I have many acquaintances, fewer friends, and a handful of interesting karmic relationships on the go at present. And while I don't have to define what an acquaintance is, there is a distinct difference between friends, and people I'm exchanging karma with.

Friends are easy. They come and they go; and though some of them may also fall into the karmic relationship group, many do not. They are in our lives because we share a few things in common and we enjoy being in their company. There's an easy give and take that defines the relationship and very little drama.

Karmic relationships are the opposite because these are the relationships that hold the power to give us the greatest joy, or the most soul depleting heartache; and sometimes a little of both. Pretty much, if you are in love with someone, at odds with someone, or have strong emotional ties/feelings/angst/etc with someone, chances are good that the two of you are swapping karma.

Another hallmark of a karmic relationship is that these are the people we remember meeting with great clarity. To this day, I can transport myself back to the evening when I first met my husband. I remember what he was wearing, how I felt, and what I saw in his eyes. Although I had no way of knowing at the time, something about our meeting told me this was going to be interesting.

And it was. And it has been.

Conversely, I can also recall the day I met one of the most difficult people I have ever known; right down to the last detail. Once again, I can situate myself there in an instant and once again, the distinct feeling that this was going to be interesting.

Because I've never been one to keep my spiritual beliefs under wraps, those who know me understand I'm a Zen, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim with a little new age whaterism thrown in just because. In other words, I have never been a person who believes there is only one path to God because in the immortal words of Carlos Castaneda “Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path..."

Keeping that in mind, my path of spirituality has always included the concept of reincarnation; the notion that we have lived many lives and that the very essence of our soul's being is to learn and grow in order to find compassion. In order to become love.

That said, it makes sense that the most important relationships in our lives aren't always easy because it is often from the places of the greatest discomfort that the most learning occurs. And in the very best of karmic relationships; in marriages or partnerships, families, or with close soul ties, there is often a little of both.

This is all good news because it teaches us is there are gifts to be found in even the darkest relationships. With this understanding it becomes easier to find our compassion. With this understanding it becomes easier to let go of anger and despair and with free hands grab the brass ring of happiness which has always been, and always will be, Love.

I'm probably going to write more about this topic in the month's to come but for now I'll leave you to mull this one over. Regardless of our spiritual beliefs, there are many ways to frame the idea that our most important relationships have the power to hinder or heal us. At the end of the day, it's the way we view the people in our lives that will determine if our path is one of compassion or not.

"Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you."

- Carlos Castaneda

Until next time everyone!

Be well...


Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her on her blogs, The Kitchen Witch, Just. That. Fabulous. or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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  1. Interesting, I have never really looked at my relationships with any of these 4 points in mind. Now I am going to spend the next weeks/months/years trying to figure them out.
    I am not a religious person - organized religion scares me - people rely on it much to much in my opinion. But, contrary to what my grandmother believed I am not a heathen either LOL. I believe what I believe - I am more spiritual than religious. But you know what they say...politics and religion; so I will leave it at that.
    As for paths - I truly believe that the path any of us are on right now, that when it started, it was the correct path at the time. That is not to say that it cannot change during the journey.
    For the last couple of weeks I have been debating leaving some online groups that, when I was diagnosed with cancer were my lifelines. Although I know I still have valuable information and insight to contribute, I am slowly getting used to people dying and I never ever thought that was something I would get used to - or am I just so sick of it that I have become apathetic - I am, after all Canadian - I don't know. What I do know is that at the time,the groups were what I needed to help me survive. I have learned so much, about myself and others that I am not sure I even like who I have become...
    Pretty sad for an outgoing, secure woman - or one that was last week.
    Such is life.
    Being human sucks sometimes.

  2. Brilliant & inspiring!
    I am not a deeply religious person but I do believe " do unto others as you would have done unto you" & live by this. Sometimes friends, aquaintences, family & so on, abuse that in me but such is life. I sleep well at night and only wish the best for them. (I am human and still get pissed off though!) Thank you Lyndsay :)

  3. This resonates, Lyndsay! Thanks so much for sharing your perspective with the world. You are a gem. xoxo, Jackie (ps. now I have to go find out who Carlos Castaneda is!)

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  5. Ah, are wise, as always.

  6. I've never thought about relationships that way before. You have made me think about karmic relationships. I see your point, these people affect your life in either a positive or negative way. It is so hard to realize that we let them have a powerful effect on us. There are some we have to deal with because they are family, yet we do not have to allow them to crush our spirit and vitality with their negativity. I am learning to close-off enough of my emotions when they try to manipulate or degrade me. I will still love them but have learned that I don't have to like their actions or take their ugliness personally. I just figure they must need to boost their self-esteem at the expense of others.