A life urge is an alignment towards health, appreciation, love, intimacy, creativity, honesty and passion. A death urge is a withdrawal into the wound pool, where younger parts of ourselves feel separate and unloved by others. In a death urge, we can struggle with the will to live, descending into sadness, illness, depression and hopelessness.
On a micro level, it could be said that we all alternate between life and death urges each day that we are alive. Even one negative inclination could be thought of as a tiny death urge. Awareness is the key. When we look for the deeper roots of our unconscious urge towards decline, we can change direction from self-denial to self-love.
Most of us have at least one aspect of ourselves that has not felt deeply seen, loved or accepted by other people. When we perpetuate this outer rejection on an inner level, an unconscious part of ourselves will want to die. And while a death urge does not necessarily mean we will actually die, we will become ill, depressed, addicted, or suffer in a way that makes daily living difficult.
A death urge is not always predictable. The spiritual mind has ways of healing that goes far beyond our conscious decision-making process. In my art studio work with adults at the end of life, I was astounded to observe that frail elderly people did not always steadily decline.
I witnessed frail people go right to the edge of severe illness, and then mysteriously come back more vibrant than before. After meeting the edge of a death urge, some previously ill people started painting in the studio again. Notably, they seemed less emotionally burdened. And, while I never knew what their internal process was, my impression is that right up until death, we are meeting and shedding layers of accumulated human pain.
The Part of Ourselves That Wants to Die Longs to Be Authentic
The younger parts of ourselves that do not feel accepted and loved may not want to live here on this earth. Yet, our purpose in life is to be vibrantly ourselves. If our inner truth does not fit into conventional social or familial paradigms, self-love must be cultivated.
Being authentic, especially when we feel unaccepted by other people takes great courage. Our family, culture or religious systems might reject, deny, ignore or criticize what we need to authentically express. Nonetheless, we are each called to express ourselves honestly, so the world can become whole.
Asking for Spiritual Help
Raised with conditional love as children, we all have the job of learning how to love ourselves unconditionally when we are adults. As adults, no matter how much we long for perfect love from other people, we will not be able to receive it unless we learn how to love ourselves first. And, when we feel traumatized, and do not know how to unconditionally love ourselves, we have to use our intuition to find a way.
In my personal experience, I have had to ask for "spiritual help" to love all of myself. I believe, loving all of ourselves involves inviting the faith in spiritual guidance (that we abandoned during hurt or trauma) into our healing process. Spiritual connection accelerates our ability to re-bond to our inner younger selves. When we ask for "extra help" to self-love, we can reach such profound states of inner embrace, we might wonder why we ever rejected parts of ourselves in the first place.