How to Begin to Change Your Perspective on Death
A Happy Healthy Old Age?
Human beings in the western world have developed a fear of death that seems to suffocate people. Many individuals go through life seriously afraid to live, because their fear of death prevents them from fully engaging with life.
We see relentless pictures in the media of how fragile our life is- murder, fire, natural disasters, disease, terrorism, accidents – the list is endless. We watch in horror as these events happen to others, and we become convinced that they will happen to us somehow.
The truth is that they might. You could die a sudden unexpected death from a mysterious accident or an unplanned event, and that would be the end of your life. Alternatively, you could live a happy and fulfilling life and die in your sleep at some ripe old age, perfectly content. Both alternatives are perfectly possible.
The fact is that you cannot possibly know how or when you are going to die. Some people think that the time is pre ordained, others just think that it is fate, luck or bad timing. Either way, it is a certainty, and because we have so little understanding of death, we fear it greatly.
All of life is a cycle. The trees grow, seed, produce new little trees, and eventually fall over and rot and feed the earth for the next generation of trees. Animals do the same. They are born, grow, reproduce, and then die at some stage of natural causes or to feed another animal. The stars are born, shine, eventually die and then from their death, new stars are born. All life goes through the same cycle- birth, growth, reproduction, death, birth.....
We can see that it is a natural procession in all other forms of life, and yet we have almost forgotten our place in the universe. We will follow these same natural laws, regardless of what we believe or fear.
Much of the human population believes in reincarnation as part of their religion, tradition or culture. We in the west had it written out of our religion and culture 2000 years ago by the church. We therefore fear that this life is all that we are going to have, because once we die, there is nothing else, and so this life becomes extremely precious and we need to cling onto it, no matter what.
However, when we are in this place of fear and pain, and we believe that there is no life after death, life becomes finite and thus we begin to fear what can take it away from us.
Love the World Whilst You Are In It
Open Your Eyes to the Beauty Around You
The antidote to this constricting fear is to begin to wonder at the marvellous universe that we live in. Start to look for all the patterns around us and above us that signify that life is a cycle of birth, life, death, and repeat. You are alive now, in this magnificent moment. Would you prefer to fully connect with the gift of life and live wholeheartedly in the present, or spend all your energy thinking about how you may lose your life? You will eventually die, this is true, but between now and that moment, would you rather make every day count and truly experience life and love, or spend the time in fear about something over which you have very little control anyway?
Live. Love. Laugh. All the rest can take care of itself.
Written by Caroline Nettle
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