Anxiety is a fear of death. Have you thought about this before? That is, thought about dying? Your options are pretty limited: you get old and eventually pass, or you suddenly and unexpectedly die from an injury or slowly and painfully from a chronic illness. It will happen to everyone. “No one here gets out alive.”
However, not being “ok” with this truth I believe leads to anxiety and panic.
Think about it: why are people afraid of spiders and snakes? They could inject us with poison and we could die. Our fear propels us away from death. Why do people have anxiety attacks when they drive? Driving is actually pretty dangerous and could lead to sudden death. Why do parents worry about their kids all the time? They could die, and we don’t want that to happen.
That being said, it’s hard to talk about death without going into spiritual beliefs. Because no one knows what is going to happen after death! Do we have a soul that lives on?
The other side of the anxiety coin is depression. So, if we feel afraid, we stay small and don’t step out of our comfort zone – our safety zone – and that’s pretty depressing. It makes me think of the “emo” kids in school (in my day we called them “goths”). When too much focus is on death you are left with no joy of life!
Joy is found when you accept death, and are not afraid to live. You seek out the pleasures of life – food, books, discussion, music, art, sex, dancing, etc. – until the day you meet your maker.
“Death” as a cultural symbol (think the Tarot card of “death”, skull and crossbones, or the grim reaper) actually means “change.” Your form changes. If you were to have a Tarot reading and the death card came up, it usually does not mean physical death, but a huge change or ending. For example, leaving a job or moving. Maybe the end of a serious relationship. It’s not a bad thing. We naturally grieve and cry when we experience a big change or when someone close to us dies because we are grieving the loss of what was real; now there is a new reality coming that we have to get used to.
Only through death can new life come. Actually the French even call an orgasm a “petite mort” or a “little death.” Only through orgasm comes new life! After the death of the harvest in winter comes spring and a new crop. After a fire, a new and more stable structure can be built.
Some day you will die (sorry, que lastima), but today you are alive, so live it!