The other day, I had a weird sense of dread come into my afternoon.
It wasn’t unfamiliar.
I almost immediately recognized the feeling as a response to several thoughts I was having about how life might be unfolding, and having an opinion about outcomes and what was “better” or “worse”.
Most people have had these kinds of thoughts before.
If “it” goes like “x” then I’ll be happy (“it” being a relationship, a conversation, a job, a goal, a plan, some kind of journey, even a vacation).
If “it” goes like “y” then I’ll be unhappy.
In my mind I pictured the upcoming Year of Inquiry program collapsing and everyone enrolled changing their mind. I also pictured a relationship with a family member that feels uncertain and distant. And another old friend who keeps asking to get together and I keep finding reasons not to. I also felt an intense sorrow about a very dear friend who has cancer.
So many images pouring into the present moment about what might happen….sooner or later.
Images that look like things going the way I do NOT want them to go.
Having these images appear in the mind can create fear, sadness, discouragement, and dread for sure.
But can I absolutely know any of these things underway….whether the upcoming year long program, or my family, or my distant friend, or the friend suffering from cancer….
….can I absolutely know something dreadful will happen in the future with any of them?
It would be dreadful if everyone in YOI suddenly decided to withdraw, it would be dreadful if she never spoke to me again for the rest of our lives, it would be dreadful if we got together and he was clingy or critical of me or demanding, it would be dreadful if he dies.
Sometimes, the pile of images in the mind all gathered together make it extra-dreaded.
But can I absolutely know something dreadful will happen, with anything, anytime, anywhere in the future?
Ummmm. Wouldn’t it be denial to say “no”? Because bad and terrible things could happen. They do sometimes.
But can I know with an absoluteness for All Time that how it goes is actually dreadful….that is, dread-filling, dread-worthy?
By definition in the dictionary, the word “dread” means to be afraid of, worry about, be anxious about, have forebodings about,
P.S. Anyone who missed it and wants an overview of the upcoming YOI program, listen here: All About Year of Inquiry. Just a few spots left. Program starts with Orientation Sept 5th and Sept 7th, live calls start Sept 12th.