This is very hard to verbalize and speak of in general terms. But I’ll have a go. The first thing to look for is a repeating pattern, where one finds oneself in broadly similar circumstance over and over. This means that you are being shown something for your development and learning. It is also indicative that a whole new approach is needed. If you are forever changing plasters on a wound and it isn’t healing, then plasters are not enough.
By and large it is how we get into situations and our thinking, our ways of approach which causes a repetition of pattern. If we are a bit of a doormat, then we will seek out someone to wipe their feet on us, over and over. If we are a control freak we will look for a minion to control. Sooner or later things come to a head and some kind of crisis or drama starts to unfold. It can take a long while for the penny to drop that we are causing these situations. When we do it can take a long while for us to figure out how and what needs to be done. We may need to get thoroughly sick of the repeating pattern before we have sufficient willingness to do anything about it.
These “global” karmic threads are not so difficult to spot, they can be mighty difficult to unpick. We may have to change our whole approach. But usually it can be something minor, something simple, which helps us unravel the thread. It may be so obvious that we fail to see it. Not that humans tend to overcomplicate at all.
The next key to something karmic is a stubborn longevity. No matter how much we want to sort it out, get it fixed and move on, the darned thing keeps on coming back. This tendency to fix, in an often cosmetic sense never gets to the root of “the problem”. Like a verruca it persists. Until you have dug up the root it has longevity.
Some of the things we want to resolve, cannot actually be resolved. The challenge may then be simply to let it go and stop trying to sort it out. This in a sense is karma at work also. It teaches that we cannot fix everything therefore we need to be a bit more careful about what we break.
To give a personal example, for a long while I had depression. Which later enabled me to help others with depression. I devoted a lot of time to trying to offset depression in others, which worked off the karma of me inflicting my own miserable attitude on others. I gave back.
We may not ever be able to work off the karma we have caused by our interaction with another, but we can put what we learned to use in a related circumstance. If we have been a dickhead, we can simply stop being a dickhead and in learning not to be a dickhead we are working of the karma we caused by our dickhead behaviours. The person to whom we were a dickhead may not benefit personally but a whole bunch of others might through our cessation of dickhead behaviours. We give back to the web of life that which we have taken from it. We restore the wider balance.
Karma after all is about balance.
Some tiny acts can have huge karmic impacts and sometimes all we can do is sit back and watch events unfold. All we can do is acknowledge our contribution and learn from it. This means that there is no waste, whatever damage we have done is put to good use. It is economy in action. It is not the same as penance, it is learning and evolution.
All of us have caused pain and suffering in someone else. The trick is to minimise the amount of new karma we generate. That way we can get busy at restoring the imbalances which we ourselves have caused. The key to this is adopting a new approach to life. If we don’t change we do the same old shit over and over.
So repeating patterns, situational longevity and sometimes having to let go are all indicators of something karmic at work. We cannot fix everything and this is a hard lesson for some to accept. It is all about balance, if you “take” more than you “give” an imbalance is set up