I am an extremely superstitious person. My mom taught me every superstition there is and then some. She not only told me about them but she also taught me to respect them. But being a bit of an independently minded young girl, I didn’t take it all in to my core belief system. Thus, I grew up to have a certain amount of healthy respect for superstitions as well as a certain amount of skepticism. I knock on wall, avoid walking under ladders but I don’t avoid stepping on cracks. That last part would just be silly.
But everywhere I turn there is always the possibility for a non-traditional belief or feeling to pop into the equation. Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought to the concept of the evil eye. I believe, I believe in it. I even have a necklace I got in Greece to help me ward off the evil eye. In my family, when you are first born, you are given a little black hand bracelet to wear as protection. So, all my life I have had some “artifact” to combat the evil that others may throw my way. It is a bit comforting as well as a bit silly. But I figure why not?
Growing up we were super poor but we had bouts of good luck where we would win random things that made us happy. I mean we won a lot of things. Then one day, seemingly out of nowhere, our luck turned really sour. My mother was convinced it was because someone gave us the evil eye. I believed her but didn’t really internalize it. I hadn’t really experience it myself until more recently. Hence, why I have been giving this concept a bit more thought.
Here is the deal. I believe I have now, in the span of five years, experienced it twice. Let me present them both to you.
Here is Case Study A.
One woman really liked me and really disliked me at the same time. She had numerous issues. And that is an understatement. She wanted to be both mentored by me as well as left alone. She felt I didn’t pay enough attention to her. But she just wanted to throw me under the bus as well. She often coveted what I had, which I was more than willing to share and I did. But there were limits to how much and what I would share (which was natural).
We had known each other for several years and that dynamic was constant, always simmering in the background. Then one day we were just standing next to each other waiting, for what seemed a decade, for the elevator to come. While standing there in the summer heat she gave me an odd look and said to me that she loved my feet for they were so small and cute and thus shoes looked good on me. She went on to bring her feet next to mine to show me how grotesteque her feet were in comparison to mine. I found her comment to be weird and awkward but managed a feeble “oh thanks.” How was I supposed to answer?
Then, a few weeks later, I hurt my left foot and got a scar. Then, somehow, my nail polish bleeched my nails. I had never had any issues with my feet until that comment. All of a sudden problem after problem arose. I took stock of the situation and I couldn’t help but think that she had cast upon me the evil eye.
Here is Case Study B.
One woman who really, really hated me had to interact with me in a daily basis. She could barely hide her disdain for me. Her hatred for me was palpable and obvious to all. I didn’t care much for her as a result. Can you blame me? Here’s the thing, she readily admitted to disliking me before my first day at work. It wasn’t so much that she hated me because of me. She hated me for I represented her failure. She coveted my job, my looks and I dare say my personality. People like me. Her- not so much.
Then one day we were sitting at a large table waiting for a meeting to start. There were several other people there. We started talking about hair and fashion. I mentioned my desire to grow back my curly hair but that I hated this in-between stage of my hair growing out at a slow pace. (I did the Japanese straightening that blasts a year). She then turns to me and laughingly comments “well, hope your curls are nice and that you do not grow out bad tight curls and end up looking like Marcia Clark” Wow. She meant that to be mean-spirited. I can’t do the comment justice here. It was nasty. Especially considering her own hair was not that great. I noted, in response, how beautiful my curls have been in the past and moved on. But I could see a lingering smirk on her part. Fast forward to today, where my curls are growing back but it is taking a really long difficult time. My hair has tight curls on top and straight hair on the bottom. My hair is a bit of a mess. And that is normal when trying to grow it out. Yet I had this nightmarish thought of my hair never fully coming back to its natural state of curls. Then I had a moment where I wondered whether she had given me the evil eye.
She certainly put negativity out into the world. Could it have impacted my hair? I know that sounds completely crazy but it could be a possibility according to my mom.
I know there is no real direct evidence of cause and effect in either case. I am a research scientist. But the idea is floating around in my head. Here’s the thing. These two people put out into the world negative thoughts and jealous vibes. Those don’t just evaporate into nothing, right? They entered my consciousness and my memory and I will remember how mean-spirited one, in particular, was. Such thoughts could have tripped me up somehow. Whether that counts as the mal de ojo I’m not too sure.
I will not cast an evil eye on to them, in return. That is bad karma and I have no need to wish them ill. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and feel good.