So, you’re on the part of your journey where you’re wondering what is a karmic cycle? Luckily, I have an answer ready for you.
The karmic cycle is the way that karma works in the lives of people through different situations and life events that we must undergo in order to learn a soul lesson.
That lesson will eventually set us free from inner obstacles, which include bad thought patterns that manifest as misfortunes in our life.
Karmic cycles are based on our past life experiences and the life lessons we failed to obtain in them.
To put this into everyday, real-life scenarios, we can say that a karmic cycle is opening or closing in that moment when something really good and magical happens, only to be followed by the worst thing ever.
All these things make us ask questions like: Why did I deserve this? Why does this always happen to me? You need to find out why it always happens to you and work it through.
Before we go into detail of the whys and hows of karmic cycles, let’s talk some more about karma.
What is karma?
The Sanskrit word karma has become a prevalent word in spiritual communities everywhere in the world.
Karma means work, act or deed and in today’s world, it’s usually used to describe something fated and inevitable.
Essentially, it is the principle of cause and effect.
It’s best described by sayings such as ‘what goes around comes around’ and ‘you reap what you sow’, which are basically other ways of saying everything you do has its consequences, be it good or bad.
When it comes to the spiritual concept of karma, karma is considered a spiritual law. Every thought, word and act is followed by a consequence.
Everything we act upon and the way we act upon it is going to get back to us accordingly.
What’s frequently misunderstood is the timing of the consequences.
Generally, people expect that karma works immediately, which is not always the case. Sometimes it takes minutes and sometimes it takes lifetimes.
That’s exactly why karma in action is sometimes seen as cruel or unexpected because we don’t even have to remember what caused it.
The timing depends on many factors but all of them include awareness and the level of consciousness of the person who’s holding the karma.
To attain a deeper understanding of karma, we need to accept it as something natural and as a part of human reality.
Everything in the world is animated by the law of cause and effect, including the laws of physics, sociology, etc., so why would spirituality be any different?
The karmic structure is cyclical
What does this mean? If you look closely, you’ll notice that every unaddressed situation that caused a big disturbance in your life repeats itself in some other similar form after some time.
Now, depending on your state of consciousness and inner peace, those cycles can repeat themselves in as little as 40-minute cycles (known as galige), within a year’s time or as long as twelve-and-a-quarter to twelve-and-a-half years (known as Surya Kriya).
Reincarnation: The importance of past and future lives
To better understand karmic cycles, we need to understand the meaning of reincarnation.
Without karmic cycles, there would be no need for reincarnation. The reason why we keep coming to this life is that our karmic debts haven’t been paid off yet.
The law of karma is inescapable. Until all our lessons are learned, we’re bound to repeat the experience of life in this form.
A lot of things in our current life are conditioned by what we did in previous lives, such as our physical body and our emotional and mental structure.
That includes all the things we prefer, all our likes and dislikes, our fears and yearnings, all of which we receive at birth.
Everything we have ever done is ‘recorded’ and transferred into our new life. Since karma essentially means ‘action’, it can’t be stopped; it must be performed fully, it’s just a matter of time when we do.
If one fails to fulfill or make their previous wrongdoings right, they’ll pass their karma to another life and pick up where they left off and it’s the same with positive deeds.
According to reincarnation and karma, our mind is conditioned by our previous actions.
Everyone has a different soul purpose in a lifetime
Considering what I previously said, it’s easy to conclude that every one of us has a different life purpose. That’s exactly why we shouldn’t judge other people’s lives or choices.
Often, many things seemingly don’t have any logical explanation but that’s a consequence of the inability to see the bigger picture.
We don’t understand things without context. It’s like reading a torn page of a really big book and trying to make sense of it.
There’s no point in obsessing over understanding the whole book but working with what you have at a given moment and understanding universal principles.
Universal principles are innate to every human being and everyone has access to them if they practice self-awareness.
However, this is why karmic cycles offer a better explanation of evil in the world when compared to the dualistic views present in most of today’s religions.
Different stages of karmic cycles in the life of a human being
It’s said that karma works in cycles that usually have a span of twelve years and they can be divided into sections based on our age. Here’s how they operate in every age period:
As a child, we’re completely unaware of our past karma even though our life experiences are already somewhat designed to form our personality in a certain way.
Children are very easily influenced since they have no experience or capacity to understand things fully. Situations they’re exposed to shape them into the people they’re going to become.
Of course, this raises one of the most popular theological and philosophical questions concerning fate, free will and their mutual relationships.
Childhood karmic patterns are set to help us grow spiritually, to help us redeem our karma. However, since that’s our most vulnerable stage of life, past life issues have a strong presence and effect.
Youth is the initiatory phase where we start being more conscious and start choosing a direction in life regarding the ways we’ll earn money in the future, etc.
This is also the time when your past karma starts showing up more significantly. Usually, something important happens.
It doesn’t always have to be dramatic on the outside but internally, it shakes up your being.
Your lesser developed traits will be highlighted and you’ll be put to the test in some way to learn what you don’t yet know.
Beginning of adulthood
The karmic pattern is supposedly done forming by the age of around 25, when we officially enter adulthood. That’s when karmic patterns really start to show through.
All kinds of emotional, mental and physical pains and difficulties from a past life will start manifesting themself in unique ways and you’ll be clueless about it most of the time.
Whatever needs to be healed will be given the opportunity to heal, no matter whether it’s the emotional, physical or financial state of the person.
Some parts of our life will go smoothly because of good karma and others will be rough.
This is where things reach their maximum complexity when it comes to karmic patterns. The thing is, adults have a harder time changing and karma requires change.
If you were successful with dealing with karma before this stage, chances are you’ll get to the deepest and most important karmic events sooner and undergoing those events will have transformed your life.
Nevertheless, if you are unsuccessful, all the baggage will accumulate and start repeating until you learn your lesson.
This is where the karmic cycle’s intensity starts to wear off. Karmically speaking, this phase is least turbulent because individuals have already solved their issues or delayed them for the next life.
However, this is a good time to lessen your karmic burden because the intensity of karma is weakest at this point.
Of course, the symptoms are still there but they are less intense.
How to purify negative karma?
In the words of the Indian yogi and author Sadhguru: “Karma functions through certain tendencies. But with some awareness and focus, you can push it in a different direction.”
That means we can affect our karma. Here are some tips on how to do so:
Understand your karma
We ALL have karma. We experience it daily. The fact that we’re born into this specific body and raised by our parents is part of our karma. It shapes our life.
However, there are some parts of your life that need special attention and that’s probably where your life feels stagnant or uncontrolled.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s career-wise or something about your love life, there’s something you struggle with.
If some problem repeats itself over and over again, chances are that’s where your biggest karma lies.
What you need to do is recognize that problem and then try to understand and do the best you can with it.
Ask yourself why did it start anyway? What kinds of feelings does it evoke in you?
The first step to free yourself from your karmic chains and grow toward your true potential is to start from the root of the problem.
Don’t blame everyone or everything for the things that have happened to you. Instead, take responsibility for your life.
It can be tricky when it comes to understanding why something is happening to us but it’s important to try and see things from various perspectives.
Look at your own mistakes and think about what you can do differently next time.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should constantly look back and try to change things, just be prepared to not do them again.
Don’t get caught up in a toxic relationship
Complicated relationships throughout life are almost inevitable. Everyone will have at least one experience of a toxic relationship that they unawarely step into.
It’s important to recognize why some people have the effect they do on us. What do they trigger? Is there a lesson to learn or is the lesson in avoiding them and seeing through them before it’s too late?
This doesn’t mean you need to create ill will between you and another person but you should politely and respectfully distance yourself from and set boundaries with people who bring you more harm than good.
Do things from your heart
There is something called Dharma in the Hindu religion.
You’ll find different explanations of what it means but one simply-put explanation is that it’s the life mission of an individual, the thing you do from your soul, your heart.
Something that connects you to your true purpose in this lifetime and helps you notice the cosmic rhythms.
Listen to what feels good to you, what inspires you and what you do naturally and follow it all. It doesn’t have to be financially beneficial or particularly useful… just something that makes you fulfilled.
Take positive actions
One of the worst things that can happen to anyone is to get stuck at one point and be unable to move on.
It usually comes as a consequence of repeating the same old pattern that doesn’t serve us anymore but we don’t want to see it. It’s a repetitive foolish cycle that needs to be stopped.
The only thing that can break this pattern is to take action, a new, positive action toward something different.
Not only that but taking positive action every day, like helping other people when they don’t even ask for it and other good deeds can greatly improve your karmic debt.
There’s a golden rule when it comes to taking action: Don’t do what you don’t want others to do. It’s usually that simple.
Don’t ignore your weaknesses
Everyone has their weaknesses and their strengths. Strengths are usually connected to what we already accomplished in a past life and weaknesses point out where we should grow.
In a sense, weaknesses help us get stronger because that’s how we perfect ourself.
All you need is the courage to accept and face your obstacles and that includes contemplating your weaknesses and improving them. That’s where growth lies.
Holding grudges and staying mad at someone are some of the ways to slow down your spiritual growth.
Sometimes we don’t want to admit it but emotions are a big part of every human’s life and they definitely shape our everyday life.
To forgive means to understand that a person who hurt you has their own path and their own karma you don’t understand. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should tolerate bad behavior, just not get attached.
Try and look at your emotions objectively, think about how they affect your life and how that helps you or make your life worse.
Changing perspective and focusing on yourself and your well-being rather than on the other person is what’s going to lead you to revelation in the end.
Anger, frustration, anxiety—it all comes from thinking and living in the past or in the future; that’s why it’s important to stay in the present.
To stay in the present means to think about what’s happening at the moment and be mentally there instead of worrying about something we can’t control. The only thing you can control is now.
Be present and take care of yourself and your thoughts. Practice some kind of nourishment that will help your well-being.
What are karmic relationships?
Karmic relationships are soul connections with lots of magnetism and passion and all kinds of strong emotions. However, they usually don’t last and often end up ugly.
They are extremely hard to maintain and their purpose is to teach you a lesson and then leave you to make sense of the aftermath.
Essentially, they are really intense learning experiences almost every person goes through at least once in life.
Naturally, because of everything that’s been said, karmic relationships get a bad rap. Nevertheless, if we view them from a higher perspective, it’s clear they’re part of the spiritual process.
When you meet a karmic relationship person, chances are you’ll feel as if something has struck you. You’ll have an uncontrollable urge to go right to them and see what that’s all about.
How does this type of relationship manifest?
The thing with a karmic relationship is that you don’t even notice you’re in one. You definitely feel a magnetic connection to someone and it’s so strong that you don’t question why it happened.
If it’s in the form of a romantic relationship, it’s usually followed by break-ups and get-togethers, lots of fights, and reconciling…
It seems like you can’t live without each other but every time you’re together, you somehow end up irritating each other.
Usually, everyone around you notices that the relationship you’re in is somewhat toxic. You have the feeling like the other person is meant for you, despite the warning signs, and it’s difficult to break up.
However, karmic relationships aren’t just romantic ones. Any kind of relationship can be karmic, including with your friends, your colleagues, your professors, etc.
From a higher point of view, a karmic relationship is something you agreed on even before entering this lifetime.
These relationships have a purpose to help you and the other person find a path in your current lifetime.
Ultimately, they are just guides and they don’t last long. They’re here to balance something out and even if it seems very dramatic at first, chances are you’ll see it differently after everything settles down.
Sometimes, because of its intensity, people mistake this person for a twin flame or a soulmate but that’s not the case.
Both soulmate and twin flame connections are very much different from a karmic relationship.
A soulmate is someone who understands you on a deeper level, someone who loves you unconditionally, someone with whom you have a genuine and sincere relationship without misunderstanding or drama.
Your minds are in balance.
While your soulmate is someone who’s made out of the same energy as you, a twin flame is the other half of you.
Twin flame relationships are therefore much more dynamic and sometimes even deeper than soulmate connections.
Signs you’re in a karmic relationship
Red flags from day one
There’s a high chance your karmic partner has shown some unacceptable behavior right from the start of your relationship but you decided to ignore the red flags.
A lot of people do that at the beginning, with people they’re strangely attracted to. Usually, we get a hunch that something isn’t right but choose to ignore it because we’re blinded by passion.
Justifying your partner’s bad behavior
You’re so caught up in this relationship that you turn a blind eye to bad behavior. This doesn’t do anything but lead to bigger problems.
Bad behavior isn’t something that’s just going to vanish, it’s not something that happens ‘only once’. It’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed.
A lot of selfishness
This one is pretty obvious. If your partner constantly puts their needs before yours, doesn’t listen to you or continues to put you through uncomfortable situations without thinking how you feel, it’s bad news.
Of course, everyone has bad days but if this kind of behavior is regular, then something isn’t right.
Constant fighting with no solutions
Never-ending fighting without a solution is a trademark of karmic relationships. You are like matches and fire, always triggering each other over totally unimportant things.
Little things cause a big disturbance and it happens all the time.
This behavior isn’t normal; in fact, it’s toxic. The fact that there’s never a solution to the problem means that neither of you wants to find one and there’s something else that’s bothering you.
If you constantly feel like you have to defend yourself, which implies that you feel attacked, it’s clear that something isn’t right.
With a person who genuinely cares for your well-being, you won’t feel attacked. On the contrary, you will feel appreciated, respected and safe.
An emotional roller coaster isn’t exactly normal. There’s a certain appeal when it comes to passionate and strong emotions but in the long run, it just doesn’t work. It makes you feel restless and confused.
When you’re with a person who’s meant for you, you won’t feel restless; you will feel at home. You will feel at peace and safe.
When we’re caught up in senseless passion, it’s easy to ignore abusive behavior and brush it off as something unimportant, even when it hurts you physically, mentally or emotionally.
Please, don’t forget that verbal abuse is still abuse. If you’re experiencing any kind of abuse, get out of that relationship because that is not normal, it’s not passion or love; it’s just power play, projections and ego.
And please don’t think that there’s something to learn from abuse, other than it’s not normal and shouldn’t be tolerated.
The need to change yourself
Don’t forget: There’s not one person on this planet who’s perfect. You shouldn’t change yourself for anyone, especially not a person who’s constantly picking on your flaws.
A karmic partner can sometimes trigger lots of insecurity and try to change the other person. That’s how you know it’s not love.
There’s no point in changing everything we are just to feel loved. We should be loved despite our flaws.
Feeling like you’re not good enough as you are
When you’re around your karmic partner, you feel like you need to be better or something you’re simply not.
This is probably because they keep provoking a reaction or putting you down in passive-aggressive or openly patronizing ways. In case you were wondering, this isn’t normal either.
If you feel mentally exhausted every time you spend some time with this person, it’s possible they are not only your karmic lesson but an energy vampire too. Take care of yourself and your energy.
You constantly worry about the other person’s love for you and search for proof they don’t love you or vice versa.
You don’t feel confident on your own but need another person to feel validated. They trigger your insecurity and you constantly need their approval.
This kind of behavior is not healthy and doesn’t help you grow.
Tendencies to addictive behavior
In order to have a functional and happy relationship, there has to be mutual understanding, the acceptance of responsibility and emotional maturity.
One of the common themes of karmic relationships is addiction. One or both people are addicted to some kind of destructive behavior that holds them inside a toxic loop.
If there’s no genuine will to change, this kind of person will always bring you down and you’ll end up stuck in the loop too.
They bring out the worst in you
Do you feel like you have forgotten about your true self? You have become a very negative and unsatisfied person who always finds something to complain about?
If you have ever had a fight with a karmic person, you have probably experienced rage like never before. There was probably lots of yelling, curses, undirected aggressiveness, etc.
Karmic partners are indeed the ones who trigger our wild and aggressive side.
That’s probably due to something from a past life that we know nothing about but that does not excuse our actions in present circumstances.
Wrap up: Do the best you can
Now that we have learned what a karmic cycle is, we know it’s inevitable. There’s just so much we can do to ease our life on earth. Till our last moment here, we’re bound to karma and karmic laws.
It’s important to keep in mind that everything is transient.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about what we do now but on the contrary, we should make sure to have the best possible experience while it’s happening.
Mindfulness requires discipline, concentration and good will. These things are not easily accessible when life deals you a tough deck. However, keep in mind that the bad things will pass too.
Nothing ever stays the same. Remember that your mind doesn’t always tell you the truth. Sometimes it’s fear that talks instead of your true self. Don’t mistake fear for your inner voice.
After all, the only person who can free you from karmic chains is yourself.
Every other person who’s karmically connected to you affects you but can’t control your actions. What people do to you and how they treat you is their karma; how you react to that is yours.
Put out what you want to receive and let go of what you can’t control.