I am not afraid of dying. I have made my peace with death.
I know people don’t like to talk about death or dying, and neither do I – it’s not a fun subject of discussion. However, I have come to realize that death does not need one’s acknowledgement in order for it to occur. Believe it or not, life on earth is very finite and the earlier you acknowledge this, the better off you’ll be. Banishing the thought that one day you will die, will not stop death from happening. It’s almost laughable the way some people behave as though they can ignore death away.
If you’re a Christian (as I am) the bible tells us that not everybody will ‘see’ death, meaning not everybody will leave this world via the event of death. But it does state that we will all leave this transient world. So one way or the other; we are all going to ‘check out’ of here: only question is when and how.
That being the case, my discussion today will focus on coming to terms with one’s mortality and the need to act accordingly.
People are terrified of dying, especially dying ‘young’ – which can be translated to mean dying at the prime of one’s life, before old age etc. But, why so? Why the intense dread of death? Typically because they will miss loved ones, have unrealized dreams, fear of the unknown such as: is there life after death? And if yes, what lies in wait on the other side? All valid fears and most of us share them.
Knowing that life on earth is numbered and that one is not privy to one’s exit date from this life, and seeing as it appears that I am suggesting that we face up to the inevitability of this and act accordingly – how then do I suggest to deal with this?
I will share with you my theory by which I liberated myself from the fear of death:
- Acknowledge your mortality: Ignoring it won’t make you immortal. I am not suggesting that you obsess over death; that would be quite bizarre. What I mean is: just make a conscious mental note that one day you will leave this world, then be at peace with that realization. Don’t fight it, don’t be sad about it, embrace it. It is what it is. This is simple but powerful. It will liberate you.
- Make every day count: Now go ahead and start living your life with purpose and meaning. What mark would you like to leave behind when you inevitably leave this world (whether by death, rapture, or any other means). Life is not a means to an end – it is an end in itself, it plays out every day when you wake up and go about your affairs, life happens, life is happening now… don’t be a spectator. Live. Be happy. Make every single day count. I strongly believe that we are social beings for a reason; if your life is all about ‘you, yourself and yours’, then you may want to begin rethinking this. Your life should not be all about you, your work, your business, your family, your child; all of that by and large is traced back to you and is about you. Think about what you can do for people that does not include an ‘agenda’ that leads back to you, your ego, your pride, your personal gain, your need for admiration and recognition. Find a selfless cause that makes sense for you. I’ll leave it at that – think up the rest.
- It’s not how far but how well: Much as we all would like to leave this world at a ripe old age, this will not be the case for everybody. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. Jesus lived for 33 years and then he died. He didn’t need a whole lifetime to live a meaningful and impactful life. Truth is, if you make every day count, you’ll be in good condition to ‘check-out’ at any time. Don’t wait until it’s too late to tell the people in your life that you love them, don’t put off touching people’s lives for the better, do it now, do it every day, for tomorrow is not promised. Start that blog, write that book, go on that trip, quit that job.
- Be at peace with God and with all men: How important this is! As much as lies within you, make sure you are not harboring hate, dissent, anger, or any such negativity in your heart toward anyone. Even if that person wronged you, go and make peace with them. You are only here for a time; do you really want to translate to eternity carrying such baggage? Jesus said forgive 70*7 times. If my math is correct, that translates to 490 servings of forgiveness per person. So don’t tell me that person has used up all of their tries.
Make your peace with God. Live a life that reflects the beliefs you profess. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, he will reap.
- Be prepared: Just like you would prepare for something that you know will happen but are not sure of the timing. If you have assets of any kind and would like to ensure adequate disposition to your loved ones or causes, put it in a Will. Contrary to popular belief, Wills are not for old people who are near their death bed. Any adult with assets can put a Will in place. Having a will in place doesn’t mean you want to die, or are wishing death to come for you. It is not only prudent, it is humane (shows consideration for those you will leave behind who are dependent on you). It is a living document, meaning you can make continuous updates to it as required.
So, there you have it. I hope this helps in some way to change your perspective about mortality, and if it doesn’t, it is at the very least, food for thought.