It is not by accident that many cultures of the world have rituals, festivals and customs that center on what we try to not think about and keep at bay, as if somehow not acknowledging the end will postpone it. Death is natural noble transition, in ideal circumstances a culmination and clearing of energy after a well lived life to make room for new energy. No matter to which version of afterlife, or perhaps none at all, you’re subscribed to, a daily death pause is a useful tool to rearrange, reorganize and prioritize what is important and worth doing. Writers wrote with sculls on their desks to remind themselves this skin they live in is temporary, Mexican culture has Dios de Muertos celebrating the fact of someone having had the chance to live and being there, creating memories and bonds and celebrating the departure. There is nothing morbid about it. This acceptance is neccesary.
We need a taste and acceptance of death instead of fearing it because life being closed by this final point makes the part before it more valuable. If you had all the time in the world at your disposal, most wouldn’t do anything. Why would they if there is time, infinite time… But there isn’t. Everything you do matters – every encounter has meaning, every shortcut you take robbed you of a lesson, every turn opens some doors and closes others. You can be grateful to the infinite string of generations that led to you for creating a world where a large chunk of the population is free to live their life as they please and make their own choices. They’ve made some mistakes along the way, but they gave us this. It is not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. The fact that it is not perfect means you’ve got your job cut out for you on the planet.
If you don’t know where you’re going all routes are equally valid to get there and the equivalence of all routes makes people stay stuck. This little mental exercise might help- Imagine if you will a grand dinner party. You got a fancy invitation and are super excited. The party takes place in the afterlife and all of the guests are you, actually all possible versions of you you could have become. All these possible yous are sitting along the endless wonderfully decorated table and you’re free to mingle and speak to anyone you choose. Thy are yous who dropped a bad habit, you who’ve decided to not give up on something or gave up on something else, yous who said “I love you” to that person and those who didn’t, yous who’ve decided to quit that job that drained their soul and started their own thing, yous who wrote that book you knew you had in you. Yous who became active in the matters you care about and those who bummed and lazyed around through life… they are all there, diverged and branched from the choices you made and how you’ve decided to conduct your thought, emotions and actions. With whom would you talk? Which ones would you avoid, despise, hate even? Which would you envy or admire and wish you’ve become them? Which ones would you consider were not a waste of an opportunity? This might help next time you’re making a decision. Of course, you cannot know all the variables of the future, but you can sense the rightness or wrongness of a decision when you make it if you listen. You can fairly accurately asses if you’ll become better or worse version of yourself by doing this. Take a daily death pause to maybe try and remember that this here is finite and try to become someone other yous would love to hang out with at the dinner.