Fear Death? Embrace Life!
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Fear Death? Embrace Life!Make the present moment precious.
Although you will never die, your body most certainly will. To the extent that you identify with your body (and not with your soul), the death process will be frightening and filled with emotional distress. If you accept death as a valuable part of your evolution as a soul, then you’ll be able to fully live in the present. Accept that you have a body, but know that when your body dies, you will continue.
More than 35 years ago, a doctor from China told me something that changed my life. I visited Dr. Wu because I was concerned about my tailbone, which was actually dangling by the nerve. (It had been so damaged during an accident that it wasn’t connected to the rest of my spine.) Another physician had warned me that if I fell or moved in the wrong way, it could paralyze me. Dr. Wu had a great reputation, so I decided to see him for a second opinion.
After I explained the challenge and shared my fear of becoming paralyzed, he asked if I had trouble walking. I said no and that it wasn’t a problem. Then he asked if I was healthy and whether or not I could run. I replied, “I’m healthy, and I run all the time.”
Dr. Wu looked me straight in the eyes and asked, “Would you care if you didn’t have a heart, as long as you were healthy and well?” This startled me, and my first response was: “Of course I need a heart!” He didn’t say anything; he just looked at me with compassion. I sat there thinking, then slowly said, “Actually, as long as I’m healthy, I wouldn’t care if I didn’t have a heart.” He then told me to focus on what was true—the fact that I could walk and run—and realize that a woman could be incredibly healthy, even if the medical profession declared that she wasn’t. Dr. Wu reminded me that the human spirit (and soul) was amazing and could create miracles. Almost four decades later, I can still walk and run with ease.
The body is the gateway to the soul . . . and when you hang out in the realm of the soul, anything is possible. Is there a time in your life when you listened to the wisdom of your soul and overcame a challenge or experienced healing of some kind? Today, take a moment to imagine that you’re traveling inside your body to reach the sanctuary of your soul.
Native Americans have an expression that I love: “It’s a good day to die.” To me, this means: I accept my life in its totality. I’m complete right now. If I am to die today, I’m ready. The truth is that there will be a time in your evolution when you no longer possess a body. There’s value in being prepared for that day. Many ancient cultures included this practice in their spiritual training, as it can be a powerful rite of passage. When you face your death, you also face (and embrace) your life. You have a body. But you are not your body. You are eternal.
To overcome your fear of death and even accept it, it’s valuable to practice dying. Of course, this doesn’t mean actually dying—it means that you just practice imagining that you accept your death when the day comes, until you no longer feel afraid. In a strange way, when you overcome your fear of death, you dramatically strengthen your body and make it less prone to dying.
One technique athletes use to improve their performance is to visualize doing a particular activity over and over again. For example, competitive downhill skiers will repeatedly visualize themselves going down a ski run, and this tends to dramatically improve their actual performance. You can use the same technique to practice dying. Every time you imagine yourself dying (at the end of your days), see yourself slipping out of your body and journeying to a place that is exquisitely beautiful and peaceful. It might be a garden or a gentle meadow, or perhaps it’s where angelic beings or your loved ones are waiting for you with open arms.
The more you can accept and even embrace the fact that your body will die, the less the fear of death will subtly penetrate into your body and everyday life. The less fear of death you have, the more fully you can live in the present moment.