Fear of the inevitable?
Don’t end up missing the good times.
It’s surprising how often it’s a fear of the inevitable that lies beneath our anxieties & concerns. According to Benjamin Franklin, nothing’s certain except death & taxes. Whilst taxes are a source of stress and annoyance for many, it’s the inevitability of death that colours so much of our thinking and our lives. Surely it’d be better to enjoy the life we have instead of spending it worrying about something we can’t possibly avoid?
Mind you, it’s easier said than done. I’ve been there myself.
I still remember the exact time that I realised life doesn’t go on forever. When it dawned on me that this entity I think of as ‘me’ is going to stop. Whatever else happens in my life, one day I’m going to stop being ‘me’.
I guess what happens then depends on your beliefs as much as it does on scientific reasoning. Science hasn’t yet found a way to detect that ‘me’ so we don’t really know what happens to that ’me’ once life ends.
There are many theories, so you can take your pick as to whether there is an afterlife and if there is, which version of it you want. Of course, it isn’t quite as simple as choosing the one you like most.
Most belief systems aren’t really a choice. We gather up our fundamental beliefs from the adults who raise us & the culture we live in. Beliefs start to be ingrained from birth and we never really think about them. That’s what makes them beliefs. They’re ideas that form the basic rules of our world, like floors are solid, flames burn, you can’t walk on water, (although there was this one chap…).
Fear of the inevitable
My first encounter with my own mortality was when I was 14, lying awake all night just staring at the ceiling. For no apparent reason, I was knew I was going to die. Not in a metaphysical ‘one day I’ll die’ kind of way. It was a full blown, this is it, tonight’s the night. If I go to sleep, I won’t wake up. Ever.
It was weird and pretty scary.
Needless to say, I didn’t and here I am some 44 years on, still going strong.
There’ve been few other times along the way, some were actual brushes with fate, others all in my mind. And here I am, reasonably sanguine about the inevitability of everything drawing to a close, albeit I don’t know when.
So what’s the point of all this philosophising?
I guess it’s about bringing something out into the open that sits at the bottom of so many worries and anxieties. So you can begin to find the point where it holds no fear.
As Rudolf Abel said in The Bridge of Spies, “I’m not afraid to die…although it wouldn’t be my first choice.”
Don’t miss the good times
If we’re not careful, we spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. Sometimes, like my younger self, that fear of the inevitable keeps us awake at night pondering the meaning of life and death.
Often though, it’s more subtle, driving behaviours that limit the life we lead whilst we’ve still got it. The anxieties & worries it creates take over and we miss the good things that surround us all the time.
We could be loving our families & spending time with our friends.
Living the life we’d love to live.
Fear of death is a really common issue and one that can be resolved in a relatively short time for most people. So it’s worth making the effort to deal with it.
There are plenty of helpful articles here that’ll point you in directions that might be just the ticket. This one might be a good place to start: How to stop believing the worst
If you’d prefer to address it once and for all, do get in touch. It’s surprising how much difference it can make.