Courting Luck

The Day I Gave Away my Luck

I used to be a lucky person — you know, the person who wins random (small contests, not the lottery) and could be in the right place in the right time. Not that I never had setbacks or rejections, but that occasionally something delightfully unexpected would happen.

For the past few years, I feel like all my luck has gone, especially in the area of writing. Getting published is, to some extent, a matter of luck — having the right materials in the right place in the right time. This has so far, not happened to me. And I think it’s because I gave away my luck.

I did it for the purest of reasons, or the most obsessive of reasons. I was trying to be a good Christian and sacrifice myself for the good of others. There are ways of doing this that are helpful for the world, but I didn’t choose one of those. I instead decided I was unworthy of luck, given my privileged status, and so I gave up my luck. I said, “God, I don’t deserve my luck, please take it away from me.”

I brainwashed myself into believing that I didn’t deserve luck, and that other people deserved to have my luck. I believed that luck was a scarce commodity.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on

A Fanciful and Superstitious — and Conflicted Person

Writing this down in pixels, it all sounds very stupid, I admit. I am, however, a fanciful and superstitious person. I don’t believe in The Secret (a book about the “law of attraction”) because it’s very materialistic and I don’t believe the universe could or should shower that type of abundance on individuals.

I do believe, however, that my negative attitude may keep me from seeing the good side of things and might blind me — ok, fine, I believe that giving up my luck is refusing to see what the divine could be calling me to find. As I said, I’m hopelessly superstitious. I honestly believe that I had luck, I rejected luck, and I am now less lucky than I used to be. Or at least, I believe myself less lucky than I used to be. I don’t know what I believe.

I am a fanciful and superstitious and rational and really conflicted person right now.

A Ritual Would Be Nice Right Now

I am not a witch or a Wiccan or any sort of pagan, but I still see the value of ritual. How do I divorce ritual from religion? The same way millions of people across the world do. People who wear lucky socks are performing a ritual. Traditions are ritual. Going out to a prime rib dinner the night the COVID vaccination takes hold is a ritual (one I did the other night). So what do I have to lose?

Luck, if one thinks about it, is a type of optimism. It’s an optimism that the unexpected good thing can happen, that one does not have to exert infinite effort for something good to happen. Not like effort isn’t necessary, but that there comes a point where effort doesn’t work any longer, and that’s a great place for luck to intervene.

A luck ritual, in my opinion, would:

  • Reattach me to my optimism that good things can happen without my control
  • Tell me it’s okay to have good things happen to me
  • Emphasize that optimism is self-care

What Does This Ritual Look Like?

Again, this is a psychological ritual (like lucky socks and Christmas china) rather than a pagan ritual, so I’m not calling up any spirits as much as I’m trying to make a break with old thought patterns. What I plan to do is:

  • Take a bath in milk and honey bubble bath
  • Write some journaling on luck using my favorite fountain pen
  • Eat some bread with butter and honey (the milk and honey symbolism is deliberate symbolism)
  • Find one of my four-leaf clovers in a book (or better, find one in the yard. We have some.)

What Do I Expect This to Do?

What I expect is that this will help me stop declaring myself unlucky, I will likely suffer less from griping about my bad luck this way. That itself would be an improvement. I hope that my better attitude will help me to see opportunities and make me resilient to adversity. I will believe that I am deserving of good things. And maybe, just maybe, I will be (or believe I am) luckier.

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