Ask: Is the fear of death behind all upsets?
“Like the other 7 billion people on the planet, every day I am offered opportunities to play out and examine my guilt in a myriad of ways. In the past I would ride the emotional runaway train into bad moods, depression, inertia, despair, rage against self, others and the world. After studying the Course for a number of years however, I handle all this differently. After processing the details of the upset up to a point (which may include acting out, feeling lousy etc.), I ask the question: "What is REALLY going on here?" The answer is always the same: There is a fear - make that terror - that if I don't find that missing sock, undo that faux pas I made that day, clear up that medical issue, put that person in his place etc. etc. - I will be cast aside and obliterated. (I know it sounds insane, even insanely funny, but think about it the next time you experience an upset.) So I ask: ‘Is the fear of death behind all upsets?’" – ES
Actually, you had it at the beginning of your question: Guilt is behind all upsets. If you believe that you are guilty you expect, and may even feel that you deserve, punishment. This is the source of your fear. It just so happens that for you the punishment that you fear for your guilt is to be “cast aside and obliterated”, which is I guess how you define “death”. For others, the punishment they fear may be something else. For example, fear that they will lose a loved one, or go broke, or reincarnate and go through another life, etc. Sometimes it is just a nebulous fear that “something bad will happen”.
Your practice of allowing your emotions to process and then asking yourself what is really going on is a good one. It is not comfortable but it is a positive step to be in touch with the guilt and fear as they really are. This must come before you can begin to undo the guilt and therefore the fear of punishment.
Guilt and fear in their myriad forms are the chief obstacles to peace and undoing them are the primary work I do with clients. My digital book, "Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace" is available for only $5 at www.amazon.com or www.lulu.com. You can learn more about mentoring or my books at www.acimmentor.com.