There aren’t many “for sure’s” in life, but one thing that is for sure is that we are all born, and we will all die at some point.
Are you living a life that makes you happy?
Do you feel fulfilled?
Are you learning? Are you growing?
Have you cultivated loving relationships in your life where you feel supported and loved unconditionally, and you do the same for those around you?
If someone told you, you had six months to live, what would you do? Or would you simply not change a thing because you are utterly and completely fulfilled already?
Life is hard! We often find ourselves wishing time away to get to the next phase if we are going through something uncomfortable. We feel so desperate to move on instead of experiencing the passage of time. When people move too fast, they miss the lessons, the growth, and the learning opportunities that life presents to us daily.
We are all characters in this performance of life. Looking at life from an elevated point of view can be helpful when you find yourself in a challenging time of life; a time that you’d rather bypass instead of going through it. People and situations come into your life to challenge you. Are you going to let them stop you and hold you back from your purpose on this planet? Are you going to make up an excuse like:
“Because I got dumped or I didn’t get that job; they don’t believe in me, so forget about it. I’m not going after my dreams!” Please, don’t live your life like that. Don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of you pursuing whatever it is that sets your soul on fire.
At the end of your life, you want to be able to look back and feel like you LIVED.
What does that mean? It’s actually pretty subjective, just like love. You might look at a couple and think, “I wouldn’t want to be in that relationship,” meanwhile, the couple is perfectly happy.
Whatever really living means to you is perfect for you. Really living to me, means there is meaning, fulfillment, and enjoyment in my life. It also means that I challenge myself to go above and beyond what I think I can do. I know that I feel stronger and even more prepared to tackle the next big thing because of everything I have accomplished in life up until now; especially the things that seemed to be extra “big” or challenging.
Accomplishments are essential to really living, but what matters the most, are the people in your life. Your loved ones are there enjoying your highs with you and supporting you through your lows, as you do the same for them. The mutual unconditional love all leads to a sense and a mentality of really living life and feeling “alive!”
Really living also means feeling the essence of life; squeezing all of the humanness you possibly can out of one life. Feel what you feel so you can experience life fully. For example, as adults, we teach our children all about “Big” feelings; the whole gamut from happy to sad and everything in between. Why do adults feel like they are exempt from feeling all the big feelings? The truth is, it doesn’t matter what age you are, you should have BIG feelings and fully express yourself always, no matter what. Use that beautiful voice that you have to share what’s in your heart.
You never want to look back and wish you would’ve said something you wanted to say. The more you share your feelings with someone, the closer and more connected you will feel. The more connected we are with our loved ones, the more connectedness and less loneliness there will be in the world.
Really living means feeling connected and being present enough to enjoy your precious relationships. In order to appreciate the present moment and to get as much out of life as possible, you need to identify your meaning and purpose.
All of us came to this earth with our own purpose. Look inside and find what your purpose is. Once you live a purposeful life, your life will naturally feel more meaningful.
What is the point of living? Love.
Why do we stay alive? Love.
Why are we here? To love, grow, learn lessons and have fun.
My mom has been such a brilliant example of the importance of fun; my mom knows how to really live! She has always told me that it’s important to “play” in life and have someone to “play” with! If you allow yourself to lighten up and not take things too seriously, you will find that playing can enlighten and enliven your life.
When you look at the big picture, we are here for such a short time, and every portion of life is like a slice of a cake. Each segment of life has its own sweetness (value). There are positives and negatives to all segments. You need to go through every slice to get to the next “slice of life.” In the ideal lifetime, you grow and learn from each slice, appreciating the sweetness, even more, the fuller (more fulfilled) you get from eating the cake. The key is to be present throughout all of the slices of life.
My dad pointed out to me a while ago that you have no freedom and no responsibility in the first portion of your life. Once you go off to college, you have total freedom and not a lot of responsibility. When you get to be in the real world, you have complete freedom and a lot of responsibility.
It would’ve been incredible if we could’ve taken advantage of just how cool that time of life was with no responsibility and total freedom. But, when you’re in that period, you feel invincible, and death is so far away that you don’t appreciate life as much as you could. There’s a book called “The Five Invitations” by Frank Ostaseski that addresses how it’s actually a positive thing to think about your own mortality and keep it in the back of your mind. Your life is not over. Do what you can to take advantage of every moment that you still have left of life so that when you look back, you will know that you had the opportunity to enjoy your life, and you did.
I remember I was about eleven years old; I was doing homework in my room one night when suddenly a rush of sadness came upon me as I started to think about life and all of its stages. I became saddened as I thought about how people get to a certain point in life where they have accomplished a lot, and then what do they do? Do they just stop working and sit around all day doing nothing, feeling bored and sad? I pondered and contemplated, wrestling with this new idea that was disturbing to me. After a little time had passed, I shifted into pure excitement, realizing that life doesn’t need to be that way. I shifted into a more positive outlook, as I had the awareness that we all have a choice in life. I had answered my own queries.
I burst into my parents’ room because I couldn’t wait to tell them what I had discovered. My dad was in his dressing room, changing out of his work clothes, and I marched over to him and announced that he had to stop what he was doing because I had uncovered the key to living a long life. I explained to him that no one ever has to feel bored or sad in life when they get older because as long as you are always setting goals one after the other and challenging yourself, you will always have something to learn and enjoy in life. If you have someone to share all of this learning and joy with, then it’s even better (the little romantic in me had to add that piece in)!
After my dad got over the shock factor that his little eleven-year-old girl shared these profound philosophical thoughts with him, he nodded his head and told me that he agreed with me and that I was wise beyond my years. To me, this was normal as my brain was always trying to figure out the wonders of the world and the wonders of life. It’s who I am, so I didn’t feel extra wise, but I took the compliment, gave my dad a massive squeeze, and then went back to my room to finish my homework. I spent the rest of my night gossiping on the phone with my friends, who brought me back to acting like an average ten-year-old again. It’s as if I was “Supergirl,” student and normal kid by day, and philosopher at night (and then back to a normal eleven-year girl gossiping with my friends on the phone about the cute boys at school).
It’s the quality of what you choose to do in life and the quality of the people you choose to surround yourself with that matters because life is short.
You don’t need to be doing a million projects or jobs at once. It’s about finding one quality goal at a time, something you are passionate about, and genuinely care about, or what is the point? Meaning, purpose, and love are what life is all about.
Have you ever thought about death in terms of how it relates to life? Thinking about death to fully live can be life-changing. At the end of each day, your goal should be to look back at the day and regardless of what happened, feel grateful for your life and the people in it.
Your life is not perfect. My life is not perfect, but our lives are perfect for us. Do what it takes to start loving your life and really living your life before it’s too late. Tell those you love that you love them. Find a goal to accomplish, and then when you achieve it, find another one. Enjoy every day to its fullest. Get up early to watch the sunrise and go to beautiful places to watch the sunset. Through it all, remember to enjoy your precious life with the precious people lucky enough to share it with you.
Jaime Bronstein is a relationship coach, radio show host of “Love Talk Live” on LA Talk Radio, blogger, author, wife and mommy. She has been a practicing therapist for 18 years. Jaime has a master’s degree in social work from New York University, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University and a certificate in spiritual psychology from The University of Santa Monica. Jaime focuses on teaching her clients how to unconditionally love themselves, how to be vulnerable, tap into their inner strength, and live more authentically in order to achieve their relationship goals. Jaime will not only help you heal and extinguish any negative relationship habits, but she will also provide you with the tools needed in order to have a successful relationship. Find her online at www.therelationshipexpert.com and catch her on-camera radio show. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.