I’ve seemingly been alive for 23 years, but that’s not actually true. I’ve been a puppet manipulated by the strings of fear that extend to my mind from my heart for many of those years, that fear staining most of my behaviour, although progressively less and less from 21 to 23 as I slowly came back to myself. There isn’t much I’d change about my life now. I have all I want and it’s always been in front of me. I only have one complaint which is I don’t see my closest friend as often as I’d like, if I’m not guaranteed a day, seeing him about once a week is definitely not enough, and I’m not guaranteed a day, none of us are.
People who unexpectedly experience the truth of life, that you never know when you’re going to die, respond in a similar way. Imagine you wake up, it’s a regular Tuesday morning and you’re about to start your day, you leave home and you’re close to wherever you’re going, and then boom a car hits you. You wake up in the hospital and you’re unsure you’re going to make it. How would you feel? I’d be praying that I make it, I’d be shocked that it all happened so fast, I’d reflect on my past and see how constrained I was for so much of it and all for what? Because I thought I had to? What do I have to do in the face of death? Not a damn thing. I’d feel like the biggest idiot alive. I’ve been fooled, tricked, deceived! I thought death was this magical hazy thing that happens far in the future, yet here it is now about to strip me of everything I hold dear. Now this wouldn’t be the case if people kept death closer to them and saw that its finger is only an inch away but as a result of fear we close our eyes to the only thing assured.
Death in its infinite nothingness strips all meaning from life, how could anything matter when at the end of life everyone and everything goes back into the same place. Death is the great equalizer; billionaires, murderers, average joes, and the sexiest ladies (which of course there are none but my wife, she may or may not have made me write that) will all turn to dust one day. What isn’t equal is how people have lived their lives.
Those who keep death nearby live freely, freedom is your birthright and death is the harbinger of freedom if you allow it to consume you. It releases you from the self-made prisons of your mind that keep you shackled to all the things you “have” to do, so you can do what you want instead. Let death consume you, let it wash over your skin, allow death to seep into your pores, flow through your veins and fill your heart, contemplate death till it restructures the entire fabric of your being. Only then can you call yourself free.