People die as they live.
Some of the the hardest life endings happen to those who chronically try to control everything and everyone around them -or- whose lives are directly controlled by someone like that. Spoiler alert – all lives end in death. To try and control that only guarantees one outcome: a downward spiral of increased suffering for all involved.
Approaching death with denial and avoidance of what is ahead does not save anyone’s life. It just makes the dying process harder on everyone involved, especially the person dying. Many are the ways to exert control, but cessation of it is the only thing that can truly be controlled.
Death as life’s outcome is not a matter of choice, but the journey toward it is. To do so requires courage to look at things as they are, strength to feel what comes with that, and wisdom to select best next steps based on both.
I don’t know how I will face death, but I do know my approach to life at that time will strongly influence it.
When I give my power over to someone else who rules by control, my gut churns. When I rule by control, there is a tightness in my chest. I don’t like either feeling now, and I imagine I won’t like either feeling then.
What does it feel like for you to be ruled by control or to rule by controlling?
Learning to feel our answers is THE single most powerful way to get out of rigid control mode and into figuring it out as we go mode. It keeps us focused on priorities – our OWN priorities. The most important of which is our right to choose our own life’s direction to the finish.
Death cannot be controlled. Life may be extended by machines and medicine, but quality of life may not. It can also be ended via weapons, substances, acute physical trauma and disease. In either case, timespan and trajectory of death cannot be absolutely controlled. These are not helpless facts as much as helpful guideposts.
Would you like to navigate your life better or other lives less? Everyone is born with their own internal mapping system. Housed in the gut, plugged into the heart, monitoring the entire body, it is constantly updating on its own. Connection happens by going inward to see, hear, and feel the guidance it has to offer.
- Sit tall in a chair, knees bent, legs uncrossed -or- lie down
- Feel floor fully under foot from heel to toe -or- entire body
- Place one hand mid chest, the other over belly, navel area
- Close eyes softly
- Breathe comfortably
- Feel breath fill & release, belly/ribs/chest-front/sides/back
- Notice physical sensations, free to come and go
- Notice thoughts, free to come and go
- Notice if one accompanies the other (thought – sensation)
- Practice simply noticing without any intention beyond that
- See what shows up as passing landmarks or guideposts
- Our breath cavity is greater than we realize, as is our capacity to skillfully navigate life.
One cannot know how this feels for another, any more than they can will the arrow of a compass to point in a direction it is not facing. Trying to control either outcome perpetuates feeling out-of-control because neither is ever possible.
The skilled life navigator monitors their own Self mapping to choose best direction.
Staying connected with your own internal mapping system lessens the likelihood of getting lost or taking bad directions from someone else. The more it is used, the more accurate it is. Life holds many chances to redirect for an easier ride, death has far fewer. Practicing proactive self-direction for life significantly reduces the knee-jerk, white knuckle control in reaction to death. Why not make the ride smoother all the way, starting today?
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