Karma Cleanser 

Desperately seeking joy



Dear Karma Cleanser:
I'm going through a rough time: bad blood with family members, rocky dealings with co-workers, a bad divorce still not far enough in the past. On the advice of a friend, I started going to a non-denominational church near my neighborhood. I'm not normally much of a religious person, but I do like this laid-back congregation's message and nonjudgmental attitude. However, the message of last week's sermon has been bothering me. It was about finding joy in your life and the necessity of joy even in the face of turmoil.

I guess I've been through a lot of turmoil lately, and it's made me realize that maybe I didn't show enough compassion to people in the past when they were going through rough times themselves. I recognize this as "karma" in action, and I've tried to make amends. What I'm still not feeling is the joy. What does it take for the joy to return?


-- Seeking Answers and Squeaking By


In his new book, Creativity, radical theologian Matthew Fox writes, "We must let go of dictating what our joy will be. ... Joy will not be dictated to. It will not be bought and sold." True happiness, we think, happens naturally. Even though you've offered the universe an olive branch, don't be surprised if it takes its own sweet time in returning the gesture. Take a step back and consider what your turmoil can teach you. From the sound of things, the education has begun already.



Dear Karma Cleanser:
My good friend, let's call him Dickhead, seems to think that he's bound to win the lottery any day now. He's playing the numbers four or five times a week and is convinced that the big money is coming soon. We try to tell him that things don't work that way, but he says it's about time Lady Luck started dealing him a winning hand because she's dealt such shit up until now.

I wonder, should I stop him before he goes too far?


-- Balls to the Wall


Winning the lottery, like getting struck by lightning, never seems to happen to those who expect it. And anyone who's rolled the dice knows what a fickle bitch Lady Luck can be.

That said, we can't help but wonder how you call yourself a "good friend" to someone you (lovingly?) dub "Dickhead," and how you can even consider sitting by and watching him gamble his life away. With friends like you, maybe your buddy is right about his own shitty luck?

Been bad? Reflect, repent and reboot. E-mail karma@creativeloafing.com.

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