I recently met a client at a coffee shop who lives locally.
We had a great conversation, although I knew he was holding something back.
He shared that he wasn’t afraid of anything except dying. I asked him why he was afraid of dying.
“Leaving my family and not knowing how they will turn out.” Meaning his children and grandchildren.
I asked him, “What if you weren’t afraid of dying?” Big gasp of air, leans back in his chair, hand over mouth. I can see that my question is shaking some thoughts and feelings loose. And of course, that was my intention.
He says, “That’s a big question.” Yes, it certainly is. I pushed on – “So what if you weren’t afraid?”
He was quiet for a while and I could see that he was really trying to sort this all out. There was a glimmer in his eye when he said, “I would keep being there for my family. But I would tell them things about me they don’t know. I would share the lessons I’ve learned. I would make sure my grandson knows how to drive.”
That is what it will take for him not to be afraid of dying. It’s not a huge tweak, you see, in the way that he is already living his life.
You notice he didn’t have any grand plans like jumping out of an airplane. He just wants to be there for his family and to pass along as much of his wisdom and the lessons he’s learned as he can.
Now that he knows this about himself and the way he wants to live his life, he can focus on doing just that. By being focused and purposeful, he is able to make decisions easier. He knows his goal. Now he is living it out.
What if you weren’t afraid of dying? How would you live your life? What would be different than the way you live it now?
P.S. If you are looking for community and connection, I invite you to join my private FB group Life-On Purpose. This is a community of individuals who are seeking to live their lives authentically and purposefully.
Thats so beautiful you were able to nudge him so he could figure out ways live more fully instead of fear dying.
I think it’s great to think about dying. I don’t mean that in a morbid way. I mean when I take time to think about life ending it helps me think about enjoying it more while I’m here.
Thank you Julie. Living more fully, well, it just makes life that much sweeter.
The ‘What if?’ question is so powerful when used for positive change. What a wonderful example of it in action.
Thank you Elda! That means so much.
Death and dying are such difficult topics for most people, but when we face our thoughts about death head-on, we often feel a deep and unexpected sense of peace. Thanks for giving us the reminder to ask ourselves the question.
Thank you Michelle. Giving my client the opportunity and the space, he is now able to focus forward and live the rest of his life, hopefully lots more of it, focused and purposeful.
There’s so much simplicity here. I love the idea of turning our fears around and asking what if! So good.
Thank you Jessica. It really is simple, once you get right down to it.
What a simple way to address this! It applies in so many areas. What if you weren’t afraid of…. 😀
Thank you for commenting! So, what’s the answer? What if you weren’t afraid of dying?