Karma is one of the most popular spiritual topics, and for a good reason; people want to know how to improve their karma, thus make their lives better. People also want to avoid the nasty surprise of bad karma.

However, there seems to be a lot of confusion about karma, what goes around (what you do, say, or intend) comes around (will come back to you), and how it really works.

Recently, we received the following question via e-mail: “If I defend myself when someone is being nasty or violent, am I creating bad karma by fighting back? The line seems blurred to me sometimes and I’m not always in a position to apologize.”

Our viewpoint, based on our empirical research, is that you don’t create bad karma by defending yourself. If you believe your life is in danger, you won’t incur negative karma by fighting back to save your life. Though avoiding guilt may not be easy if you kill someone, even in self-defense, for example. Even guilt from a self-defense situation can cause future karma.

The inquiry continues, “Is there any way to know in any given situation if I’m creating bad karma? People have cursed my family and children out of anger. Is that bad karma for them? What if I were to do the same because they crossed the line and said something terrible about my children or even about me? My sister in law recently accused me of being a gold digger and it took ever ounce of restraint not to hit back with something just as nasty.”

If your intent is to hurt another person and it’s not done out of self-defense, you will create negative karma. However, if you believe it’s not such a big deal to be called names, for example, maybe you shouldn’t worry too much about incurring this sort of karma if you hit back, as you say.

It’s important to note that if someone is playing the victim and claims you hurt them, you won’t necessarily incur negative karma from that situation. For instance, a young woman claims that her boyfriend created bad karma because he broke up with her; she’s devastated, so she believes he has it coming. Wrong. As long as he broke it off peacefully and didn’t make any false promises he didn’t intend to keep, for example, he’s free of karma.

Her final question was, “How will karma ‘retaliate’ when you do or say something bad? Or like Ghandi, am I suppose to turn the other cheek?”

In our view, karma is like an invisible shadow that follows you around forever, through successive lifetimes, until you balance it.

Karma is your “good” and “bad” baggage earned from the recent and distant past, over multiple lifetimes. All actions, words, thoughts, and intent will return to you, and not necessarily in this life. Because of karma, no one “gets away with” anything; the eyes of truth are always watching.

Seeking justice in a violent or otherwise negative way will create negative karma. You always have the option of rising above the negativity, being mature and reasonable, and responding diplomatically.

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Would I feel okay being on the receiving end of this action, intent, or these words?” If you’re okay with it, then do it, but keep in mind that the more negative energy you generate, the more time you may have to spend balancing it in future incarnations.

We understand the desire to want to lash out in response to a perceived injustice, but you don’t need to do that. Karma will catch up with the person, if the situation is how you perceive it to be.

Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo

Author's Bio: 

Scott Petullo and Stephen Petullo help people advance their spiritual growth and get more out of life. Get their free report: 13 Spiritual and New Age Myths and 11 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Psychic: http://www.spiritualgrowthnow.com