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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

Early Morning Dread

There are times I wake up in the morning and feel saturated with uncertainty, sadness, hesitation, resistance and dread. I feel immense doubt about who I am and what I am doing here. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to face the responsibilities or the various callings or duties to which I have committed in the day ahead.

On these mornings, I am often inclined to attempt some kind of remedy or fix. I might try to think positively or turn to some recent spiritual teachings in an effort to manifest a new state. I will try to replace the dread I’m feeling in my solar plexus with gratitude, or change the sadness in my throat to hope or joy. The intention to supplant the dread and sorrow makes the existence of those states somehow wrong, as though the emergence of these feelings in my experience might be potentially harmful or at least an interference.

But dread and anxiety . . . all the feelings and emotions I resist as "negative" have never actually been obstacles to be overcome. Sadness, doubt, dread have never really needed to be fixed, cured, or transformed. These states do not arise to be healed, but to reveal an opportunity for greater tenderness and vulnerability. These mornings are not calling me to a “higher” state; there is no psychic surgery in the form of a spiritual practice required to remove some unwanted obstacle to ease and flow. There is an important message at the core of the dread and the sadness – a very particular revelation, that I would not be able to receive in moments of bliss or peace or joy. Doubt, hesitation or resistance are reminders of the softening, the releasing and the receiving that is part of my journey home. Feelings of anxiety are a transmission from the divine, that can only be discerned and decoded in the simple, silent solitude of these early mornings.

When I turn my attention into the doubt and the dread I step across a threshold, through a portal, into the simultaneity of awareness and experience. I focus on the physical sensations, not the stories or the "shoulds." I am humbled, quieted and comforted as I become present to the exalted and sacred wisdom of a broken heart.

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