“What goes around comes around, is nothing more than a myth.” JSM
I spent an unhealthy amount of time throughout my years, wishing for karmic retribution. People of my past, strangers, friends, co-workers… anyone who crossed me, or made my life a struggle, received the prayer.
“God, if you’re listening…”
Then a slew of, “give them their just desserts. Bad things can’t only happen to good people, can it? What goes around HAS to come around.”
I wished ill will upon others. I demanded retribution. It never mattered who it was or who was the target of my immediate anger at the time: Silly high school relationships. A pissed off boss. A condescending friend. A trusted confidant.
Each one got the prayer.
Then one afternoon at work, plucking away at the keyboard, it dawned on me.
“It’s not me. It’s everyone else.”
“Look at it from the perspective of, everyone is a product of their experiences and their environment. Just… like… you.”
Then I conceptualized what it could possibly be like to walk in another’s shoes. If only for a few minutes.
To say I’ve been duped through life, is an understatement. But I’m not the only one. I began the painstaking task of attempting to dive into the psyches of others. “What is the driving motivator to compel people, to do the things they do?”
“Were they duped to do wrong by me? Coerced in some fashion? That would make sense.”
If not tricked, duped, wrongfully instructed, manipulated, or host to an alien parasite, then it must be something else. If it boils down to something else… the only thing I can reach a verdict on, is the idea there are people out there who feel no remorse. Believe to the core of their being they can do no wrong. Regardless of what kind of destruction they leave in their wake.
I’ve swallowed some large pills in my day, but swallowing that philosophy down and digesting it, was one of the largest and toughest. Because I refused to become something I despise, I adopted that new mentality as quick as I could.
I decided to be better. I had to rise above it as high as I could go. I forced to come to grips with the idea, the only thing “I” can do, is be better than those who thought my back seemed like a good place to drive in a dagger.
Dwelling on the past only facilitates a difficult future. The mind is a weapon and once it turns on you, game over. I had to transform my mind into less of a weapon, and more of a strategic landscape. Set up the game like an expansive chessboard. Move my pieces in a way that guarantees me a win. Glory wasn’t about to drop from the sky and hand me everything I need. The first thing I had to do is surrender to the game and start over.
“The only control I have, is me.”
“Listen to the advice. Continue to do what you want. Live your life. Focus on what you deem as important and ignore everything else around you. Utilize that bubble you once created as a defense mechanism, and give it a different purpose for awhile. What’s the first thing you need right now? Break it down incrementally.”
“I need to take care of my children.”
“What’s the plan for that?”
“I need to make more money. That will take care of that.”
“What will you do to make this money? A second job?”
“If I work a second job, I won’t see the kids. I’ll have more money… but all for myself. It’s not about me, it’s about them.”
“Another option then?”
“I know just the thing. You’re a freaking genius.”
I remember a trip to Foxwoods with some friends back in the Old Life and ten minutes before I left the casino to come back to Maine, I won a jackpot of $357.00. Through the course of the weekend, I pocket almost $500. Other than the scratch-off tickets I’ve received in birthday cards worth $5-10, the casino winnings were my only gambling win.
After I made my decision, I called Nancy. “Meet me at my place. We’re going for a drive.”
“Where we going?”
“Bangor. I have some money I want to spend.”
She met me twenty minutes later and with my wallet in hand, we drove to Hollywood Slots in Bangor Maine. A casino close by. Roughly an hour drive.
“What are we doing here?” She crossed the threshold and looked around the lobby.
I rubbed my hands together and followed the signs, “I’m feeling lucky. Good things are about to happen.”
“How much are you planning to spend? None of my business, just curious.”
Even I was curious. I had a set amount budgeted to the side and my ATM card if needed, but I had a plan. That asinine plan was to replicate how I won at Foxwoods. If I was that lucky before, perhaps I was destined to be lucky again.
I doubled my money that afternoon. Walked out with my head held high. Feeling confident and calm. This was the way I would fix my problems. I’ll make my own luck.
Unfortunately, life is very little about luck. Life is hard. Even when life is good, it’s still a struggle and sometimes karma decides it’s not quite done with us yet.
When I say I doubled my money, I came back home with $40. Spent $20. Shortly thereafter, I returned to the convenience stores and shopping areas and purchased scratch-offs. Won more money. Each moment I had, I was sitting in my car with a penny, scraping and swiping silver flakes to the floor and praying for more winnings. $5, $1, $20 and a decent one of $100. As long as I was winning, I was doing better than I was before.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
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