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I’m enough

“Things get worse before they get better”

Sometimes in life we forget that we have to go through the trials in order to face the next thing coming at us.
You can’t just say you ran a 10K without the medal to prove it.
You have to go through the muddy waters to find the joy in the clear water.

The perspective that hard times happen for a reason, that they allow our persistence to become stronger, is a hard perspective to swallow.
But as someone who’s been through the trenches it’s hard for me not to see the good in what its done for me and for the people around me.
I haven’t always been this way though. I want to bring you back to a dark moment, a moment I was in my ‘worse’ and ‘better’ was not a thought I could ever for-see happening for me.

Cooper had been sick with not only one cancer, but two for around three months. At this point it was December, Cooper’s birthday is in December and it would be the last birthday we got with him on this earth. Soon after celebrations ended he returned to the hospital, his fever wasn’t gone so that meant back to the hospital they went. Throughout the month of December I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of fear, it was like I knew what was coming but didn’t want to trust what God was preparing me for. Instead, I chose fear. And I’ll admit that every time, I choose it. I make the decision to believe the liar instead of the truth.

I remember so many nights attempting to watch Netflix trying to numb my feelings just like an alcoholic in a bar. I laid there under my covers, Netflix on, and prayed it wouldn’t happen. What wouldn’t happen you ask? The tears. I prayed the tears would not come, I prayed for a night where I just went to sleep, Netflix numbing my reality. That rarely came true. Most nights I cried silently under those sheets scared of the unknown, but the ironic thing was, I knew what was about to happen, God had already prepared me in advanced. But I was ignoring him.

In December, amidst a deep cry under my sheets I stopped. I felt something come over me, it told me to sit up, like a teacher lecturing you in class. I then heard Jesus speak over me that he would not be healing Cooper on earth. I froze. What? No, that’s definitely not the Lord speaking to me. He would FOR SURE be telling me Cooper would be healed.
Well, he was, he was just preparing me for the next part of the story.

See, God gives us what we need.
He knew my heart could not handle Coopers last breath on this earth.
So he prepared his daughter by telling her.
But I still had a hard time with Coopers last breath because for four months I lived in denial with the words the Lord spoke over me.
I denied his words in hopes that my worldly acts could cure Cooper and save him, when I was already given the truth.
The truth was, Cooper would die.
But he would be healed.

If you follow me on Instagram I shared a couple days ago about how I have been working through some deep shame and guilt in therapy lately. A lot of the guilt I carry is from Coopers death, feeling I did not do enough, I was not enough for him, that I could have done more. Throughout our work together my therapist and I have discovered a deep truth in the midst of all the guilt I was feeling.

I COULD NOT HAVE SAVED COOPERS LIFE.

I know, you’re probably like, “WELL DUH KASSIDY!”
But it’s not that simple when you’re a sibling of a child with cancer and you KNOW the answer to all current family problems is to SAVE YOUR BROTHERS LIFE.
No like really. If there was family friction, I would think, “If only I could cure Coopers cancer, then this wouldn’t be happening.” If I was at home lonely, “If I find the cure for cancer, loneliness ends!”
{If only naive little Kassidy knew, cancer and loneliness are only distant cousins, loneliness is so much bigger than that disease.}
But going back to what my therapist and I discovered, I could not have saved Coopers life.
In a perfect world of 2015, I would have been Coopers bone marrow transplant donor, I would have went through the transplant process and I would have been a minor part of Coopers journey to becoming cancer free.
But 2015 was not a perfect year, and even if I had been the perfect match for Cooper, I STILL WOULD NOT HAVE SAVED HIS LIFE.
Wanna know why? Because before I would have even gotten the chance to sit in a transplant room, Cooper would not achieve remission from both cancers, he would instead lay in bed for 50 days with a fever. While he laid there, an infection brewed in his system. An infection so bad that it could not be cured. Cooper had the perfect trifecta of problems that would ultimately lead to him dying, WITH OR WITHOUT MY BONE MARROW.

Do you know that I have carried the guilt of not being Coopers match for his bone marrow transplant from the day I heard the news? Do you know that when I tell myself ‘I am not enough’ it comes from a place of not being enough to save my brothers life. Yet, BIOLOGICALLY I WOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN ENOUGH TO SAVE HIS LIFE! GOD DID NOT INTEND FOR ME TO BE THE GIRL WHO SAVED HER BROTHERS LIFE! HE JUST DIDN’T! He had other plans for me all along.
Yet I’ve sat here, for four years, telling myself, “Kassidy you will never be enough, because you weren’t enough to save a life.”

When I realized that God’s plan was never for me to be the girl who saved her brothers life, it was like a giant boulder was removed from my shoulders. This whole time I had given myself an expectation that I was the one who needed to save his life.
ME.
KASSIDY LYNNE OWEN.
With zero medical knowledge, no doctorate.
AND NO BIOLOGICAL MAGIC TO SAVE HIS LIFE.
I could have never saved Coopers life.

Yet, I lived with the expectation everyday that I NEEDED to do that.
And when I didn’t do that, I changed that self talk to telling myself that I never did enough to even try to save his life.
So Cooper dying, yeah, that was my fault.

Friends, It’s funny how we blame so much of our trauma on what happened to us without ever taking a moment to turn the mirror around and look straight into it.
In this situation, I created a lot of my own trauma.
I was the one who gave myself the expectation to save his life.
I was the one telling myself I was not enough because I did not save his life.
It was me, every single day.
Stepping back that day in therapy I realized something, this particular trauma, this feeling of guilt, was my own doing.
But that’s okay because I forgive myself.

I forgive myself for setting unrealistic expectations. I forgive myself for choosing to not believe the words God spoke to me, and trusting what path he had laid out for Cooper. I forgive myself for every single time I told myself, ‘it is your fault Cooper died, you did not do enough.” And I forgive myself for the constant self hate.

It’s a hard decision to forgive yourself when you realize you’ve been your own enemy the whole time.

I was never enough to save Coopers life.
But I was not created to save Coopers life.
That was not the job God intended for me.
So I am going to stop telling myself I am not enough, because I am more than enough in my own space. In the space God created for Kassidy. In the space he knew I would thrive in.

And you are more than enough in your space.
You deserve all the space.
So today, I challenge you to free yourself of the guilt you carry and begin to tell yourself your enough.
You deserve the space.

Don’t do it

Girlfriend, don’t you dare do it.

Don’t you dare give up on yourself.
Don’t you dare give up on your dream.
Don’t you dare believe that you are not enough.
Don’t you dare think that you aren’t made for more.

Do not give up on the person you’re becoming.
She is worth it.
You are worth it.
Do not give up.

Why are WE always the first to give up on ourselves, yet we will fight tooth and nail for a relationship we want to work out? Focus on you and the rest will fall into place. Focus on who you want to be, where you want to be, and WHY you want to be there and everything else will fall into place.

Why is such an important question in life.
Why do certain things happen?
Why do people pass away?
Why are we alive?
Why am I here?
Why do I choose to chase my dreams?

If you cannot define your ‘why‘ your dream will never come into fruition. It just won’t, or matter of fact, it can’t. Because when you are in a low place during the journey to your dream, your why is what forces you to keep going. Your why is what tells you it will all be worth it. Your why is the back bone of your dream. Humans cannot live without their spines, your dream cannot live without its why.

So when the dream gets tough, when you feel like giving up,
Don’t you dare do it.
Don’t you dare think it’s okay to give up on yourself – remember my definition of failure? When you stop trying. NEVER stop trying, NEVER stop going after the thing that sets your soul on fire.

The great Walt Disney sums up chasing your dreams as simple as this;

“If you can dream it, you can do it”

What is your dream?

Lately I’ve been changing how I go about running my Instagram account. Normally I am very engaged, but I’ve decided to dive in EVEN deeper into engagement. Like what if I actually knew my followers personally? How could that change how this platform is used?

I’ve been sharing different profiles that I feel best represent what they are passionate about and I have been hopping into DM’s to tell people how amazeballs they are.

AND GUESS WHAT!

Social media is SO MUCH MORE fun when you actually connect with the people you are following instead of staring at a bunch of numbers that mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

During the process of connecting with all of these fun Instagramer’s I decided I wanted there to be a common theme during each conversation I have. I am a very intentional person, so my favorite thing to do is to go into conversations with a set intention. I decided that somewhere during the conversation I would ask this person, “What is your dream?”

I’ve received a variety of responses. Some, know the answer right away. Some, are LIVING their dream but dumbing it down because it doesn’t sound as cool as being a pro football player or an American Idol Winner. GIRLFRIEND, you are to NEVER dumb down your dream because it is not as fancy as someone else’s, it is YOUR dream for a reason, IT. IS. YOURS. Others, simply say they have no idea because they have never been asked that question before. WHAT! YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN ASKED WHAT YOUR DREAM IS BEFORE?
What kind of world do we live in that we have stopped asking people about their DREAMS!?

We live in a world where people go to work because that is what everyone else does.


But what if you don’t want to go to work?
What if you don’t want to work?
I know, you’re thinking I’m ABSOLUTELY insane.
But here is my honest truth.
I DO NOT WANT TO WORK.
NOPE.
I WANT TO DO WHATEVER I WANT EVERY SINGLE DAY. YES, WHATEVER I WANT.
I want to live my dream because I won’t even be able to call it work. That is because I love it so insanely much IT IS NOT WORK TO ME. (Here’s where you’re like, “omg this little millennial, if only she knew the real world!”)

But I do know the real world.
The real world was shown to me at 20 years old, when I had to leave my brother at the hospital, dead, after 3 years of fighting cancer.
After 3 years of me making adjustments to my young life to accommodate cancer, the ‘real world’ took him away.
The real world showed me what it’s like to suffer PTSD after I ran for my life during a mass shooting. It showed me what it’s like to be heart broken over depression because you feel like you have no purpose in this world.
I know the real world, I just refuse to live in it.

I’m going to live in my own version of the ‘real world’
It’s my version.
It’s filled with light, positivity, and joy.
I wake up everyday and do things I LOVE doing while making an income, and then maybe other days I wake up and go back to sleep BECAUSE I CAN.
That’s my version of the real world. That’s my dream.

Friends, maybe you’re reading this thinking ‘HELL YES‘ and you relate to every word I say.
Or maybe you’re reading this and you’re like, “This girl is going to fail, be homeless, and probably end up dead somewhere.” That’s fine, I would rather take the risk than never know what I COULD HAVE done had I discovered my potential.
OR MAYBE, you are sitting here reading this with a nice warm cup of coffee in your hand and this is pulling at your heart… you’re wondering, could I ACTUALLY chase my dream? Could I leave the worlds version of ‘the real world’ to create my own version of the real world?

HELL FREAKING YES SWEET HONEY CHILD, YOU CAN.
IF YOU HAVE A DREAM IN YOUR HEART AND YOU DO NOT CHASE IT, YOU ARE BEING SELFISH.
Think about it, you are reading this blog and being affected by my words.
Yet had I decided to never start this blog a year and a half ago because I was TOO SCARED, you would never be reading these inspiring words. That would have been selfish of me.
God gave me this talent for a reason and he calls me to step into the light and to share it with his people.
And I believe that he gave you a talent that is 100% unique to you and you are doing a disservice not only to you, but to the people around you to keep it to yourself.

Decide today, to create the version of the real world that you wish to see.

I was over the ‘real world’ version of Instagram. I was over the toxic, fake relationships. I was over keeping up with numbers and people who had no true interest in my content. So what did I do?
I changed my version of the Instagram world to what I WANTED IT to be.
Now it is an app I can go onto with joy, I can speak LIGHT into my followers, because they actually care about my content.
Then I can go to my friends (YES, MY FRIENDS NOT JUST MY FOLLOWERS – THEY ARE MY FRIENDS TOO!) and support what they are doing! THIS IS THE KIND OF INSTAGRAM WORLD I WANT TO BE APART OF! BUT IT WAS NOT OUT THERE! SO I CREATED IT, I FOUND PEOPLE TO JOIN ME AND WE CREATED THE COLLABORATION WE WANTED AND SAID SCREW YOU TO COMPETITION!

Decide today, that you will answer the question, what is your dream? And then, decide to ask someone else, what their dream is.

Us dreamers, WE HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER.
We have to encourage others that their dreams are possible.
I’m done living in a cookie cutter world that tells me I can’t chase my dreams. GOD BUILT ME FOR THESE DREAMS! HE LAID ME ON THIS EARTH AND ASKED ME TO FOLLOW THE DREAMS HE PUT IN MY HEART!
No more will I except the fact that I need to be ordinary.
I am extraordinary and that is exactly who I intend to be every single day of my life.

Girlfriend, What is your dream?

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i love you

I wrote myself a letter during the deepest part of my depression a couple of months back. I have ABSOLUTELY NO idea how I was able to write this, which means it definitely wasn’t coming from me. The Holy Spirit was using my fingers to type the words he knew I needed to hear.
Recently I’ve come to the realization that I am a very talented writer and motivator. I have discovered than when I talk, people listen. And not only that, I have people in my life who WANT my help when they are struggling through life. This comes with such honor and never for a second do I take it for granted.
Now, you’re probably laughing thinking, “wait Kassidy you just NOW realized you can write and you’re inspiring?” YEP! Cause I never gave myself credit. I always believed I was average, so, I was average. I limited myself, I put myself in a box and said, “Kassidy, you are never to leave these four little walls, this is who you will be, never greater than this box.”


I used this analogy with my friend the other day and it really resonated with the both of us. If you follow me on Instagram than you know that I have suffered with adult acne most of my adult life. I go through phases of having clear skin and then major breakouts. But what I’ve recently brought to light, is that half the time my skin does not have any zits. I am just standing in front of the mirror picking at my face, CREATING THE PROBLEM.

I am my own problem.
I am my own worst enemy.

And just like that, I stand in front of my mirror and pick at my face, looking for a zit to pop, which then creates a lovely scar that leads to me telling myself I’m ugly.
But what’s really ironic here, is that is what I have been doing to my soul.
To my inner Kassidy.
I find something about her that I don’t necessarily like (just like the beginning of a small zit), and I pick at it until it forms a larger zit, at which point I continue to pick at until a scar is formed and I am left feeling horrible about myself.

THE SAME THING I DO TO MY FACE, I DO TO ME, MY SOUL, TO THE INNER WORKINGS OF KASSIDY!

You don’t even understand how blown away I was when I had this discovery. I sat back and imagined my face at its worst, when I had picked at it to no end, blood everywhere. Then I imagined what my heart looks like from all the times I had tore Kassidy down, told her she is NOT enough, worthy, beautiful, smart, strong, good, loved.
Tears rolled down my face.
I broke Kassidy.
Not anyone else, not what anyone said, not what anyone did.
ME. I broke her.
I picked at her for years until she truly believed that she, would never be enough. That she, was better off gone.

I did this to myself over and over again.
Until I decided to show up for my life.
Until I decided to start forgiving myself for the destruction I had caused.
I decided to really look at what I was doing to myself by keeping Kassidy in that box. I was limiting her when she was made for so much more than that box. I was MINIMIZING her. I was giving her no space, if anything I was telling her she did not deserve space in this world.

But the truth is, Kassidy, she deserves ALL the space. Because there is enough space in this world for EVERY ONE – that’s how God designed it.

You deserve to take up all the space my friend.
You deserve to forgive yourself if you feel you have been too hard on yourself.
You deserve to stand back up and try again when you feel defeated by YOU.
You deserve to take time to heal, take time to learn to trust yourself again, and then when it’s time, stand back up and realize the badass you were created to be.
YOU DESERVE IT.

Now I would like to share the letter I wrote myself about two months ago. To set the scene, I was having major panic attacks lasting about 2-3 hours, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I was so full of anxiety I pulled my car over several times because it was not safe for me to be driving. I was in the darkest pit I have ever been in. I was so hurt I could not communicate it, so I would sleep and cry and sleep and cry. But somewhere, amongst, all of that pain I was able to open up my computer and write this letter to me, and it’s everything I needed to hear then and everything I need to hear now. I’m hoping it will resonate with you too.

“Dear Kassidy,

You lost your sunshine. Somewhere along the way you gave bits and pieces of your sunshine to those you love most. Only because you care about people so much that you want to see them shine.
You walk around seeing everyone’s radiance but your own.
You see the potential people have and you never stop sharing it with them, because what’s the point of having all that potential if you’re never going to use it?
But why did
you stop shining? Why did you dim your light?
You don’t have to dim your light for others to shine, there will always be enough light.

You’ve learned over the past couple of years that grief is not linear, and neither is healing.
When you’re at the bottom, you have to keep fighting to get back to the top.
When you feel like you’ve finally reached the top, you have to be humble enough to remember you will be back at the bottom.

You can still shine your light while you’re healing.
You can still be radiant.
You have permission to be whoever you are right now.

I know that you’re struggling, I know that each day comes with waves of emotions and thoughts you’re choosing to fight through.
Don’t stop fighting. Don’t stop climbing to the top. Don’t stop trying. Don’t give up.
GIRL! YOU ARE THE LIGHT! YOU ARE THE SUN!
Wake up and remember each and every day, that
YOU are the sun.

Keep going.
Keep on finding out who you are meant to be.”

My friend, keep going.
Keep on finding out who YOU are meant to be.
I love you.

Gracious & Grateful The Shop

You read that right… I OPENED MY OWN SHOP!
Gracious & Grateful The Shop is up and running and I am SO proud to say I am a blogger AND small business owner!

I am especially thrilled to be able to link my own boutique on the ‘Fashion’ tab of Gracious & Grateful! It is such a surreal feeling to have a dream come true that you’ve been dreaming of since you were little. The future is so bright for Gracious & Grateful the blog and Gracious & Grateful the Shop. I cannot wait to show you all what’s NEXT!

For now I want to share this super cute sporty/girly look I put together with one of my FAVORITE skirts in my shop! I’ve linked this look below. I used my favorite A-Line Mini skirt, paired with an oversized t-shirt from Target that I tied! I threw on some comfy tennis shoes from Adidas and added my favorite Pearl Hair Clips to complete this simple, cute, casual look! Happy Shopping!

Womens Skirts Floral Printed A-Line Mini Skirt

Solid Pearl Hair Clips (01)

Women’s Short Sleeve Oversized Boxy T-Shirt – Wild Fable – Target

Adidas Cloudfoam Advantage Shoes

Photographer – @piperariellephotography

*Please be advised that Gracious & Grateful The Shop has a shipment duration of about 2 weeks. To make sure your packages arrive on time please account for the shipping time*