The ultimate mystery…
“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.”
We cannot leave a week of seeking the unknown without addressing the most profound unknown in our experience. Though we’re in these bodies having these experiences for a mere 100 years or less, we become attached. Few people escape the fear of death.
We have many beliefs about death and I’m not asking you to change yours. One thing is clear. None of us absolutely 100 percent knows what comes when we die. Even the most fervent religious believer, if honest, must concede that speculation about death is a matter of faith.
So, what do you do with something so frightening yet so certain? I certainly don’t have definitive answers, but here are some thoughts that I hope will help you.
- Be here now and live it fully. There’s no substitute for and no promise beyond this moment. “Do not go gently into that good night…rage, rage against the dying of the light,” wrote Dylan Thomas.
- What you believe happens when you die plays a huge role in how you live. We constantly see in our world how beliefs about the afterlife control how people live both positively and negatively. Whatever belief you arrive at, find a way to use it to make a positive contribution while you’re here.
- Consider the Gibran quote above. Perhaps life and death are not the separate things you think they are. They may be part of an eternal process you’ve experienced many times. For some, it provides solace that you are an old-hand at this living and dying stuff.
- See death as the next great adventure. I’m one of those who loves to put my hands in the air on a roller coaster. That feeling of letting go and letting the ride happen is exhilarating. The life-death cycle could be viewed like that roller coaster. Once you’re buckled in, you’re going to finish the ride. You might as well enjoy it.
- How do you want to be remembered? Live your life moment-by-moment, day-by-day, year-by-year in a way that has an impact on others and the world around you.
- “Don’t die,” Wayne Dyer used to say, “with your song still in you.” Do what you came here to do. Be who you came here to be. Then you can go into whatever comes next with a fearless confidence.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his 1933 Inauguration Speech:
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Everyone who has ever lived has died. You are no exception, but it need not paralyze you. Let it catalyze you and make you the most amazing person you can be.
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