I am prepared to catch some flack for this one but, the truth is I don’t believe in Karma. What goes around comes around is a bunch of crap, if you ask me.

Did I do something to deserve the misfortunes in my life? Was I bad at five years old, when my father left? When I was held at gunpoint at the age of sixteen, was it because I had done something to someone that made the universe strike out against me? How about the illness? I deserved that? Really?

How do you explain, then, sick children? Raped women? Abused animals and sexually molested little boys? What did they do?

This whole Karma thing is a dangerous game, if you ask me. There are people who will “use” it to promote their own, sometimes sick, agendas. Try asking the religious fanatics about the AIDS epidemic or Al Queda about September 11, 2001. These are global scale examples of groups of people trying to justify their horrendous views or actions by blaming it on “Karma”.

More humbly, I am confident in saying that I did nothing to deserve the health problems that I have had to endure these past few years. My children did nothing to deserve their mommy getting sick and my family did nothing to deserve having to watch us all suffer.

My friends, Trish, Joanne and Mary did nothing to deserve having to watch their children suffer through severe health issues. My wonderful childhood friend Vincent did nothing to deserve dying in a motorcycle accident and my friend Cathy didn’t deserve to lose her brother when she was just a kid in high school.

Karma implies some type of payback. I don’t believe God works that way.

The thing is, we all get some joy and some pain. We get blessings and trials. For some of us, the scales tilt one way and for others, it is the opposite. It is beyond our ability to understand why.

And, it’s okay to ask “Why me?” But, it is very important to remember that there is a reason.

In my own current situation, I like to think that I was the one to get the breast cancer and not my sisters because for whatever reason I was better able to handle it than they would have been.  That thought comforts me. I also think about the fact that I have been able to help other women going through breast cancer. I have counseled them and tried to comfort them. I have tried to give them some hope and let them know that they are not alone. There was one woman who contacted me because her son went to the same day care center as my children and she “heard” that I had been recently diagnosed. After spending lot of time on the phone with her, trying to help her navigate through this crazy disease, I went to her house, met with her kids, and went with her to her first chemo session.

I also believe in the saying (and this is not an exact quote), “If you were at a stadium, and everyone threw their problems out onto the field, you would run as fast as you could to snatch your own back.” Take a minute to think about that one.

The bottom line is, you don’t know what other people are going through, have gone through, or are in store for.  When I was first diagnosed, after my surgeries, I used to see women out shopping with kids around my age. They looked so normal. I used to be jealous. Sometimes, I would go home and cry. Until one day I realized that I had no idea what was going on with these women. Those beautiful children might have health issues, the woman might have lost her mother as a girl, might have lost her husband on 9/11.

So, although I do believe in treating others the way that I want to be treated, it is not for fear of some cosmic payback. Rather, when I treat someone well, they love me. When I have people in my life who love me, they are there for me to support me through the hard times and celebrate with me in the good times.

So, I guess, that is my definition of Karma.