There are few things worse than not knowing.
Our brains have an incredible capacity for imagining the future — imagining several futures all at once. But they are not so good at telling which future is actually happening.
Our partner’s phone is dead.
Our child is late home from school.
The taxman keeps calling.
There’s a weird lump in our armpit.
Suspicious activity was noticed on our account.
Was that chicken cooked properly?
That cough sounds bad.
None of these things are necessarily bad.
They might be bad omens — and certainly are in many stories — but the reality is that these most often prove to be innocuous once we know why or how they happened.
The scary part is the knots our brain will tie itself up in trying to figure out what’s to come next.
Tangled and weaving back over itself, each turn squeezing our frontal cortex tighter and tighter until our temples strain from the pressure.
Once we know, that terrible knot unfurls on the ground into a heap of old rope.
Even when it’s bad, it’s not as bad as the knot of not knowing.