Cassie D. Tilton
5 Most Profound Life Lessons
Learning can be intentional, it can be by observation, and it can also be involuntary. No matter how you learn a solid lesson that carries you through life, it's still special so long as you take heed to it and make efforts to apply it to each of your days. An amazing life-long friend once asked me what is the most important lesson I've learned in life so far...it was random so I was a little taken back and an answer didn't come to mind right away. It's actually a wonderful question to ponder on and a great exercise to look at some very important moments that God used in my life to teach me some important lessons. There have been many lessons in my lifetime thus far of course, but there are a handful that I consider to be the most profound learning experiences worthy of sharing.
First: Your home is a reflection of what is within.
I've shared this many times, and I'll continue to share this to anyone that would like to read it to learn about this topic. My father taught me when I was young that my surroundings are a reflection of what is within me. It’s a very spiritual lesson and one that helps to build a solid foundation of your truths so as not to get lost in the “clutter”. Countless hours have been claimed and wasted of my time having to pick-up and re-organize the constant influx of items purchased and brought into our home. Most don’t realize that the more items they purchase, the more time it eats up of their days to “organizing” those purchases instead of enjoying the moment of the life they’re created to live out. This also creates so much stress and anxiety that is not necessary. As I have aged I’ve taken the lesson my father taught me a step further to include the drawers and cabinets in every room as well. Not only have I purged every unused item in our home that was visible (art, pillows, trinkets, toys, random feathery decor, etc.), I have also purged all unused or duplicate items in our drawers and cabinets. When there is an overflow of items that aren’t being used, it’s excessive and oppressive to your spirit. You have the power to change the temperament in your home by choosing to only bring in what will bless instead of oppress. In doing so, we created a “home” for every item we decided to keep. After using an item we put it back where it belongs, it’s “home”. Each time we walk into our home it is warm and inviting, yet very clutter-free. Giving us all the feels we want our home to exude. Light. Free. Peaceful.
Second: Love without attachment.
Choose to give your love without attachment to each person you encounter or situation that presents itself and detach yourself from any certain outcome. You don't have the power to change people's hearts or the less desirable circumstances that pop up, but you can control how you respond to each of them. What you truly desire in life, desires you. However, sometimes what you desire isn’t as good as what God has in mind for your journey or for your family. What you see as “good” just might pale in comparison to what God has waiting for you around the corner. Be open to the possibilities by giving your love and detaching yourself from what may be. Love is always the answer, but loving without attachment is the key. Love yourself enough to not block Gods best by holding fast to your vision without even considering there are more possibilities available to you. Release control and choose to give your love without attachment to every person and each circumstance and you will create more space for God to move through you and guide you. You’re right where you need to be, so chose to trust that the next step will be more amazing than you imagined. You can be more open minded when you don’t get attached to any outcome. Your heart will feel more free and peaceful and will help you love more sincerely.
Third: Take your time.
When doing anything in life, take your time and soak in every moment of the journey. Weigh what is most important to determine what you should hold onto and what needs to be learned from then discarded. This is so important to help you make the best decisions possible to help you move forward in a positive direction. One of our best friends told my husband when we were having to make some big decisions for our family this year, that we don’t have to have it all figured out right now, all we need to do is focus on what is the next best step and then follow through with it. He told Marcus to start there and the rest will fall into place as it should, then to continue slowly moving forward by taking the next best step. We actively take heed to that advice and apply it to any decision we need to make instead of keeping ourselves attached to whatever outcome we’d like to have in the grander scheme. This opens up more doors for us than we imagined by focusing on one decision at a time. Yes, life is fleeting, but at the same time there is no rush to do or be what you dream of becoming and certainly no rush to get to where you want to be in life. There are many leaders that will share a message that being busy is deemed as a badge of honor. Doing more = better choices made to improving your life. Not so. Is being busy necessary? Does it bless you and your time with your family? Or, does it make you frustrated, anxious and stressed? If it creates more anxiety than peace then it is time to take a harder look at the choices you’re making and slow down where you need to so you can make wiser decisions that benefit you and your family instead of creating tension. If it brings you peace and fulfillment then by all means, please hustle on and keep busy! Each person is different and can find meaning and peace in multiple ways, just don’t follow along and make rushed choices only because someone says it should be done so hurriedly. Look within and listen to your heart…truly…take five minutes (set a timer if hat helps) to get quiet and intentionally ask yourself, “What is my/our next best step?”. Then continue to stay quiet for the rest of the five minutes and focus on searching your heart for that answer. Do this many times if you need to. An answer won’t always come right away. The point of the exercise is to slow down and give yourself space to breathe before moving forward. No rushing. There’s no reason to rush. Sit with it. Then choose what ushers in the most peace and fulfillment.
Fourth: Don’t compare.
Many years ago I came across a word photo that stated, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Sheesh that hit me in the gut. It is so hard for me not to compare myself and where I’m at to all the other talented artists out there when all I see on their pages are gorgeous pieces being pumped out left and right and their following growing by leaps and bounds. Being inspired by others on socials is one thing, but when you begin to compare your space of time in this life to theirs that is when you need to snap out of it and remind yourself that you are right where you need to be. Remember: no rushing, no attachment, no controlling, no forcing. Currently, I’m learning how to focus on myself, my family, our home and being consistent each day by doing what I love in order to hone the talent and passion God gave me to work on. All the while believing that I will continue to personally grow and flourish in the process. Comparing doesn’t add value, it only steals the joy of my journey. In turn it affects my outlook, my day, my relationships, and my little family. No one wants to compare, it just happens, so that is why we need to be intentional about choosing to focus more on ourselves instead of others. Try to note what you can learn from others to grow personally, but take the pressure off of yourself to be doing things that aren’t in alignment with who you are. Everyone has their own special path so try to enjoy yours more by focusing on your path with your whole being. Seek to inspire others with the passions that take root in your heart and grow on your journey. You’ll touch more lives than you could ever imagine and be filled with more joy than you thought existed!
Fifth: Always ask questions.
Don't ever assume that any information/advice you are given, read about, or listen to is always correct or is the only way. Always question and prod to find out more angles of any topic. Have you ever heard the saying, “Can’t judge a book by its cover.”? The same applies to information that is presented to you. Sometimes what looks or sounds to be like sage advice, could actually turn out to be completely wrong for you. What works for some people won’t always apply to all. Eat the meat and spit out the bones…meaning, glean what you can learn from what is presented to you that is helpful, and discern what information needs to be tossed. Don’t ever follow blindly. If you have a negative check in your gut about something, chances are there is a reason for it! What is truly good for you will fill you with peace. No matter how risky something might seem on the outside, if you have a peace about it, then chances are it’s a good thing for you. Don't ever hesitate to ask more quetions to make better decisions.
Remember, each persons journey is different and the life lessons learned are always even more different. Give yourself grace and sit with each lesson as they come. Always be open to learning and unlearning and you'll have the world at your fingertips!
Sending each of you loads of Love and Light,