Back in my late 20s I made my living as a remodeling contractor. I was young and buff then, with great legs and a skinny little butt. Add in a leather tool belt and a blue Levi’s work shirt and I cut quite a compelling figure. Little did I realize.
One day I got a call from a doctor and his wife. They immediately hired me to remodel their kitchen. It soon became clear that this kitchen makeover was a last ditch attempt to remodel their marriage. Unfortunately, Home Remodeling Therapy rarely works for marriages. This time was no different.
Several weeks into the job The Wife – who shall go nameless – invited me to lunch to celebrate my birthday. It was quite a pleasant meal as we time traveled exploring personal histories and exchanged tales of personal drama. She was a former NY model with a degree in sociology. She was also a gourmet vegetarian cook. It was nice to sit across the table from someone who smiled and whose eyes lit up when they looked at you.
Several days later The Wife called me down from the roof all sweaty and hot, where I’d been installing new shingles. “There’s a leak under the sink cabinet,” she told me. “Take a look.” We both got down on our knees to look at the leak. I couldn’t see it. We both then put our heads inside the cabinet. And then I still didn’t see it, but I sure felt it. Her proximity, her smell, the confined space – suddenly an intense electrical charge went all through my brain and my heart and seemed to energize every cell in my body. Right there on the spot we both created a Kismet Chemistry Story. This was surely a match destined and designed in Heaven.
Exodus, Stage Right
There’s a reason why Exodus 20:17 warns, “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s house, thy neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey.” That guidance has obviously been crafted from hard-won, firsthand experience. But like I said, I was in my late 20s, buff and leathered and testosterone-addled.
The Wife soon got divorced and took up with me. The Husband was not happy. He refused to pay the time and material bills I sent him for the remodel. My relationship with The Wife ended three years later when I came home and caught her en flagrante with a college student whom “she’d been together with in a previous lifetime.” I bumped into the Husband in town shortly after that discovery. “Karma’s a bitch, isn’t it,” was all he would say to me.
And Karma CAN be a nasty devil, of course. But it doesn’t have to be. According to Wikipedia, Karma refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). For Karma to be good, it seems to require that I live with some degree of ethical conduct and impeccable behavior. Apart from how hormones are known to affect ethical conduct, here’s one reason why I think impeccability is a requirement if karma is to be good…
Go Set a Sentinel
A part of my brain pays attention to EVERYTHING I think, everything I say and everything I do. It then saves the important stuff and files it away in our associational cortices. It also makes up stories as it observes me thinking, saying and doing things. What kinds of stories do you think my brain made up after it saw me take up with my neighbor’s wife? Clearly I’m someone who wants to deal in stolen property. Best to let me see what dealing in stolen property is like from all sides, as the dealer and the dealee.
If creating a dramatic narrative was ALL my brain did with what it observed me saying, thinking and doing, the subsequent stories it made up might be something I could become skillful in working with. However, there’s one additional step my brain takes which exponentially increases the difficulty of that workability – it doesn’t explicitly tell me it’s made up stories based upon my saying, thinking and doing. It mostly operates unconsciously. And how it often shows up in my life is the effect my brain’s buried stories have on … my adrenal glands!
The unconscious narratives the Silent Sentinel in my brain make up in response to what it sees me think, say and do I believe constantly regulates the baseline levels of stress hormones we carry around in our bodies day in and day out. It is these unconscious story-generated stress hormones that decide essentially … what we unconsciously turn towards, and what we unconsciously turn away from. In other words: our karma. If you aren’t real happy with the effects unfolding in your life, begin doing your best to change the causes. Notice what you think, say and do … or don’t think, say or do. Whatever we pay deliberate, ongoing attention to … tends to increase. It’s an inside neuro-job.
And now here’s a morning parting gift certainly worth paying attention to, the latest Enchanted Loom review!