Why are we afraid of dying?
When you’re dead, there’s nothing to worry about. If you’re dead, what’s there to be afraid of?
It’s not death that we are afraid of, it’s living.
We hold ourselves back from living fully, playfully, authentically, unabashedly, and freely.
We waste our lives planning for a moment when our consciousness will cease to exist. Is that not ironic, if not a paradox?
Why are we afraid of living?
If you are afraid of being judged, you might hold yourself back against the idea of whom you ought to be. But the idea of whom you ought to be has come and gone. Do you see the contradiction?
If you live in the past, you will be unhappy. You can’t live in the past. Not living in the present moment is one of the biggest reasons for unhappiness.
Perhaps you’re afraid to try something new because you think you’ve failed before. Being afraid of trying anything new is like a plane in a holding pattern circling the airport, waiting for the planes in queue to land before it can have its turn.
How long will you hold on to your fear that keeps you almost doing something new, but never acting? That’s like holding your breath because you’re afraid of living in the moment.
“Is” is the active and present tense of the verb, “to be.” To be, is now.
Life happens now. Life is living in this moment, which is not to be confused with, living for the moment. “Living for” is not now. It’s an idea in the future that has not come to be.
When you live in the moment, you focus on one thing — one task, one action at a time. “At a time” is another way of saying, “in the moment.”
When you are in the moment for long periods of time, you experience the natural flow of life. Flow transcends the intellectual awareness of past, future, or your inner critic evaluating your every action or decision. Have you noticed that you felt contentment, happiness, joy, or even bliss when in flow?
Contentment is the freedom and liberation of living in the now which transcends limitations and expectations.
There is truly nothing else but now. The past is a collection of now-moments that you have been. The future is an idea; a projection of your mind.
Practice for this moment to be in this moment. Take a slow, deep breath in and notice your breath. Put your attention on the qualities and sensations of your breathing.
As you slowly exhale, let go of your fear of the future.
Inhale another breath of the present moment.
As you slowly exhale, let go of what’s happened, what was, what you cannot change.
Life is, when you breathe in this moment.
Life is, when you exhale what you have just done.
Darren Stehle is a coach, writer, and host of the Think Queerly Podcast. He helps deep thinkers & creatives cultivate their purpose & uniqueness to enjoy more peace of mind, acceptance, and freedom. Subscribe to my Human-Heartedness Newsletter to be notified of my new articles & episodes every Saturday, and I’ll also send you some of my best work, ebooks, and more.