We all know death is coming, yet we fear it.
We do not know what will happen at that moment. Will we feel pain? Will it all stop? Will we enter some foreign land? None of us know until it happens, but I do not believe the unknown is what we fear most.
We fear the end.
We cannot change anything when life is over. We cannot change what we have already done, but we can take action now so we don’t feel like we did not take the opportunity to do what we wanted in our lifetime.
I truly feel that the reason we postpone what we can do today is the same reason we fear death: failure. We are not ready, we need more time to practice, we have not made it perfectly… All excuses for not accepting that as humans we have flaws.
It’s pretty silly when we think about it to avoid doing something we truly want to do simply because we might fail. It’s like saying, “Why bother trying, I’m just going to die.” That is a rather bleak attitude.
We cannot avoid mistakes. At some point in our lifetime, we will mess up, fall flat on our face and feel like we are complete disasters. In that moment we will feel like we are dying because we have exposed the most painful and deepest wound we as humans can expose—our flaws.
If we simply accept that we have flaws and that one day we will die, I truly believe we will be liberated from fear. Fear is nothing more that an irrational response to something we cannot understand because we do not know it or have no control over it. If we cannot prevent failure or dying, why not just live with it.
Some of the most fearless people I have met are the ones who know their lives are about to end or will be cut short due to disease. These people make lists of what they want to do and just do it because they know time is limited. I wish I could live like these people, they are the ones who go sky-diving, stay up for nights writing books and travel the globe.
They have accepted that imperfection and death are a part of life and have consciously decided to keep moving forward because that is the only direction to go.
Death need not be imminently approaching to live in the moment.
To do those things we want only adds a few extra minutes to our day. If we took 10 to 30 minutes to do something we just postpone for another day, we would get it done. Many of us spend that much time thinking of the reasons why we cannot do it now instead of just acting on the inspiration in that moment.
Some things I find helpful in taking a “why wait?” approach.
Stop thinking things are impossible.
Stop being afraid of feeling silly. Being silly is fun.
Run laugh, jump through sprinklers let ice cream drip out of a cone onto your shirt.
Start writing a page a day of that book.
Plan the trip you always wanted.
Whatever it is—don’t wait, act now. When we wait, fear has a way of sneaking in and we second guess our actions.
Author: Jane CoCo Cowles
Image: Dplanet / Flickr
Editor: Sara Kärpänen