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Yesterday, I was in a state of high anxiety as I worried about the outcomes of the election. Fortunately, I was commenting on a post and expressed my concern, and the suggestions, comfort, and humor that were shared were such a great relief for me and for others. We laughed and made fun of each other in the most caring way.
Today, the darkness has descended. There have been all kinds of evidence cited that demonstrate that the Democrats are cheating. Doom and gloom engulf our environments and psyches. I’m not here to criticize these attitudes, but they motivate me to ask a question:
Why do we assume the worst?
Now I know you’ll want to tell me about all the things that already point to mismanagement and cheating: anecdotes of foul play, delays of all kinds, sudden increases in votes for Joe Biden—the list goes on. But what is really driving all this discussion is the mind-chaos that emerges out of one thing: “not knowing.”
“Not knowing” refers to our looking at the near or distant future and realizing that we can try to predict outcomes, but we really don’t know with any kind of certainty what they will be.
And it drives us crazy.
It reminds us that we cannot control the future. It mocks us when we think can somehow predict what will happen. The insecurity and anxiety that comes from Not Knowing, if we remained in that state, could drive us mad. Or at least it feels like it could.
The problem with thinking that we know is that we don’t. We realize that the state of the country, maybe the world, depends on the outcomes of this election. We realize that the Democrats have a history of cheating, and they likely are cheating, but we don’t know where or to what degree they are cheating. We just want to have a fair outcome. Is that asking too much?
Yes, it is.
So, we have a few choices when Not Knowing is playing games with our minds. We can deny its presence and make believe we know the future, and we can prognosticate all the terrible, potential outcomes. Or we can, as my husband says to me, “Suck it up, buttercup!” We can acknowledge our uncertainty and discomfort. And watch events unfold. We have that choice.
I’m choosing to acknowledge, for now, how I hate Not Knowing, and will pick up my knitting, practice my Hebrew, write to a friend.
But I will understand why you may choose to predict the worst.
Just know that you have a choice.Published in