Karma is the principle of cause and effect, almost Newtonian in its simplicity. Today is a reaction to yesterday, a deflection, a diffraction. What happens in the present moment is a consequence of past actions. What goes around comes back around, though given the endless possible permutations of energy, some of what went around was transformed into other types of energy on the way back.
When you strike a match, the force you apply meets with friction, which creates heat, and begins a series of chemical reactions creating a flame, and as a final result you are left with ash. In a similar fashion, every willful act initiates a series of reactions, equal in total magnitude (conservation of energy), but manifesting in many possible ways. The reaction may be immediate or it may take time (lifetimes, if you follow the reincarnation axiom); and it may come suddenly all at once or it may happen in increments. But ultimately every action has consequences as naturally as a tennis ball bouncing off a wall or being caught in a net.
Every willful act, whether from love or rage, is subject to Karma, and much of the impact is merely simple reflex or eventual “blowback” in kind.
In actuality, most results of karmic influence are routine, mundane and inconsequential. Just pay attention. You run a red light to get somewhere faster and then you are delayed further along. No real harm, no foul, just karma.
Karma can more constructively be seen not so much as “getting back at you for what you’ve done”, as it is a method for projecting forward what you want the future to revisit upon you. Think of it as a Karma Machine if you will, and if you so choose, then progressing forward with a vision of a better world might seem a good plan. Karma makes no distinction such as good or evil, it just returns tit for tat. If one continues in in life on a path to attempt to facilitate healing, karma is pushed upon.
It’s solely a trick of imagination, but no less effective for its being imagined. Your entire universe is imagined. In a real but limited sense, it’s all in your head. But it is absolutely real and complete as is. The more forward you thrust your focused noninvasive attention, your centered awareness, your imagined influence, the better the future will become. This is faith. Imagine you’re creating a more perfect world and that you live every moment “tuned in” to some underlying stream through the fabric of consciousness.