Life Lessons From Aunt Lil

We All Have People in Our Lives That Play Big Roles in Shaping Us, and Often We Don’t Realize it in the Moment.

In May of 2001, my Aunt Lil passed on at the age of 94. But she has never left me. I think of her often because she was one of the most important people in my life. She was one of the most authentic people I have ever met.

She was well known in the family for being a little “left of center.” You never knew what she was going to say in a given moment, but you did know that whatever it was, was exactly what she thought!  If there was an elephant in the room, Aunt Lil would point it out…not sweep it under the rug. She walked to the beat of her own drum. She was a business woman in an age when women weren’t suppose to be in business.

Two of the bigger lessons she taught with me (among many), I’ll share with you now. One was on purpose and the other came from observation. One is happy, the other is a little sad.

The Happy One is All About Encouragement.

When I started my first business way back in 1991, the majority of my friends and family were highly critical, and I don’t mean in the positive way. It was hurtful and difficult for me. Having people close to you belittle your dreams and choices is a tough thing to swallow (but common place for most who think at all outside of the box). But Aunt Lil was the complete opposite. She would pull me aside and say “You go for it” and let me know that if I ever needed anything she would be there to help…and there were a few times I did need her…and she was there…and always, always, always, in an encouraging way.

Listen to the encouragers in your life, and BE an encourager.

You have someone in your life right now who is your “Aunt Lil.” Choose to listen to this voice, not the negative voices. Remember, there can always be a hundred reasons why you shouldn’t do something…but these reasons are nothing in light of the one reason you should!

So listen to the encouragers in your life, and BE an encourager. Never belittle someone’s dream. Know the value to another by encouraging them…after all, as John Maxwell says “Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul.”

Obviously Aunt Lil’s voice was key in my business blessings.

The Other Area, The Sad One, is Related to Health.

Aunt Lil lived on this earth for 94 and a half years. She had a young, playful spirit and a quick wit right up until she died. Unfortunately, her body began to fail her in her 70s. She lived the last 15+ years as a prisoner in her own body. Modern medicine kept her alive, but it did not give her any quality in those years.

Her beautiful spirit was trapped.

I was so happy for her when she passed away because I knew that she could fly and be free again. I know the capability of the human body. We can be vibrant and active well into our nineties. We are built for it. It’s only through years of physical neglect that the body breaks and gets sick well before its time (in general, there are exceptions of course).

The knowledge of how to stay healthy wasn’t available so much in Aunt Lil’s time, or I’m certain she would have taken advantage of it. She wouldn’t have cared what anyone thought.

So unbeknownst to her, Aunt Lil taught me the value of prioritizing my health at a young age. And it has made a huge difference for me.

Look around you for your teachers. They are closer than you think. But don’t just hear and see the lessons. DO the lessons. They will help you design and live the life you are meant to live.

If this had some value to you, pass it on to someone. Perhaps it can help them too.

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