On occasion, when we find ourselves in unpleasant situations, we ask ourselves: Why is this happening to me? Especially if we have some notions about karma, we would like to pinpoint what particular act has led us here. However, even if this question could be answered specifically, it would not change one iota of our current experience.
The answers we may obtain when we ask Why me? are not necessarily wrong, but are they helpful? (What, when, and —to a lesser extent—how, can be useful. Why seldom is.)
Knowing that there is no effect without a cause, and that cause and effect are part of one continuum, establishes that the act was indeed ours. It is non-transferable, as is the effect. We cannot enjoy or suffer another’s karma, only our own.
Assuming responsibility for our previous thoughts, words, and deeds —even if we cannot remember them— frees us from the tyranny of victimhood in an arbitrary and cruel universe, and establishes us on the path to ultimate liberation.