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Episode 10: Love & Death

Love and death are the greatest gifts given to us, but mostly they are passed on unopened.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

Dr. Jordana Jacobs argues that if we go on pretending we are going to live forever, we are actually suffocating our capacity to give and experience love. In this episode she talks about how only in accepting our inevitable mortality can we truly transform our relationships and begin to live- and love- to the fullest.

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The transcript wasn’t added for this episode.

On this week’s episode we speak with Jordana Jacobs, a practicing clinical psychologist who specializes in the relationship between death and our capacity to love, and live, more fully. We hope that you enjoy this eye-opening and inspiring conversation.

Jordana explains that the relationship between love and death is one that is incredibly intertwined. She believes that “love can save you from death, and that death, or the awareness of death, can save love”. She uses a Niche quote to highlight this relationship, “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how,” because the why is almost always LOVE.

Life and Death

Some people feel at their best when they are living near the edge of death – like extreme athletes. There can be a kind of clarity when facing death that can help people live more fully and be more present. There’s a thrill in quieting the chatter of your mind while feeling like you are in control of your life and your existence.

Death Primes & Awareness Exercises

Consciously bringing thoughts of death into your awareness reminds you that life is impermanent. These can be done with a reminder on your phone, with an extreme activity, or with other external factors that help bring death into your conscious awareness. These can allow us to really feel love in the present.

Procreation and Loss

When we are primed for death, people have the desire to procreate so that we can leave a piece of ourselves behind. When we become conscious about our fears surrounding death, we can better examine and understand our desires.

The more we accept and embrace and allow inevitable mortality and surrender to it – the more we’re able to surrender to love. And that’s the key.

Acceptance over Resistance

The resistance to death is futile, because it is inevitable, so acceptance of death allows for potential meaning and love to open us to the process of suffering being meaningful and not just painful.

Daily Feelings of Love

By practicing death awareness, we can begin to really feel love on a daily basis so that we can more fully embody our feelings. We can express our love more openly and presently when we can drop into our feelings.

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About the Expert

Jordana Jacobs

Jordana Jacobs

Dr. Jordana Jacobs is a licensed clinical psychologist with years of experience treating patients in the New York City area. Her research primarily focuses on the relationship between death awareness and love (dissertation: “Till Death do us Part: The Effect of Mortality Salience on Satisfaction in Long-Term Romantic Relationships”). She now gives presentations and lead retreats aimed towards helping people accept inevitable mortality, so that they may live and love more fully.

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