When someone dies young, it is a reminder to investigate our own life and beliefs.
What beliefs come up in me when it happens?
Here are some typical ones in our culture, which most of us have absorbed to some extent:
It is unfair. Life should comply with our wishes. Life should make everyone live a long life.
He didn’t get to live a full life. She wanted to do so much more.
I wanted to have her in my life longer. My life will be miserable without him. I can’t make it without her.
Taking one at a time, and taking time to find what is more honest for me, I can ask myself:
Is it true? Can I dictate what life should do? Would it be better if life followed my wishes? Can I know it would be better?
What happens when I hold onto that belief? Who suffers?
Who would I be without that belief? How would I live my own life?
What are the reversals? How is each of those equally or more true for me? Can I find specific examples?
What is the advice for myself? If I think he or she shouldn’t have died so young, without having lived a longer – and so a more full and rich – life, is that advice really for myself? How can I live a fuller and richer life?
And when I am ready for it: How is it better that this person died young? What are the genuine gifts in it?
For each of these….
What happens when I find what is sincerely more honest for me than the initial belief? Can I allow it to work on me – reorganizing how I perceive, feel, think, experience the world and myself?
Who am I without the belief? How would it be to live from the most juicy reversal?
And this goes for all death.
People die. Circumstances die. Experiences die. What I am dies. What others are dies.
As with all of these explorations, a sincere inquiry invites in a more mature life, more aligned with what is more honestly true for us. And eventually, if taken far enough, it invites what we are to notice itself.
- dying young
- beliefs – investigate, clarify
- full rich life – advice to ourselves