Fear of death vs fear of not living

One of the most powerful feelings of all, that seems to be behind so much human behaviour, is quite simply the fear of death.
And it’s very understandable and natural that this is a big part of our behaviour, because it makes sense to have some fear of death.
I mean, if fear is something that can help us to be more careful about things, you know, it’s very useful to be afraid of things that will kill us, so that we can be careful around them, and, you know, not take it too lightly, since, you know, taking death lightly would possibly be a mistake if it just means that you could wander into some accidental dangerous situation without really, you know, taking it seriously, and then just that’s it, you’re done.
So of course, it’s only reasonable to have this kind of sense of whoa, that’s something that I better be careful about.
But of course, just like all these kind of self-protection measures, it’s so easy for them to get out of control.
We have such powerful self-protection mechanisms that they really seem to take over, you know, more than they are really needed.
So of course, we need to have this kind of carefulness around anything that can kill us, but to be too focused on it, to have too powerful a feeling of anything related to death, to recoil from it and completely avoid it, if that goes too far, then it really kind of boxes us into a corner, kind of, because there’s a so much danger everywhere, you know, even everywhere in the unknown it’s possible threats everywhere.
So we take that fear too far.
We’re trying to protect against things that are dangerous, but then that becomes dangerous in itself, because now we’re isolating ourselves away from all possible danger.
So we’re just like, you know, “Stay away, stay away, stay away”, avoiding everything, until the actual space we can work within becomes smaller and smaller.
It’s like this kind of protective bubble that just keeps shrinking as we try to shrink away from all the possible threats that are out there in the big bad world.
So eventually, if we let it be the ruling force, fear of death, can really prevent us from really living, because how do we really have a full life without some kind of danger, some kind of threat? I mean, there’s no way we can really remove all those dangers, and any attempt to completely do so only makes our life more restricted.
So it seems like there’s a balance between this fear of death on the one hand, but on the other hand, there’s maybe you could call it a fear of fear, or you could say maybe fear of a wasted life, fear of overreaction, fear of being too restricted, fear of letting fear control life, letting it go too far.
What if we also were afraid of wasting life to the same degree, maybe, as we were afraid of death? This fear of “I don’t want to spend this time that I’m alive doing things that are really pointless and wasting the opportunity to do all the great things that can be done while alive.
I want to have a good life, a great life, and if I let fear rule me too much, I won’t be able to do all those things that are part of a full and good life.” And what if I was afraid of that as much as death itself? And then death becomes the fear not directly, but the fear of dying means that my life is over, and if I haven’t lived it well, then dying means I no longer have a chance to live a good life.
So it’s really the wasted life that can maybe be the fear.
Of course, still keeping that little bit of healthy caution about anything that’s dangerous and deadly.
That seems to be a good idea.
But maybe it’s time to introduce a little bit of this contrasting fear, the fear of wasted life.
And how would that mix with the fear of death? Maybe we need to blend these together as a guide for how to live our day.

#fear #fearofdeath #fearoflife

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