January 16, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on January 15, 2018

It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and therefore a holiday, meaning a no-rush morning. And our President-Elect is still on a feud (albeit I don’t think there’s anything new since a few days ago) with John Lewis, a black civil rights leader who got beat up marching for justice way back in the sixties when DJT was getting out of going to Vietnam. This isn’t going to end well, methinks, as much as I’d like to remain optimistic. Meanwhile, focus is also on the ACA – which Trump still promises to “replace” with insurance “for all,” but how that’s supposed to happen (short of a single-payer system, anathema to Republicans) is a complete mystery. Shitshow or clusterfuck? You decide. The “Women’s March” is on Saturday, the day after the Inauguration, and I’d seriously consider going. But we’re signed up for a conference (all day Saturday and Sunday) at Harvard. I wonder, actually, how it will affect attendance. Hope speakers don’t bail to go march instead, although I suppose it’s a possibility.

Anyway… I was thinking about luck. Let’s say you were to set an intention, and you said, My intention is to get lucky – luckier, even! – and to bring luck to those I love. If you were to say that, and I’m not saying you would, you might think, Boy, I’m asking for dumb luck, I’m asking luck to be dumb! …Or: undeserved. And here’s where it gets interesting. You have to, at some level, believe that it’s okay for luck to be “dumb.” Believe that it’s alright for luck to fall to persons who might not “deserve” it – it’s a kind of quality of grace, almost. And in this way it’s linked to being loved and/ or mothered. If you grew up badly mothered (“raised by wolves”), you might feel undeserving generally. And therefore incapable, at some level, of accepting the (in)justice of dumb luck. (That description of luck also raises the question, I guess, of whether there’s such a thing as smart luck. Or “speaking” luck, if “dumb” also means not-speaking…) You need to be able to accept gifts – surprises, even! – which is hard, very hard, because at some level you distrust all gifts and definitely all surprises since they usually came with a backhanded bang upside the head (metaphorically speaking).

So, to get lucky – luckier – you need to be able to accept gifts and surprises, both of which might expose you in ways that make you feel vulnerable and not in control (for vulnerable, recall backhand), and this is a high bar prerequisite. You might also want to teach your luck to speak by speaking to it. How does that work? I’m not sure. But perhaps it has to do with calming your mind first, then creating situations where luck might not feel like an uninvited “dumb” guest, but an actor with a speaking role – a script you helped write, perhaps for the most part. From there, you tell luck – which, not “dumb,” can also “hear” – that it’s okay to improvise. Luck doesn’t have to hew (not that it would) to your script, which really is just there to create the situation(s), the trigger(s). Luck, like you, must be trusted to do the right thing once all the right things are in play. Perhaps this is what’s called “Making your luck in life,” but it’s not a “making” so much as it’s an establishing of habit / habitat in which “dumb” luck, loved and accepted, learns that it’s okay to speak and hear. To understand.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: