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Attack of the Karmic Garbage

Keen Category: Spiritual Advice

Woman holding out a full plastic trash bag with mystical swirls around it

You are probably a lovely and laid-back person most of the time. But even nice people can become overwhelmed with pointless BS. And these very same people who normally handle annoyances with humor, become detached, ruminative and then obsessed with getting payback when extremely overwhelmed.

Some people are just too pissed off over things they can't control to be concerned about karma. Many of us want instant gratification when we feel that we've been wronged. And we all feel that way when we're attacked by someone else's smelly garbage. So where does all this garbage come from? There are many sources, but here are the 4 most popular ones:

  1. Jealousy
  2. Competing With Others
  3. Being Self-Serving
  4. Needing To Be In Control

Jealousy, or as Spirit would say, "envy to the extreme", is the #1 killer of true joy and fulfillment. It is also the most potent stench found in someone's garbage. Does that sound harsh? Well, it is harsh, especially if you're on the receiving end. So where does this envy to the extreme comes from? And what is jealousy, really?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "jealous" means:

  1. Intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness
  2. Hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage
  3. Vigilant in guarding a possession

The second definition is emphasized because that's the definition that describes best the collective experience of jealousy these days. Another way of wording the definition is this:

You see someone with the life, person, notoriety or thing you want and instead of being happy for that person, you're pissed off.

Notice the word "rival" in the dictionary's definition. A rival doesn't always have to be someone you don't like. In some cases, a rivalry starts out when people are friends or coworkers and after jealousy sets in, it takes on a life of its own. More often than not, the person with these feelings doesn't even know the other person that well, if at all. This is especially true if we're talking about the workplace and the people involved aren't social outside of that environment.

Here are the most common scenarios that arouse jealousy:

  • A co-worker is doing the same job as you and makes more money.
  • Your ex-lover is happy with his love life, but you aren't happy with yours.
  • A friend seems to have it all and you can't seem to get it together.
  • Someone is getting a lot of attention and you think nobody notices you.

Jealousy and competition go hand in hand; however, there is such a thing as healthy competition. It's healthy when you have a natural drive to succeed, but you aren't out to "get" or "one-up" somebody else to achieve your goal. If you choose the unhealthy route, it will come back to haunt you. Unless you're willing to take that chance and live with the consequences, make a right hand turn and try something with pure intent.

An example of unhealthy competition is when a person steals the idea of a coworker, takes credit for the new concept and presents it to the manager. So now you have a person, the original creator of the idea, who is left with feelings of anger and betrayal that can foment into garbage as a result of the idea thief's garbage (jealousy and unhealthy competition).

People become jealous of others because they don't have the confidence to create the life they truly want:

No confidence and drive = No real life of your own, plain and simple.

Here are ways to get out of an unhealthy competitive realm that is driven by jealousy:

  • Play a supportive role with people instead of trying to "one-up" them

    If you take the time to see things from a non-emotional perspective, you will be able to appreciate and support the person that intimidates you. Once you learn to be supportive, chances are you will find yourself in healthier working relationships and friendships.

  • Take on a career or hobby that you truly love

    "Do what you love and the money will come" has been a popular saying for quite some time now and it's not only true with finances, but with everything in life. If you're doing what you truly love, then you won't be bothered by office politics, gossip, anyone else's status or have the need to be constantly validated.

  • Don't try to be somebody else

    We hear it all the time: be yourself! Yes, be yourself and be original. You will not gain long-term popularity or notoriety if you're nothing but a thief. This is especially true in the workplace when you steal someone else's ideas or practice plagiarism. The truth always comes out. Take a chance with your own ideas. You never know who will actually like what you put out there. Stealing will only leave you with the knowledge that you weren't the creative genius behind those fabulous ideas – and you will still be unhappy.

  • Accept situations and other people as they are

    Miracles happen when you stop trying to change what is.

    You don't have to like another person to accept who they are. Acceptance means understanding that a person or situation is what it is, it can't be changed and it's pointless wasting your energy trying to do so. Once you accept things as they are, you'll be able to work around them without being highly emotional and going into an unnecessary frenzy. Furthermore, if you're trying to do something over and over, but without the results you're seeking, perhaps you're not on the path that's meant for you.

Most people have been guilty of dumping their smelly garbage onto someone else. Sometimes it can't be avoided, but as long as you own up to the fact that you've been the "dumper", you will probably receive forgiveness and be able to start again with a clean slate.

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