Today's Hot Topics - Written by admin on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 11:23 - 2,902 Comments
How the Fear of Dying is Slowly Killing You
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ~ Mark Twain
Death may be seen as the ultimate end, but is it something we should fear?
Although it is perfectly acceptable to not want death to come yet, particularly if we feel we’re enjoying life too much or feel there’s still some great calling inside of us, is it still acceptable to fear death? Is it normal to fear something that may not come for many years, and which we have no control over?
I don’t believe it is. And yet many people still fear the Grim Reaper. There are many people in this world who will inoculate themselves against all kinds of diseases and avoid many forms of pleasure and risk, all because it may bring them death. They believe that if they are careful enough, and do everything “right”, they will be able to hold off death.
But what is actually happening here? Are we holding back death, or is death holding us back?
How Death Can Hold Us Back
Whilst we have life, whilst we’re capable of breathing, communicating, and existing, we have a right to enjoy it.
This is not the same as living without a care and shirking all responsibilities. Instead, I believe enjoyment of life is about sharing moments and connections with the people we love, fulfilling desires of our hearts, and learning more about ourselves and more about what sparks our inner fire. To me, this is how to live life – enjoying life by first understanding it, then taking part in the “dance”.
Now, compare my ideas with the ideas of someone who doesn’t so much live, but merely exists. They tell themselves that it’s too hot to go outside, and there may be unruly teenagers about. They tell their kids that they should follow the rules and earn enough money to “get by”. They tell others around them that they can’t do this or that because it’s not safe.
These people generally fear one thing: risk. They fear risk because something bad will happen to them if they take a risk. And they fear something bad happening to them because the “worst-case scenario” is death.
Instead of enjoying the life they already have, they spend their waking moments worrying about all that could possibly go wrong. Death is seen as something to be avoided at all costs – the idea is to live as long and as safely as possible.
Instead of thriving, these people simply survive.
I would like to live for a long time as well. But I don’t want to exist at the expense of truly living. If I find that I have reached the end of my days, then I will accept this, provided that I’ve fulfilled some form of service to the world. I have accepted that death is an eventuality, and so I don’t fear it. This is the difference between me and those people who fear death – they haven’t accepted its inevitability.
How To Kill The Fear Of Death
So how do you accept death? How can you rid yourself of this fear and live without the overhanging cloud of doom? Here’s two ways that you can slay the ghost of death:
- Accept that we all must die in the end
As already mentioned, death is an inevitability. From the multi-billionaires to the spiritual leaders, and from the great athletes to the stay-at-home computer wizards, everyone dies. Even with differing life-spans, the animals die. The fish and birds die, the reptiles and insects die, and even the rocks and mountains (eventually) die. Every living organism on this planet dies. So why not accept this?
Despite the advancements of science and medicine, finding a way to immortality isn’t going to happen in our lifetime. We all must die in the end, so why not enjoy the life that has been granted us? Why not put aside your fears about risk and living too “scarily”, and savor the moment and the beauty that you have been given?
- Realize that this moment, right now, is the only thing that exists outside of you
Right now, I’m typing this guest article. As I type, I can hear the cars outside and the birds singing, as it’s a warm spring day. I’m thinking of what to do this afternoon, and of how much work needs to be done in the day. However, not all of this is fixed in reality.
Only me, typing, is in the present moment, as it’s what I’m actually doing – this afternoon has not come yet, and the work that lies ahead will be done later. In other words, all that exists is what happens in the present moment, right now.
A lot of people fail to appreciate the ‘present moment’, despite the fact that it’s the only point of time that actually exists in reality – the past now lives in memory and recordings, and the future only exists in someone’s imagination. What we experience, at all times, is what’s happening in the present moment.
Once the future arrives, it’s no longer the future; it’s the present moment. Then, once it’s gone, it becomes the past, and unless somebody records it, it exists only in our memories and belief systems. It no longer exists “outside of us”.
Death is in the future at an uncertain time, therefore, it doesn’t exist yet. And if it doesn’t exist, then why worry about it – it’s not real yet!
The Reason For Living
Don’t be afraid of something that is inevitable. The reason why we’re put on this Earth is individual and unique to all of us, but it’s a reason worth discovering and worth living. For me, I believe I’m here on this planet to help others and work towards making humanity a better place – because I’m aware of this, I can direct my daily actions towards this goal, and enjoy life by taking relevant risks.
What’s your reason for living? If you don’t know it, and are still afraid of death, ask yourself why? Also ask yourself what you think will happen if you took a risk and enjoyed life more? Find out why you feel the way you do – you may be surprised by the answer.