First, the two articles:
The REAL version of karma you might not know about by Arjun Walia
Why Do Some People Always Succeed In Life? by James Altucher
I've been guilty of the mindset that people "get what's coming to them." I don't know that that mindset is wrong, per se--"as ye sow so shall ye reap," and all that--but this morning I realized that it's only half of the equation.
The reason that the law of the harvest (sow and reap) is the case is because our lives are meant to be learning experiences.
If it feels like you're living your life on repeat, with all sorts of horrible things happening over and over to you like variations on a theme, it's not a punishment. It's a learning experience.
What is it that your spirit needs to learn in order to move past these hard things?
In a way this is obvious. If we believe in a loving God, we can believe He's not going to make us go through anything that isn't for our good.
When we understand the nature of spiritual development, we understand that once you are sufficiently spiritually developed, the nature of life crises changes dramatically--partially due to the experiences we attract in that state and partially due to our own responses to them. Losing all your money can be excruciating to a person who believes in the power of money, but to someone who believes in the power of God and self, it's just another thing. The perspective makes all the difference as to whether something is a trial or just another experience.
Exercise to help shorten the learning curve
Grab a pen and paper; you're going to take some notes. Start with a prayer for help, a prayer for inspiration and revelation about your life.
Now, write out the trials in your life that are occurring over and over again. Just write them down, stream of consciousness. What are the patterns that are replaying? Perhaps you're getting taken advantage of over and over. Perhaps you can't find a job, or you keep losing jobs. Perhaps you're struggling with certain relationships. What is happening again and again?
You might find as you're writing it all out and pondering it, that the knowledge of what needs to happen just flows into you. But in case that doesn't happen, go ahead and get comfortable--the goal is to not be distracted by your body. You're going to focus on your spirit now.
Roll your eyes like you're rolling your eyes at a terrible joke--then close your eyelids with your eyes still rolled up. This is called the Tibetan Eyeroll and it's a shortcut to the theta state. Basically, it slows your brainwaves way down; it's a way to "be still and know" that God is God.
So do your Tibetan Eyeroll and take some deep, deep breaths. Then form the question in your mind: what is the most important thing my spirit needs to learn in order to break this pattern?
Then you wait until you feel a response. It might feel like your own thoughts, but just write down whatever you feel coming to you anyway. The most important thing at first is to just write down everything that comes into your mind.
Continue asking relevant questions until you feel like you're done.
When you release the Tibetan Eyeroll and look back down at your paper, go ahead and pray for verification that what you got is correct and from God. If you're unsure, compare your answers to the scriptures. God's counsel to us is always echoed by the scriptures.
Once you are sure your answers are good, you're on track to start clearing the patterns.
Our repeated negative experiences are really learning experiences. When we learn what we need to learn, the circumstances will change. By paying attention to our life patterns and involving God, we can find out what we need to change within our own hearts in order to let go of the patterns we want to escape from.