Most of us have been taught, since we were very young, to be afraid of death. We have been conditioned to believe that dying is something bad; something terrible that happens to people. “Oh, no! Not that! We might die!” How many times have you heard the phrase “Hey, I’m alive … beats the alternative!” or “it was a fate worse than death.”
We are constantly impressed with the idea that dying is a bad thing. Yet, we are all going to do it at some time or another, sooner or later. It’s inevitable for all of us … part of the circle of life. It is truly a fate carved in stone.
So, if it is something that is going to happen to all of us, what makes it such a bad thing? Why do so many of us choose to live in denial of death? If we are in denial of death, if we do not prepare for this wondrous event which none of us will avoid, we fail to take advantage of and appreciate this wonderful existence that is our life. When we can feel our connection with death, knowing and accepting the reality of our own mortality, we are able to truly feel and experience our own aliveness!
When we accept that death is an extraordinary part of our evolutionary journey, even something to look forward to (when the time is right, of course!), we can adopt the perspective that it is not necessarily a bad thing. And that in fact, it may be a very good thing. Sure it’s sad to lose someone we love, but that sadness is the feeling of those of us left behind. We don’t really know what wonderful adventure our loved one is on.
Accepting the reality that death is not such a bad thing at a feeling level, and not just an intellectual level, does a wonderful thing. What? You might ask. It flattens the death button. We all have buttons that when pushed can trigger unpleasant emotional responses. When they are flattened, they no longer trigger those responses. Flattening our button towards death creates a new and positive emotional response, one that is filled with love and acceptance and the joyfulness of being alive.
What if each morning when we awaken, we think about our day as being the first day of our life? A day to live with wonder and curiosity. And at the same time, we consider that this same day may be the last day of our life. A day to live with love and compassion for all. This perspective will bring more energy into our life, support others and reduce the fear of death.
Being healthy, mentally and spiritually, is to contemplate the wonderful, natural feeling of transition. Stepping for real, into the vastness of our being.