This life is short.
You know that already, because it’s one of those cliche sentiments people like to express from time to time. Without much thought. Without much presence. Without much connection to the truth and the weight of those four simple words.
This life is short. So. Very. Short.
I’ve always lived with a hyper awareness of death. I don’t know why… maybe being suicidal as a teen opened my eyes to something most of my friends thought nothing about. They were focused on boys and clothes and who went with who to the mall that weekend. Not me. Okay, so I thought about boys too (they were cute and fun to kiss after all). But mostly I thought a lot about death.
I wondered what the point of it all was. Why we worried so much about things that don’t really matter. Why no one stopped to ask things like why they perfectly manicured their yards to look like everyone else’s.
I mean, seriously though… who decided these things mattered so much?
If there’s anything at the core of feeling like you don’t belong, I would venture to guess it has a lot to do with not understanding why most people do and think and act like they do. Feeling like an alien in this world, watching others and feeling completely dumbfounded by all of it, while also feeling immense pressure to “fit in” alongside it.
After I decided I would never be dying at my own hand, I started trying to figure out the whole life thing out. I went to college and graduated at the top of my class. I got an amazing job, with amazing benefits and pay. I bought a house with my high school sweetheart. I owned my own car.
But as the story goes… I was miserable, and once I’d achieved everything I set out to achieve without feeling love or joy or passion or fulfillment, I took a sledgehammer to every aspect, trying desperately to find happiness.
I remember when I was home visiting family in New Mexico one fall. I was in the midst of tearing my perfect little life to pieces, and my dad was big on “the world ending in 2012” chatter. Talking about the Mayans and the calendar and a bunch of other stuff I don’t remember. I do remember what stuck with me though… death. The end of the world. Life as we know it suddenly ending.
And while I didn’t believe in the end of the world happening on a random December day in 2012, I was reminded what used to drive me at my core. The hyper awareness that life really is short, it’s not just a thing we say randomly to others in passing. With no real resonance in our souls.
You can read that and you can think, “uh huh, I know, right?” and then carry on with your day and to do list and the things that don’t light you up.
That’s what most people do… because sitting with the weight of the truth behind those four simple words can be so deeply unsettling.
It forces you to stop and think about where you’re at and what you’re doing. It would force you to face who you’re doing these things with. How you’re spending your time. Your one short, precious life. And for most people, unfortunately, what’s uncovered is more than uncomfortable.
Facing these truths for myself was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done.
Untangling myself from the wrong relationships, time and time again… facing the patterns that brought me into them in the first place… and working through the deep seeded beliefs that were tearing me up inside is the only reason I was able to meet the love of my life. The only reason I’m in a true partnership with a phenomenal soul that pushes me to grow. That loves me for exactly who I am.
Facing down my greatest fears and walking into the most uncomfortable situations that stretched my soul… leaping head first into that which was terrifying, but that I was intuitively guided to… and picking myself up after each misstep and spectacular failure, over and over again, is the only reason that I’ve actually made significant changes in my life and business. That I’ve stepped deeply into the truth of who I am and who I’m here to be, doing my soul’s work.
Getting really uncomfortable and taking massive risks… enduring the many hard months where I was stretched so thin I didn’t think I would ever sleep again… and devoting myself, no matter what, to the people and things and opportunities that most resonated in my heart is the only reason that I experience the freedom and fulfillment and passion I have in every aspect of my life. Even when it’s hard and challenging. Even when things fall apart, time and time again (because, such is life).
Being willing to face the truth of where I’m not happy or not showing up fully… being able to face the truth of those four simple words—this life is short—with total presence and understanding and terror, is the only way I’ve been able to create a life and relationship and business that truly the lights me up. There’s no other way.
“Life is short” isn’t permission to just run amuck and do whatever you want… but it is an opportunity to check in and get honest about what’s working and what’s not. Because before you know it you’ll be older than you are today. You’ll never be as young and inspired as you are in this moment again. Knowing that, what will you choose to do today? How will you work to ensure you’re creating a life that’s truly aligned? That’s filled with joy and passion and depth and love?
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique and author of Awesome Life Tips. Through her Mastery program, she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help men and women build passion-based lives and businesses they love. Her articles have been featured in The Huffington Post, Yahoo Shine, Positively Positive & Brian Tracy International. Click here to access her free Foundations for Unshakable Joy™ video training series and learn the unexpected trick to transforming your life with one single question! Connect with Stephenie on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!