Many like to say, “You get what you deserve.”
This is the ego delighting in its feeling of superiority while another faces hardship or inconvenience (which has karmic repercussions of its own).
While there is a certain amount of truth found in the statement, it lacks kindness, understanding, and separates observer from object.
It’s more true that, “You get what you tolerate.”
This statement is based in a neutral, non-judgmental cause and effect dynamic. It works across the entire spectrum—from so called negative, to so called positive.
If our lives are filled with chronic sickness, suffering, and lack of fulfillment, we have developed a tolerance for it. Somewhere deep inside, we feel we don’t deserve any better and similarly couldn’t tolerate any better. Many lives are resigned to poverty for this reason alone.
However, if chronic sickness, suffering, and lack of fulfillment becomes intolerable then, surely as the sun will rise, the solutions to these conditions will both arise and be acted upon, eventually improving our fates.
It works the same with more sublime experiences as well, such as consciousness raising, self-expression, and creative realization—i.e., we get what we tolerate.
If we can tolerate sublimity — as well as the difficult work sublimity entails — then we will get it, naturally.
It is we who hold the key to each and every “locked” door. Our internal readiness to meet what waits on the other side determines if and when we decide to turn the handle.