You’re not alone if you don’t want to talk about death and dying. Most people don’t. But what they are missing is the value of becoming conscious of living by talking about death and dying.
Yes, we live in a death-phobic society, where we look at death as something so separate from our lives that we want to keep it as far away from us as possible. We avoid talking about it at all costs. If you think about it, it is understandable. Because some believe “If we talk about death and dying, it will happen to us.”
And guess what? Whether we talk about it or not, it will! “It” is going to happen to all of us, one day. We don’t know when, we don’t know how or where, but none of us are getting out of here alive. We each have our own soul’s journey and that remains a mystery.
Since we can’t avoid dying, what’s the benefit in talking about it?
What good will it do? Well, first, when we are aware that dying is an intricate part of living, we can accept all parts of our human experience and we become more conscious of living. We also address the “white elephant” in the room. Even if we are not aware of it consciously, it presents an underlying fear of “something,” and we carry that fear wherever we go.
I studied with a Shaman in Peru back in the 80’s. One of the most profound things that stayed with me was once we become conscious of dying, we truly become conscious of living, right here and now. We look at our lives with more of a sense of urgency… and raise the bar on the quality of the life we are living, and live, as if this was our last day, as Steve Jobs so eloquently suggests.
“Are you ready to die?” The Shaman asked, as I was lying on Spirit Flight Rock, re-enacting an ancient Shamanic Ayahuasca ritual in Machu Picchu. I must admit, I freaked out a little and thought to myself, “Am I going to die right here and now?” What he meant by that question was, “Are you living your life so fully, with such totality and integrity, that if THIS was your LAST moment, you’d be ready to go?” Boy, if that doesn’t put it in perspective, I don’t know what does!
Sometimes when I talk to groups, I begin my talk with that question. It stirs up the crowd, of course, and makes them think, “Am I truly living the life I want to live, and if not, why not? What am I waiting for?”
Navigating our human experience
When we can freely and openly talk about death and dying, we can spend more time learning how to navigate our human experience with more ease and grace… all the way to the “end”. That, in and of itself, is worth it, and healing, because there are so many ways to live a full life, to get in touch with our dreams that we may have been sitting on, and manifest what we’ve always wanted.
There’s also safety and comfort in just having permission to talk about it. We deepen the quality of our lives in such a way that we are conscious of bringing honor, dignity, and regard to the table, resulting in becoming more conscious of the quality of life we are living.
It’s not necessary to wait until the end to think about the kind of life we could have lived. We can live it NOW. Are you living your life as if it was your last day?
It’s your life. Enjoy the journey. And remember to bring love to everything you do.