Recently one of the monks referred to this saying, “If you get a reputation as an early riser you can sleep as late as you want.” This is an extremely helpful notion to apply to our relationship with our own karma.
We all have a “primary” karmic tale we tell ourselves. True, most of us have several but if we watch for a bit (or ask our friends) we can usually identify the one we’re most likely to be fooled by.
Examples: If I believe the story that “everything I do is for others,” I can be solidly self-serving and never notice. If I believe “I’m a helpful person,” I can neglect others with impunity. If I believe “I’m a responsible person,” I can safely ignore what I’m not interested in paying attention to. If I believe “I’m a people pleaser,” I can be utterly self-absorbed without a moment of guilt. “I’m just trying to get it right” can handily cover up “I’m willing to sacrifice everyone so I look good.”
This is subtle stuff, yes? Fortunately, the way out is the way in. All identity exists in the artificial world of duality. Ego asserts one side of a duality denying the other. In this way we’re meant to feel good about the one side and fail to notice the other side as ours as we project that opposite side onto others, judging them and criticizing them for being as “I never would be!”
What’s your karmic tale? A clue would be what you hear the voices complaining about in others or what offends you.