Your Most Important Decision Aliveness
The most important decision you will ever make, at any age, is to consciously decide, as an adult, where it is really in your best interest to not feel your pain about your mortality in a way that affirms life.
The basic purpose of trulyalive.org is to encourage people to decide consciously how they wish to deal with their mortality, rather than reflexively continuing a habit -originally begun in early childhood, long before we can remember – of expending energy to repress these feelings.
It is our experience that we can each reach previously unimagined levels of aliveness if we dare feel our pain about our mortality, and transform it a deep appreciation for love and life. If you are willing to experiment with the practice of CONSCIOUSLY feeling your death-pain in a way that affirms life, it may well transform your present life to new levels of love, appreciation, energy, aliveness, and meaning. The issue is not "death", i.e. what will happen near, at or after the end. It is "this life", i.e. how we can live more fully by facing not denying our death between now and our final moment. It is learning not to unconsciously withdraw from people and experiences we treasure in order to deal with the pain of losing them.
We cannot of course predict the future course of your life if you decide to face rather than deny your feelings about your eventual death.
But we are absolutely convinced of one thing: you face no more important decision than this one.
The evidence is overwhelming that you, and we, first learned that we would one day die as children, between the ages of 3 and 8. When we first learned this we were overwhelmed and devastated at learning that not only our animals, grandparents and parents would die, but that we would also. As children, the major tool available to us was to repress our horror and terror at receiving this information. We had no tools to consciously deal with this information. We also often adopted "magical thinking", a variety of psychological techniques that enabled us to believe that we would not really die. As children, these methods of dealing with death were adaptive. We had no other tools at our command.
Today most of us automatically deal with our death as adults the same way we did as children. Few of us have ever sat down as adults and analyzed how we cope with our knowledge about eventual death, and thought through alternative ways of dealing with it.
This is a major error, for two reasons:
(1) To continue repressing our feelings about our death as adults eats up enormous energy, deadening us and ultimately harming our health. It also has a negative impact on our ability to feel, relationships, sexuality, child-rearing, workplace behavior and creativity. It also contributes to societal violence and biospheric neglect.
(2) As adults, unlike as children, we have an alternative. As the testimony of Steve Jobs and thousands of others indicate, we can stand the anguish now as adults that we could not cope with as children. And, if dare feel our pain about our mortality in a way that affirms life, we may well find that doing so will release enormous stores of energy that we heretofore used up in repressing our pain, make us more truly alive, increase the quality and quantity of our remaining years, cause us to feel more, and experience greater love and creativity. We may well discover that facing death in this way will deepen our relationships and sexuality, improve our child-rearing practices, and lead to more meaningful and satisfying work and leisure. And, if enough of us do this, it could reduce violence and biospheric neglect.
It is a great tragedy of life that most people never even examine their adult alternatives for dealing with their mortality. It often leads to a phenomenon even worse than death: knowing that we have wasted much of the precious life we have been granted.