I think about death a lot, although not in a morbid, fearful way. I started this ruminating about death because as child, I had a gut-wrenching, panic attack level fear of death. Now I think about death more in a continuous, letting go sort of way. I call these “little deaths.”
Little deaths are many things….letting go of people, jobs, identities. When I stopped thinking of myself as someone who did certain things, even if it was something I was good at it or had dreamed of or enjoyed but my heart no longer sang while doing it (like riding and owning motorcycles), that was a little death. Leaving a marriage, even if it was the most loving thing to do for me and ultimately for the person I no longer loved in the same way….another little death. Giving up the ideas of where I might travel to, or what I needed to accomplish in my life….still more little deaths. Not that I was necessarily sad about all these things; it was just time to let go.
I find great truth in the old saw: Friendships (or relationships) are for a reason, a season, or forever. Relationships all have a natural lifespan, whether it’s with a person, or with the things I can’t imagine letting go of….until I can and I do. The energy I was holding around the person or thing changed. I was no longer nourished in some way and it was time to send the energy into the stream of life for someone else to enjoy.
Sometimes our ego has a little death. Sometimes our human voice (more than our inner wisdom) is holding us together, telling us who we are or who we were expected to be. Sometimes the voice is someone else’s like a parent’s voice and sometimes it’s our voice, although not our true, authentic voice. And at various times in our life, our spirit, our Higher Self, says, I am ready for more good than this. I am ready to take a leap.
Then everything starts to shimmer, move. And instead of saying, I trust this, this is what I asked for, enjoy the ride, I can’t wait to see where this takes me, we became fearful and insecure. We ask, what does this mean if I let go of who I know myself to be, in whom I’ve spent considerable time and effort, what will I be? Maybe I should hold on to what I know. I am fearful of the unknown.
And in fear, we might try to hold on to energy to stop or slow the forward progression of illumination or unfoldment. But this is an illusion. We can’t stop the forward movement of energy. We might get depressed or anxious as we depress and deny where our Spirit wants to move. Our true voice, divine spark, says, this is not my natural state of joy and harmony, this is unnatural, unreal. And eventually, we say out loud or silently, this isn’t working! I need help! I need another way of thinking or relating or understanding.
Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” And then we let go, gradually, of how we do something, or think of something, or how we treat ourselves or others. We continue on our journey of truth and unfolding the good and become willing to take the leap into the unseen-in baby steps, usually. And we move into more love, deeper experience, living a life of more connection and deeper communication.
All of this is a trial run for when we so-called “die.” As we go through these cycles in our life, removing layer after layer, we feel more acutely because we are more naked, more vulnerable. Living a mindful life, perhaps we are more able to have a mindful, “good” death, to make a seamless transition, because we have gotten down to the last layers and we joyfully let them go, finally. We experience our being as so light and effervescent. And then we willingly, happily and with great gratitude for how it has served us and been our partner, release our body and rejoin Spirit, return home.
So I’m happy for all my little deaths…..the rehearsal for the big kahuna none of us escape.