Karmic Cycles and My Sense of Justice
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.
Karma is all about cycles. It’s that old “what goes around, comes around” coming around again. Sometimes we feel there’s no justice in the world because we don’t see the punishment or the reward right away. Sometimes we don’t see the cycles because they take longer than our lives or merely longer than our attention is on the situation.
But I’m always fascinated when I see things come full circle. I’ve lived long enough now to see cycles I never would have seen in my teen years or in my 20’s or even in my 30’s. I’ve now seen the ebb and flow over decades in some cases, and see the way Life metes out justice.
Often, these little karmic cycles are about opportunities to learn something new or to shed something old. Most of the time, I think people don’t take advantage of the offering, but we have architectures of learning opportunities for everyone involved—the abuser, the victim, the bystander. We all get to take something away with us.
This week I received a letter of apology from a woman who, a year ago, put me through a grinder. She called me a liar and a thief, threatened to sue me and my small business, hired an investigator, and turned me in to the California police to investigate my computer activity for theft. I initially tried to help her fix the problem and put her in touch with the right people, but I had absolutely nothing to do with what had happened to her. Nothing I could say to her could convince her otherwise. I was the only person in the publishing industry to try to help her and because she had nowhere else to focus her venom, she attacked me verbally and legally.
Now she’s trying to re-establish contact and make things better by admitting that she sees now that I was just handy to attack and that it was proven that I had nothing to do with what happened. She still does not take responsibility for her actions but rather, blames other people, the situation, bad luck, another company’s computer problem, whatever. She’s looking for me to make her feel better, to say it’s all okay, but it isn’t. What she did was not okay. I can wash my hands of her and move on—already have—but I’m not allowing her back into my life. Forgiving does not mean being friends again.
She learned something, perhaps, from this whole experience, about lashing out at the people who are most supportive of your dreams. I learned not to take the abuse, to listen to my intuition, not to jump back into the muck just because she’s learned her lesson. I don’t want to be there with her and I don’t have to be. It’s done. Cycle complete.
Some years ago, I had a supervisor who made my life hell. Nothing personal. She did this to everybody. I still have the email where she promised she’d get me a pro- motion if I’d do her work for a year so she wouldn’t have to—and not tell anyone. She held information very close to the chest, believing that knowledge was power, and she didn’t share any of that power with me even though everyone else expected that she had and just figured I was a dumbass for not knowing something.
She never got anything done on time, to the extent that she would be unprepared for a briefing at 10 AM, so she’d go home. But right before leaving for home, she’d send out an email—to the Big Boss with a copy to all the directors, half my office, and the last on the list…me. The email, sent literally 5 minutes before the big meeting I hadn’t been told about, would explain how she’d suddenly taken ill and how I would present the briefing on the charts attached to the email and would be able to answer any questions. Not only was it the first time I’d seen the charts, but in almost every case, it was the first I’d been told of a particular issue that I was supposed to be able to answer questions on expertly. This happened several times a month, same pattern every time. Those cycles were easy to see but I couldn’t do anything about them since the only person who could give me the information was the person who valued it most for her own ambitions.
I will never, as long as I live, forget a particular day about a month before I was scheduled to leave that office for a new job. She’d already briefed me on a particular situation and told me specifically which approach to take with the Big Boss. What I didn’t know was that the situation had turned around completely, overnight, and we were now advocating the opposite of the previous evening’s solution.
At the end of the meeting, the Big Boss turned to me and one of my male bosses and asked for my recommendation. I gave it, based on information that was 12 hours old, and for the next 10 minutes the Big Boss crawled all over the two of us, berating us for our stupidity in front of about 75 higher ranking people I’d just met. My male boss sat there with tears in his eyes. Me? I stayed calm and explained why I was making my recommendation, and another boss jumped in to explain to me the turn- around in the situation that someone my rank wouldn’t have known. My close-mouthed supervisor said nary a word while I was being eaten alive. I left the meeting shaking with anger, but I didn’t cry or crawl under my chair as most people in that situation did.
She had plenty of opportunities with me and with others. It would have been so easy for her to say to the Big Boss, “I’m sorry! I haven’t filled Lorna in on the change that happened overnight!”
When I left that office for my new one, which was extremely thrilled to get me, I really felt that my former supervisor had “gotten away with” her serial sabotage in order to get the promotion and power she wanted. She hadn’t. It just took a little while to catch up with her.
She didn’t learn her lesson in the scenario with me or in the ones with others. She was instrumental in getting my former male boss removed. She plotted against other colleagues as well to put herself in a supreme position. One of them, she shouldn’t have. Ironically, it was the person who stepped in and tried to help me that day who eventually decked her professionally. She messed with someone with more power, got caught lying to the Big Boss, and was removed from her job.
A year later from that meeting where she sat quietly and watched me be publicly humiliated. A year to the day.
I see her occasionally in my current job. For someone who had so much ambition, she now has no power and no chance at that big promotion she wanted. She often stops by my office to chat and tries to get my buy-in on her current projects. I’m polite and I do my job, but that’s it. No more, no less.
But every time I see her and where she is now versus where she was then, I reminded of those karmic cycles and that some people do reap what they’ve sown.