Fear, Death and Other Fun Topics

Today I was at the dentist and thinking this is not much fun. I had to admit though the rather vigorous cleaning had to do with me running away from my fears and avoiding going in for a regular cleaning and checkups. As I am writing this, my stomach is feeling anxious as it did all morning in anticipation of my after lunch appointment. Because of the fearful churnings, I even passed on lunch. As a kid the dentist we went to was brutal with no painkillers and I spent long hours sitting there waiting as my brothers and sisters screamed in the chair. Sounds like a horror movie and in fact it felt like one.

That fear still resides in me as strongly as if I was back there in the small body of a child. Fear is a powerful emotion. Sometimes it gets so strongly implanted that it runs are decisions about life. That is true for me about dental issues and even to go to see a doctor. Fear is a complicated and highly charged emotion. It is about being afraid, about trying to close down to avoid suffering, and comes from desire to be safe. These reactions are totally human and probably are ultimately related to unresolved issues about death. Excuse me but that sounds so psychological doesn’t it?

Death is word we like to avoid and fear is an emotion most of us tend to not acknowledge as if it makes us less of a person. Both death and fear are however simply words with which we have given meaning. My dental fears are charge with my memories and thereby seem real. These fears are not real in the moment unless I bring them forward from the past. That is what the mind does; it makes real what it focuses on. Think for a moment of the positive powers of the mind.

Death is only an idea that so many of us have tied to an unpleasant experience. In the East and with people who have come to some kind of peace with the idea of their dying; death is just a passage to another form, a different journey, a long resting place, or the escape from an old body broken down by life. If death scares you, take some time to examine your beliefs and find a more peaceful relationship with the Big Rest.

Maybe going to the dentist made me feel more vulnerable and that stirred me into this direction of seriousness about fear and dying. It seem to me that asking questions of ourselves about things that matter is not only Ok but important. Sorting out our personal understanding of things bring the questions forefront instead of lurking in the backrooms of our mind where they cause unanswered anxiety.

Sorry for the heaviness but what questions are you avoiding asking yourself and causing you unneeded worry or apprehension?