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Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “bad luck”

Maybe

Life is full of unpredictable twists and turns.  You can never be sure what will happen, and that’s exactly what also makes it exciting. That you’re never bored. But you should always be prepared. Mentally, more than anything. To embrace the notion that whatever comes your way, be it good luck or bad luck, will be dealt with for what it is, and time will tell how it will develop. Even a misfortune can turn out for the best if you’re open enough to view it that way. Lamenting about it certainly won’t help.   

To illustrate, here’s a Chinese fable:

Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away. That evening, all of his neighbours came around to commiserate. They said, “We are so sorry to hear your horse has run away. This is most unfortunate.” The farmer said, “Maybe.” The next day the horse came back bringing seven wild horses with it, and in the evening, everybody came back and said, “Oh, isn’t that lucky. What a great turn of events. You now have eight horses!” The farmer again said, “Maybe.”

The following day his son tried to break one of the horses, and while riding it, he was thrown and broke his leg. The neighbours then said, “Oh dear, that’s too bad,” and the farmer responded, “Maybe.” The next day the conscription officers came around to conscript people into the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. Again all the neighbours came around and said, “Isn’t that great!” Again, he said, “Maybe.”

Like Alan Watts said, “The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad — because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune; or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.”

Bad and good experiences are all part of life; we need one to appreciate the other. And whatever happens, we’ll never know the consequences it may bring in the future. We just need to trust the process and believe that things will turn out as they should.

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A day of unfortunate events

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There is a belief that if something happens one, it’s just luck. If it happens twice, it may be a coincidence. But if it is repeated, then you need to look into it.

It’s sort of how it goes with various days of the week. We all have one specific day which we associate with bad luck or a series of things just not going our way.

For most it’s a Monday, which is usually an OK day until it upsets you.

You realise how your day will go from the way you wake up. Fighting with your alarm clock doesn’t count, because you do that almost every day.

If you’re forced to jump out of bed though – most often on account of a deafening noise or a bell ringing – then your entire mood is unavoidably affected.

Wishful thinking isn’t always enough. Wishing you’d win the lottery won’t help if you don’t play at all. The law of attraction, however, may have something to do with it all, even if it is the negative thoughts that get realised more often than not.

But some days, no matter how much you struggle to keep an optimistic scope on things, life has a way of laughing at your face at how many incidents can be overturned in one single day.

It’s difficult to find something positive to turn events around when you’re constantly bombarded from all over. But the things is, when you do; when you manage to stay strong; you’ll get rewarded for it.

“This is the best day the world has ever seen. Tomorrow will be better” – R. A. Campbell

Exorcising the black cloud

dark-cloudIs it true? That if one thing goes so wrong that plunges you into pessimism and depression then a whole string of things will follow? As if the entire universe is somehow conspiring against you?

Why doesn’t it ever conspire for you?

Maurice was pondering these thoughts as he stared at his half-burned down apartment.

He had burnt the toast this morning – the toaster was already broken, so he placed them in the oven instead, but miscalculated the time needed. So he threw out the two black squares and went out to the bakery at the end of the street to get something fresh. On the way, he stopped by the kiosk to get a newspaper and had a 5-minute chat with the seller there. But by the time he got back, it was already late. Apparently, the oven had not been shut-off properly and a burnt piece of toast had managed to creep its way into causing enough trouble.

The rest of the week was horrible for Maurice too.

He missed a deadline at work and was heavily scolded at. He got food poisoning from not defrosting properly some fish. And he couldn’t sleep at night because of all the thoughts swarming in his head.

Why didn’t anything ever go right for him? Why was nothing ever working out in his favour? And most of all, why did nothing ever happen as he wished?

So how would he manage to exorcise this dark cloud of bad luck that was hanging over his head?

It was a drag and lately he could feel it suffocating him all the more. He felt so crushed by sadness that he didn’t want to do anything. He wanted to leave the house but didn’t have the energy too. He wanted to sleep to forget it all, but couldn’t because the minute his head hit the pillow all these thoughts attacked him like a platoon of angry fighters.

He read a series of articles in the magazines he had piled up in his bookcase and confirmed what he already knew – he was on the verge of collapse. It is not just the physical stress that can do that to you. It is the psychological breakdown that delivers the final blow.

So he decided to adopt something new – to find the positive in every situation, no matter how bad the latter was. He began with the burnt-down flat. The positive was that it was a chance to renovate. And the fact that he was alone while all his friends were away? A chance to do some self-exploring and perhaps even find new friends. He just had to manage to get out of the house without that cloud over his head.

It was the only way he would allow the light back into his life.

The breaking point

11146-broken-pencil-tip-1680x1050-photography-wallpaperHarold was a man with exceptional patience. He possessed the remarkable ability of retaining his calm even in situations where it was most likely to lose all control and begin to scream, either out of panic or of agitation. Yet, he managed to radiate a tranquility that was truly rare in such times of increasing uncertainty and turbulence.

That was until one Friday. It was also the 13th.

Things started out badly that day when he broke the mug he had been drinking coffee in for the past few years and which had become his favourite. He should have seen it coming then, the streak of bad luck, but he chose to ignore it. Optimism was always the best course of action. He convinced himself there was no use worrying over anything he could not change, and especially a mug, which could easily be replaced.

But then he went to work. And that is where it all fell apart.

On his desk he found an invoice charging him an extravagant amount for services that supposedly were provided, but he recalled very well how last week he had a row with that specific manager for not delivering the agreed services, forcing Harold to in the end do all the work himself. Why was he expected now to actually pay for work he himself did?

Harold began to fidget nervously, feeling his heart beat increase significantly.

The next blow came when he realized that he was literally robbed of cash from his bank account because his Internet provider had on a whim decided to increase the cost of services three-fold.

But the real “icing on the cake” came when his boss stormed into his office infuriated, blaming Harold for something he had not done. Or rather something Harold had advised not to do, yet no-one listened to him, and now a major client had withdrawn investment. Someone always had to be blamed. And it was usually the calmest and quietest one that gets chosen as the scapegoat.

Harold erupted.

That was when he began to constantly feel angry and irritated. About everything. It took even the slightest of sounds to tick him off. He was fuming about the injustices that always fell upon him; how he was always blamed for things that went wrong, even when it was not his fault. He was annoyed at how nobody ever did their job or at least what they proclaimed they would do but always wanted to be paid the full amount no matter the quality or quantity of what they delivered. He was livid about how others always wanted you to adhere to your part of the agreement but never lived up to their own. But most of all he was enraged about how corrupt the human soul really is, having no qualm or remorse whatsoever in outright stealing, cheating and deceiving the other.

Harold had changed over the course of just a week.

He could no longer sleep at night, haunted by these thoughts that swarmed his mind like Erinyes. Even when he did manage to doze off for a while, he would wake up drowning in his own sweat with his heart racing, suffering panic attacks in his very sleep.

Nothing could offer any consolation any more. It was the curse of realizing no matter how good you are the bad somehow always end up getting their own way. He was tormented by things he was wronged about and, although he knew nothing could be done to change them, for some reason he could not let go or forget about them.

He had to move on.

All it really takes, is to find one person who will demonstrate that not everybody is the same. To be able to restore your confidence in humanity, your faith in kindness, and bring back the smile on your face.

For Harold that would arrive a month later. At a bar a few blocks from his house. In the form of a beautiful brunette who had also suffered many injustices in her life and who described herself as “walking bad luck”. Combined, they would change their destinies.

It all starts with a cookie

fortune20cookieIt all started with a strange fortune cookie that she was served at a dodgy Chinese restaurant owned by Koreans. Her friends had chosen to go there because their usual place was being renovated and they thought they’d try this out. She simply agreed. The food wasn’t that bad. But the fortune cookie, that had a power no-one could have ever imagined.

When bad luck knocks on your door, don’t let it in for it will stay long.

“What do you suppose this means?” Chloe asked her friends confused and a little scared.

Don’t worry about it, it’s just a saying someone made up. Don’t think too much into it,” was the reply she got from her friends.

She managed not to think about it for the rest of the night. Until she got home that is…

As she turned the key into the lock and reached for the light switch for the hallway she heard a “tchif!” and the light bulb burnt.

Great!” she mumbled and she entered the living room to turn on the light.

The whole house was cold. The radiator had decided to switch off on its own and Chloe did not know how to fix it. She made a note to call the service centre the next morning. For tonight she would have to do with a few extra blankets.

Time for a warm bath and into bed”, she thought to herself as she turned on the tap and stripped to enter the shower. As she finished rinsing out her hair the water instantly turned cold. She tried to regulate it by turning all the hot water on instead, but there was none available. Chloe began to curse. This could not be happening.

She stepped out dripping and wrapped herself in a towel. There was no hot water. She made peace with that and went into the bedroom to at least dry her hair. But as she plugged in the hair-dryer and pressed the button the entire power went down.

Chloe’s cursing could be heard across the neighbourhood.

As she managed to turn on the power, she placed a towel on her pillow and slipped into bed. That was it for tonight, she thought, hoping that Scarlett O’Hara was right when she said that “tomorrow is another day”.

Maybe she should have paid more attention to that cookie after all…

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