I’m going to be asking you to consider your beliefs about death in this post, if you’re not comfortable to do that or feel it may be unsettling for you to do alone please give this one a miss.
Someone said to me this week that for the past year we have been repeatedly told to stay inside, protect ourselves and those we love from death. But that instead of fearing death, we have begun to fear life.
It’s something that rings true for me. I do find myself feeling more anxious about the outside world than this time a year ago. Something for me to add to my ever-evolving list of things to work on.
But alongside not wanting to fear life – I also don’t want to fear death.
We don’t talk about it much, but what do you believe happens after you die?
There really is no right or wrong answer to that question as far as I’m concerned – there’s certainly no way that any claim can be verified or disproved, so for the time being at least, anything goes.
What we believe about an afterlife (or otherwise) tends to come from the religion we were brought up in, or from our parents, or perhaps in a direct contradiction to either.
It’s something we are usually taught before our critical faculty formed (when we’re about 7 or 8) and we took what we were told to be the truth.
Have you thought about it since?
I’d like you to now. The first thing I’d like you to do is get a sense about what your belief is. It doesn’t matter if you can’t fill in all the details.
Now that you’ve got that sense – how does it make you feel about dying?
Take away the thought of any illness or pain that potentially surrounds it, just for now, forget of the people you’ll leave behind and focus on the bit just after you die and whatever comes next.
How does that make you feel? Scared? Peaceful? Confused?
Do you want that for yourself? For the people you love?
The beauty about considering death is that, as I said before, we cannot know for sure. That means we get to decide for ourselves what we’d like to believe.
If what you believe at the moment makes you afraid of dying, ask yourself where that belief came from and give yourself permission to change it.
I changed what I believe about life after death during a hypnosis session where I experienced a “between lives” state. I don’t know whether it’s real or imagined, but I know that I no longer fear dying. And I know that it helps me cope with the loss of people I love, as much as I miss having them physically with me.
I’ve said it before, but when it comes to things we can’t know for sure, a better question than “is it true?” Is “is it helpful?” If it isn’t, it’s within your power to change it.