I got a call from my doctor’s office last week, an unexpected call. They were trying to reach me about some test results. Immediately, even before I spoke with the office, I was filled with complete terror.
I became immediately and desperately afraid of dying.
Now, there was nothing indicating that my death was imminent, mind you. However, I put my faith and trust in what they were telling me as the full story, and that I had to stop what I was doing, pay attention, and do whatever it is that they told me to do, if I wanted to survive and be healthy.
I have been involved with the Western tradition of medical care for most of my adult life, and have agreed to and asked for testing and diagnostic screenings of every kind. In those various tests, issues and concerns have been discovered that might not otherwise have been known about. For that, I am grateful.
However, I also took this opportunity, this most recent time of diagnostic fear, to really look at it and think about what it is that grips me so. It isn’t the idea of being ill: if for some reason, I were to be facing a major health challenge at this point in my life, I feel completely confident that I could fix whatever was ill, and live a long life. I have faith in my own ability to be well, and that I would use whatever means were at my disposal to do so, Eastern and Western alike.
No, it was deeper than that. What gripped me that day of the phone call from my doctor was the fear of the unknown, and more specifically, the fear of death. In my wildest imaginings at that point, I feared dying right now at this point in my life. My life is full, and happy and healthy and full of love. I enjoy being in this body, and being in this world, even if it might be an illusion or a dream. I love living this dream right now. I don’t feel ready or willing to go to what comes next, even if it is more brilliant than I could ever imagine.
That was what being afraid represented to me that day. Yet, what was so calming and amazing to me, is that the fear was short lived. I felt gripped, and powerless and small, and then, I found my deep sense of peace. No matter what happens, no matter what my body has in store for me, or doesn’t, I will be well. As long as I can always come back to a place of peace, no matter what is going on in my outside, or inside world, then all will be well.
No matter what, I can always choose peace.