Monday, November 15, 2010

Meeting the fear of death

Unlike this past weekend which was filled with events, today was a quiet day. I really didn't have work to do, or any meetings, or any errands to run, or anyone to meet. I should have been happy about having this freedom, yes? Well, no. I woke up feeling fear. It was an energy that was running through my body and so I just sat with it. I realized that all my busyness was helping me mask this fear, which is a fear of survival. Really, all fear if you dig deep enough is fear of death.

I get it. I understand why people keep going and going and going. I understand why they are workaholics, or why they keep socializing, or why they keep busy with hobbies. It's so that they don't meet this fear of death. Now I'm not saying that everything we do is to avoid fear. There are things that we love to do, that make our heart sing, that make us lose the sense of time, that fill us with joy. These things come from our soul and are the only way of truly escaping this fear of death.

But the busyness that does not provide that kind of joy--the back to back appointments, driving the kids from one thing to another, attending one social event after the other, helping one friend after the other, or even reading one book after the other (that would be me)--these things do not offer us true joy. These things are an avoidance of what is really running the show. Like a hamster we keep going, thinking that we are going somewhere, but in reality just spinning our wheels.

At some point we get stopped. We lose our jobs, or we get sick, or our marriage ends, and we finally have to face the bogeyman. We have to face the fear that we are not who we think we are. This is necessary so that we can finally find out who we really are, which is so much more than we can imagine. The gate to freedom is guarded by death and terror, my teacher used to say. My experience has proven this to be true.

No comments: