How Karma Plays Out in our Lives
The principle of karma may be divided into two parts: the karma of cause and the karma of effect or result. The karma of cause refers to the way of acting and the acts that create the unresolved karma, while the karma of result refers to the totality of unresolved karma that we have created. The karma of cause refers to the production of what we may term “unfinished business.” In other words, there are certain ways we act in our lives that leave some kind of hangover, that will haunt us until it is resolved. To give a very simple example, if I leave the house for work in the morning in a rush and I am short with my wife without acknowledging it, much less apologizing for it, there will be some cloud in our relationship that will stay there until it is resolved. I have created unresolved karma. If it continues to be unresolved, it will contribute to a gradually increasing cloud bank of similarly unresolved situations that will haunt the relationship until dealt with. If none of this is ever dealt with, it could end in a relationship that is either dead or in the divorce court.
from Touching Enlightenment; Finding Realization in the Body