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Bad Things Ahead

Brian Crain
Brian Crain
1 min read

Every morning, I spend a while imagining bad things that could happen. Things like:

  • I had an accident. I am injured and bleeding. I know I only have minutes to live.
  • My mind is not able to find mental clarity. I'm in a blur, struggling to understand what is going on, finding myself unable.
  • My wife has died. I'm alone in our home that is too big, too empty.
  • I'm homeless and begging in the street.
  • I am in jail. A dark, damp cell. No light. I have no idea if I'll ever get out. I'm thirsty. My body wasting away.
  • I'm being tortured. My mind dissociated, hearing my screams from afar.

I try to imagine these situation and also myself accepting them. Not yearning for anything else, but dealing with what is in that moment.

I have no idea what the future holds, but I know the fortune I enjoy today will not last. Bad things are coming my way. I would like to live for a long time, but that also means more bad things. More loss, more misfortune, more often. I would like to be prepared.

Yet, my practice will be inadequate preparation for when the inevitable occurs. Last year, I had stomach pain. It was a minor thing and soon over. Yet, most of the time I was in that pain, I was resisting, wanting it to go away. If I was unable to accept my stomach pain, I'm really going to struggle with what lies ahead.

But it is still some preparation. When the horrible arrives, I think I'll remember. I'll remember to try to accept things. And I'll remember that by clinging, I'm keeping myself stuck. I'll also remember that in many moments, I will be unable to cope. And that, I will have to accept too.