disarm death disarm death disarm death
“The worst that could happen to us is that we have to die, and since that is already our unalterable fate, we are free; those who have lost everything no longer have anything to fear.” – The Wheel of Time
Why don’t we face our fears, especially if they’re unavoidable?
Since we’re all human it’s normal to have fears. Some are common like fearing the dark, heights, or spiders. While others are a bit more unusual like fearing long words, symmetry, or beards. Some are seen as rational, like electrocution, because they could cause us harm. Others are irrational, like clowns, due to its harmlessness. Yet our irrational fears can become rational depending on the circumstance. If we were at a circus and saw clowns juggling it would be irrational for us to fear them because they couldn’t hurt us. But if we were chased through a haunted house by a clown holding a chainsaw, then it would be appropriate to fear clowns.
Our fears only exist to prevent us from harm. So if we fear truly harmless things then we’re just getting in our own way, and making it more difficult to live how we want. Many people have taken it upon themselves to face their fears so it doesn’t hold them back. Yet a fear is still a fear whether it’s rational or not. And there’s one universal fear we all have yet to truly address -death.
Death is a topic that not many of us like to think about, much less talk about. It’s a fear we all have. Yet we speak about it in hushed voices and only when someone we know is close to dying. When we know someone who’s dying we talk about what a wonderful life they’ve lived. We ask them if they have any regrets or what they wish they could’ve accomplished. We focus solely on the living part of dying -not the actual death part.
Most of the time it’s too hard for us to envision what death is. How does it feel? And what does it take away from who we are now? We then question what follows death; where do we go or will whatever we thought of as us even exist? Death isn’t easy to picture or understand because it’s unknown. Yet it is a fear we all must face. So why should we continue to fear something that’s inevitable?
Our fear of death is rational in a sense because it could happen to us at anytime. Especially when we’re thrill seeking or if we have a health condition. Yet most days, for most of our lives, it’s an irrational fear because it can happen anywhere at anytime. As scary as that is, we need to come to terms that it’s out of our control. We can avoid a variety of fears, but not death. Instead of fearing and not thinking about the inevitability of dying, we need to become friends with it.
When we fear our death we’re holding ourselves back. We miss out on adventures and experiences because we fear the worst case scenario. But we need to start thinking about the day that the worst case scenario will come. We won’t know when, where, or how. So why should we stop ourselves from pursuing the things we want in life now? It’s not about being reckless or testing the limits. It’s about contemplating and imagining what death means to us. That way when the time comes it won’t be as scary. When we stop thinking about death as the enemy we can stop fearing it and live our lives to the fullest.
Practices & Motivations