Dread is a difficult thing to experience. It's like we know what's coming, so we get all worked up over it before it happens.
If you think about it, it's pretty silly to dread things, yet we do it anyway.
First of all, dread takes us out of the present moment, and into a future where we think we know what's going to happen. It assumes we're able to tell the future.
It also creates suffering about something that hasn't, and might not ever happen. In other words, it clouds what could be a sunny moment into a rainstorm, all because of what could happen.
But beyond that, there's another reason why dread is silly, which is that you've been through the discomfort before, so you can absolutely go through it again.
Perhaps you haven't been through the exact same situation on the outside - maybe the circumstances looked different - but the feeling you have leading up to it, and the feelings you'll likely have going through it, are all things you've experienced.
So take solace in that. You're strong. You're a fighter. You get up every day and take care of business, despite how hard things are in your mind.
Don't forget that. When you're stressed, dreading the future, remember that you've already been through it. It just looked a little different on the outside.
But inside, you were still you, experiencing the same inner storm, the same thoughts, emotions, and energies that you experienced then. And guess what. You made it out alive. You went through it. So you can go through it again.
Have faith in yourself. Have confidence in your abilities to handle whatever life throws at you. The more you develop your faith muscle - not just faith in the world, but faith in your own innate ability to handle things - then you'll find that you're more and more okay every day.
What once scared you, you now welcome with open arms. Rather than fleeting from the discomfort, you now befriend it and use it as an opportunity to grow.
You're wise enough to know that uncomfortable thoughts and emotions are actually like zen masters, leading us on the path of well-being, if we use them as such. Of course, on the contrary, these uncomfortable thoughts and emotions can also hold us hostage and keep us from seeing the light.
So when it comes to dread, the choice is yours - use challenging moments as fuel for growth and freedom, or let them shackle you into a cage.
As you dread what's to come - in work, in family life, in your relationships - remember that you've experienced hardship before, and you got through it.
You always get through it, so next time will be no different. One way or another, you'll experience it, and then move through it to the other side.
So don't choose to suffer twice. Be free now - be free always - and let whatever happens happen. Perhaps whatever you're dreading just won't be so bad after all.
Live with substance!