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Fear Does Not Prevent Death...

Fear does not prevent death, it prevents life

– Buddha

This quote makes me think of all the time I’ve wasted dreading and worrying about things that were either going to happen anyway, or never happened at all. I started crying myself to sleep thinking about my dog’s eventual death when she was only 3 years old. She lived to nearly 16. That’s a lot of emotional pain I inflicted on myself for no reason, when nothing was going wrong. It didn’t change the outcome, it only made my experience more painful.

It’s not the inevitability of death or loss that causes me pain. It’s my resistance to it. I don’t want to lose the thing that I love, yet I know that I MUST lose the thing that I love, eventually. So instead of fully immersing myself in every moment to maximize my enjoyment and build as many happy memories as possible, I create the experience of grief years before it needs to happen.

I was not meant to live in a continual state of fear and dread. I don’t want to poison my enjoyment of all the precious moments that life has to offer.

Through mindfulness of my own thoughts and emotions, I can learn to recognize when I’m doing this. I can remind myself that it is my resistance to change that causes the vast majority of my pain. If I can find a way to peacefully accept the inevitable, imagine how much of my own emotional energy I would be able to refocus in a more positive direction. Imagine how much more I’d be able to enjoy the experiences of life in every moment. There’s no purpose in creating my own pain. Time to practice enjoying life.

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