Excerpted from The Karma Queens’ Guide to Relationships: The Truth About Karma in Relationships by Carmen Harra, Ph.D. and Alexandra Harra, with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2015.
When a relationship is confusing and dramatic, marked by extreme ups and downs, we sigh and say, “It’s complicated.” But we’re the ones who complicate our relationships by not resolving our karma. And the way to uncomplicate relationships and smooth out the bumps is to employ a karmic cure: love.
Love is universal. Love is your birthright. And love is what makes you be good to yourself and others no matter how complicated a relationship seems at any time. Choose love and you begin to heal the bad karma you have created with others. Your relationships will become less complex and return to the simple joys that are meant to mark the human bond.
You may be focused only on the relationship that’s giving you grief right now, and thinking, “If I can just fix this relationship, everything will be OK.” However, if you step back from the situation and reflect, becoming painfully honest with yourself, it’s not just this relationship that’s a problem. All your relationships are intertwined, and the karma you create in them carries over to your other bonds.
Love extends far beyond romantic relationships. There’s familial love, parent/child love, the love you share with close friends, love you share with people around you who live nearby or work with you, and love you have for strangers simply because, like you, they’re just people trying to live happily. And of course, there’s love for our animal companions. This abundance of love has the potential to inspire us to create wonderful karma. But because our egos cause us to be scared of losing love, or not being loved, or not being lovable, we react on our fears and create bad karma—even when we’re with those we love most.
Love is the foundation of all relationships, and relationships exist so that we can learn to choose love over fear, anger and insecurity. The more love you have in your relationships, the more you will thrive—and the more others will survive. In a perfect world, everyone would get along all the time. Unfortunately, we easily fall prey to suspicion, jealousy and fear. Our relationships become turbulent and complex. We find ourselves enmeshed with someone we don’t even like, and can’t figure out why it’s so hard to break off the connection. Or we love someone so much we can’t imagine living without them, but we cause that person pain. Families can be torn apart by conflict as sister is pitted against sister, and the mother is torn apart by her loyalties to all her children. Resolving the karma of all relationships means starting from the beginning and tracing your karmic line back to the relationship you experienced with your parents, in particular your mother.
Many mothers have trouble fostering a healthy relationship with their daughters. Women often define themselves by their relationships, so the primary female relationship, the mother-daughter bond, is the most intense relationship that exists. And it can be very turbulent! That’s because within that intensity it’s difficult to maintain your own identity.
It’s common for a daughter to want to avoid “becoming” her mother, yet she knows she would not be here if it were not for her mother—and her mother’s influence is powerful even if they’re not close. And with daughters, there’s always a hint of subconscious competition with Mom. Often, a daughter who has a rough relationship with her mother will have problems with the man in her life. Or the cycle will repeat and she’ll unknowingly behave with her daughter as her own mother behaved with her, causing the same kinds of issues. Sometimes she repeats the behaviour her mother exhibited, and sometimes she reverts to the behaviour she exhibited when she clashed with her own mother.
As a mother and daughter, Alexandra and I see our relationship as a prime garden for healing our karma. We try to remember that fact, even when we’re so mad at each other we could scream! The reality is that the more strongly connected you are to someone emotionally, the more you are challenged by the discomfort of conflict. As you know, relationships offer the opportunity to become master of one’s karma. To reduce drama in your life, you must give up being a drama queen and become a karma queen—and yes, we’re all drama queens at times (some of us more than others, admittedly).