Many of us avoid talking about death or even thinking about our own limited mortality.
Why? Because it is so uncomfortable and scary that it paralyzes us with fear if we think about it too long.
But those who contemplate death and accept its inevitability often find themselves capable of living more fulfilling lives.
In other words to be a happier person, you need to start thinking more about your death.
It sounds like an oxymoron but it is true.
Let me tell you more about it.
How Contemplating Death Can Help You Truly Live
When I think about my own mortality, Tim McGraw’s song always starts playing in my head telling us that after he found out he was dying that "I went skydiving, I went Rocky Mountain climbing, I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu.”
Now I don’t know about you but I don’t want to do any of those things--dying or not.
But is that true? Is that how we would spend our last days, checking off adventures on our bucket list?
I definitely think that could be a portion of it but I also think these questions are important to start to think about when contemplating your own death.
ARE YOU READY TO DIE?
This is a tough question because none of us want to die. In our own minds we will be one of the lucky ones that live forever.
But that’s just not true. We were born to die. That is the only thing we know for sure in this world.
So are you ready to die? What does that mean to you?
Practically, have you thought about the logistics of dying? The practical matters have to be resolved before you actually leave if you would like to have a say in them and save your family members a lot of stress.
Emotionally, have you thought about your death?
Have you thought about what that would mean to those around you?
How would their lives change from knowing that you were not there with them anymore?
These are important questions to ask yourself to realize how people view you alive.
Which leads us to the next big question.
HOW ARE THE RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS?
Thinking about dying makes you examine the relationships of those around you.
Do you have any regrets of how you have treated someone? Fix them.
Have you grown apart with someone hoping that someday you will become close again?
Well, that day is today and that time is now. You have the chance to let both of you rest in peace about your relationship and maybe create a deeper bond than you ever thought was possible.
Have you told the people you are closest to how you feel about them? And I don’t mean in a casual “you are a great person, thumbs up” type of way.
Have you shared with them how they changed your life and how much they mean to you in an “emotional, gooey, tears running down your face” type of way?
That is a gift you can give them now which they will cherish for the rest of their lives. And with both of you knowing how you truly feel, it can bring more happiness and love to both of your lives.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED?
What have you done in your life that people will remember you by? Is it your accomplishments? Have you done something unique and extraordinary?
Or is it the way you live? Do you volunteer and help the homeless? Are you selfless and giving of your time and substances?
Or are you just a good all-around person? The type of person that people are comfortable around and enjoy being with them?
If not, you have time to be the person you want to be remembered!
Death is a call to LIVE. And a way to answer that call is to think about what death means to you and answer these questions.
Think about your mortality, be happy for the life you have left and from there go LIVE that life!
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