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How To Curse Someone for Real

Drunk Jedi Wisdom: Kinda master your life by following the crooked path of the Drunk Jedi.

You look hot in those jeans. (Image by Robert McDon at Flickr)

You look hot in those jeans. (Image by Robert McDon at Flickr)

My high school English teacher, Mrs. Brinking, put a curse on me. She didn’t mean to do it. It just kind of happened.

“Stay after class. I want to talk about your short story,” she said one day. My heart began pounding. I had poured everything I had into that short story. It was the first piece of fiction I’d ever finished, and the first real writing effort I’d ever made that I felt had real merit. I was proud of it. For three weeks I’d lain awake in bed, wondering why it was taking Mrs. Brinking so long to grade my story. Now the moment had come.

When the classroom was empty, I stood before Mrs. Brinking’s desk, barely breathing. She looked at me over the edges of her glasses, and her lipsticked mouth became a thin line. “This is not creative,” she said. “Real creativity doesn’t have to fall back on scenes of violence.”

There was one violent scene in my story. It had been difficult for me to write.

“College professors,” Mrs. Brinking said, “won’t be impressed with this.”

At first I wasn’t sure I’d heard her correctly. That was all she had to comment on? What about my character arcs? The descriptions? The plot?

She just continued saying terrible-no-good-very-bad things about my story, and my feeling of being punched in the belly worsened. I don’t remember everything else she said. I don’t remember my final grade.

What I remember is for years after that, I believed I could not write. I did not write another short story, working instead on random scenes I hoped to make into a novel someday, and I didn’t show anyone else my work unless forced to.

For all intents and purposes, Mrs. Brinking put a curse on me.

I know, I know—curses aren’t real. They’re superstition. But you know what is very real? The power of our minds. Our minds shape our realities. Our minds can take an incident like I had with Mrs. Brinking, and create a whole new truth around it. Even a single off-hand remark can worm its way into our thoughts and infect our minds, changing what we believe.

In this way, curses are real.

Most of us are careless with our words. We don’t consider the effect we’d like them to have before we use them. We hurt people in lasting ways without realizing it.

Say you go out to a party in your favorite pair of jeans, feeling so hot. You dance like nobody’s watching and drink like drunk is a gold medal. Then someone tells you that you probably shouldn’t have worn those jeans. They make your ass look, you know, a little big.

Suddenly, your confidence dims. Suddenly, those are no longer your favorite pair of jeans.

That person has put a curse on you. Now you make those your “fat jeans,” for the days you feel gross or don’t plan on leaving the house.

Other real curses real people lay on others without thinking:

Your breath is bad. You’ll never have a partner you’re happy with because you’ve been alone too long, and now you’re eccentric and set in your ways. You’ll never make more money than you’re making now, because you don’t have a college degree. You are not sexy. You could never start a business, you’re not good with numbers—or people. You’re bad at public speaking; it’s just not your thing. You’re unhealthy.

Real curses impress themselves in our minds and shape our realities. But they are only as true as we let them be.

How to break a curse:

  • First, realize you’ve been cursed. Don’t you feel so ancient Greek dramatic right now?
  • If possible, isolate the person or moments when the curse took hold of you.
  • Now convince your mind the curse is false. Affirmations help (e.g., “I look so hot in these jeans!”), but only go so far. Actions are more powerful. (E.g., put on those jeans, have a drink to boost your confidence, then dance with someone sexy.)
  • Be persistent. It may take awhile to convince yourself you look hot in those sexy jeans, or that you’re not too eccentric to find a partner, etc. But you can do anything that’s worth doing, so stick with it.

For the record, my fiction professors in college said that writers who shied away from scenes of graphic violence and sex were gutless. Just goes to show that those who give out curses don’t always know what they’re talking about.

 

P.S. By the way, words have the power to bestow blessings, too. Real blessings. The kinds that boost our confidence and power in lasting ways. They are truer than any benefit you can get from a vial of water some old guy has prayed over. So give someone a genuine compliment today.
***
L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites.


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