Encounters with certain people, for example, may tend to trigger confrontational interactions. While we can easily justify our dislike of another person, the real question worth asking is why does this person manifest in our reality in the first place? From Just Use This Mind As enlightened as I’d like to be, I have some habits that are harder to let go of than others. Take my morning routine: Wake up, let dogs out, make tea, read a few comics–Pearls Before Swine, Dilbert, Baby Blues–and my horoscope. How many stars are projected for the day? If there are four or five, that’s great. Three or less and I have to spend a little time reminding myself that whatever truths lie in the heavens, they are not found in one-line syndicated horoscopes. Today was supposed to be a four-star day. A couple of bulbs burned out along the way. Each new email, each phone call, brought new challenges. I was living in Dilbert’s world, and I couldn’t seem to get out. After one exchange with a particularly difficult person about a situation I had no control over, I wanted to shout, “Why are you picking on me?” This is not my fault. Give me a break. Give me my stars back. Replaying the he-said-she-said of the day in my head when I got home, I asked myself again “Why is this person making my life so difficult?” This was supposed to have been a four star day, and another person had wrecked it for me. I reached for a glass of water, and it slipped out of my hand. Neither half full nor half empty, it lay shattered on the kitchen floor. Bad karma. I took a deep breath and calmed down enough to remember that whatever bad karma led to that broken glass, it was of my own making. My karma, far more than my horoscope, controlled my Dilbert day. Though I’m not quite ready to go cold-turkey on the horoscope, the master has shown me that things don’t happen to me due to the alignment of the stars, or even because of people I might label as “difficult.” They happen because my thoughts, my mindset, my mental habits create my reality. My karma. My karma is part of the collective karma of my office, and it creates my in-box. It belongs only to me, and to no other Aries on the planet. I stopped wondering why this person was causing me so much grief and asked the real question: “Why is this person manifesting in my reality in the first place?” Honestly? I’m not quite sure yet. But it feels better to be asking the right question. When I can begin to answer it, I will make some progress. For now, the difficult day is done. I will sweep up the broken glass, and the stars will come out again.