I once dreamt I had died. Actually, I have died many times in dreams, but this was different. In my dreams I have fallen from cliffs, been eaten by animals and succumbed to all the monsters available to a child’s imagination. I have woken from such dreams with a start, but this dream was beautiful, peaceful and even blissful.
In my dream, I saw my breath returning to the air and becoming a breeze. I watched as it swept across a field of wheat caressing each stalk. My minerals returned to the soil and gave life to plants. I could imagine my carbon contributing to a future diamond. I saw my water frozen on the top of a mountain, then melting into a stream and being sipped by a deer.
I woke with no wish to hurry back to that moment of dissolution. Instead, I wanted to live my full span with the peaceful knowledge that I come from and return to an intimate union with all other beings. I wanted to remember that we are different aspects of one life and that we are more like folds in a blanket than separated beings.
In times of sorrow I want to remember that my “self” is something borrowed. When my life is unfair, I want to remember to go deep into my common life with you. When I try to make sense of my one single life I become lost in an impossible labyrinth. When I stop thinking of my problems as “mine”, they fall away like the beads of a necklace when the string is removed. I discover my “self” to be one brief note in an eternal hymn. We have nothing to fear in life or death as long as we remember to sing that song.
I relate to what you describe to a phrase that helps me put things into a less anxious perspective. That phrase is “in the eternal scheme of things”–and apply that to whatever is bugging me. It also makes me want to listen to the song “Mad World”.