Love Thyself

lately i’ve been figuring out how to love those who irritate me.

now i know someone just read that and got super offended because i said that people irritate me, but life is too short to worry about offending other people.

lets face it, in a world full of 7.53 billion people, we’re bound to find a couple we just don’t agree with. but God doesn’t call us to get along with every person he’s made, he calls us to love them. even if we don’t agree with them, or they annoy us, and especially when they hurt us.

we have to love them.

i struggle with that last one and i’m sure you do too. loving someone who HURT us? after all the pain they caused us, after the continued trauma or abuse or whatever the case may be, i need to love them? you may be thinking that they don’t deserve your love.

but who are you to say that they don’t deserve love?

you deserve love. and i’m sure you’ve hurt a lot of people too.

the key to loving someone who has hurt you is through forgiveness.

you must forgive them, no matter the circumstances and you must move on.

that is how you grow, love people, and more importantly find love for yourself.

you cannot love with a bitter heart. you cannot be kind to others when you have anger deeply rooted in the pain someone else has caused you, or the pain you caused yourself.

you see, i’ve realized that you can’t take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself first. you also can’t love someone, until you’ve learned to love yourself.

yes our job is to love thy neighbor, but what people often forget is to love thyself.

learn to love the difficult people in your life by learning to love yourself first. to be fully devoted to being a better human we must love.

Gracious & Grateful

gracious & grateful

to be gracious & to be grateful.

to be graceful in all that i do & to do everything with a grateful heart.

because when you stop and look around, life is pretty amazing.

but you have to stop. you have to stop going, going, going. you have to STOP. slow down and see what’s going on around you, see who is around you.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because i am all about remembering what i am grateful for (hence the name of this blog). one of my biggest fears is taking life for granted. i often have thoughts like, “what if my heart stopped beating right NOW, right this second, would i be full-filled with my life?”. if the answer to that question is no, then i change something. i STOP and i figure out how to be better and how to live my life better.

i re-center myself and focus on the things that bring me joy and love.

one of the many ways you can constantly be focusing on gratitude is to make sure you are creating the habit of stopping and thinking about what you are grateful for. i do this by taking my planner that i use to make to do lists as well as plan out my day and i write “10 things”. every day. i write 10 things i am grateful for. 10 THINGS. some days when i am super moody and just feeling down right ungrateful, i literally write “breathing” or “cheeseburgers” (but lets face the facts, i am ALWAYS grateful for cheeseburgers!). Other days when i feel sentimental and super grateful i go into deeper answers to the “10 things” list. it doesn’t have to be a perfect list and it doesn’t have to be fancy, you can be grateful for anything from the dirty laundry to your education. just CHOOSE to be grateful for something, not just around the holidays, but all the time. choose joy and choose to have a grateful heart.

when i was thinking about starting a blog the thing that was stopping me (besides the lack of confidence i could actually produce content for the blog) was the name. i was stumped. i didn’t want something that alluded to only one type of blog (fashion, inspiration ex.) i wanted to be able to make it my own and talk about whatever was on my mind. i remember driving to school everyday talking to myself (YES I TALK TO MYSELF AND I KNOW YOU DO TOO SO DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT LAUGHING) about what my blog name would be and how cool it would be to say i started something. well one day as i turned on to Flamingo from Las Vegas Blvd. the words gracious & grateful came running across my mind. i remember the exact moment. it was exactly what i aspired to be, gracious & grateful. i had grown up having some sort of standard for myself that i would be a classy and gracious woman. and being raised in a home where cancer was the center, you didn’t have a choice but to be grateful for each day that came and went where someone wasn’t in the hospital or being diagnosed with a secondary cancer.

and just like that gracious & grateful was born.

a couple weeks later i made my website and started making my dreams come true.

this week over on my instagram stories (@sassandkass) i have been sharing one thing i am grateful for each day in preparation for Thanksgiving!

today i am grateful for gracious & grateful.

the blog that has let me heal, grow, and love stronger than i ever have before.

the blog that has allowed me the opportunity to help others heal, grow, and love.

the blog that made me a woman.

to you gracious & grateful, and all that is to come.

Haunting Pasts

anyone else terrified of their past?

i am. it haunts me. it is the huge elephant in the room.

see, recently moving across the country where most people do not know my past or my story is both liberating and petrifying.

i determine what parts of my story i will let them into. but for so long my past defined who i was and how people treated me. i was the girl who’s brother had cancer, i was the girl who couldn’t go to things because she had to be at home helping with life while everyone was at the hospital, i was the friend who couldn’t make lunch dates because my anxiety was through the roof wondering if my brother was even alive. then i became the girl who’s brother died, the girl who looked strong on the outside but was shattered into a million pieces on the inside, the girl you didn’t know how to talk to because, really, what do you say to a 21 year old grieving young woman?

my past haunts me. yet, without my past i wouldn’t have the present. i had to go through the things i went through in order to be where i am today. i had to struggle and hurt, cry and mourn. i had to go through the worst to see the view from the mountain i am now standing on.

when you look at your past you have two choices, you can choose to let it define you negatively or you can choose to let it make you stronger. struggle. breeds. greatness. my all time favorite quote (yes its from Jurassic World!). i love this quote because it has never been said better. the hardest things you go through will be the things that make you most great.

be grateful for your past, it has made you who you are today and who you will become tomorrow. with that being said, who do you want to be tomorrow?

Happiness

bull crap. i’m calling bull crap on all your excuses as to why you’re not happy.

you don’t have your dream car, dream house. you don’t have a boyfriend or children. you don’t have enough money or enough of anything… but boy oh boy, when you get those things you’re sure to be HAPPY.

bull. freaking. crap.

happiness is NOT defined by stuff, or things, or even other people. happiness is not measured in what you have or what you want to have. Jay Shetty (@jayshetty) says, “Happiness is not a checklist. A dream job, a fast car, a good home, even love, mean nothing at all if you have not yet found a way to feel full and content in your own mind and heart.”

OTHER PEOPLE ARE NOT MAKING YOU UNHAPPY. YOU ARE MAKING YOU UNHAPPY.

this is the most profound thing i’ve learned in 2018.

other people are not making me unhappy, i am making myself unhappy by allowing myself to agree with their negativity. by allowing myself to be aggravated when something doesn’t go my way or when someone says something i disagree with. i am LETTING these people steal my joy.

happiness is only achieved by choosing to love who you are and who you want to become.

choosing to love where you are right now and where you will be someday soon.

happiness is CHOOSING to be content in the now, and if you don’t like whats happening right now then CHANGE IT.

the second most profound thing i’ve learned in 2018 is that when i don’t like where i am at in my life i can change where i’m going.

you don’t like your job? quit. find a better one that you love more. or find a hobby that gets you through the job you don’t like.

you don’t like the relationship your in? end it. it’s only creating more pain by staying in it.

you don’t love the degree you’re seeking? change your major.

you don’t enjoy the city you currently live in? move.

ITS YOUR LIFE.

and yes, i know. its not this simple if you are married and have a family to consider when you make certain decisions. but i am a firm believer that even when you’re in a relationship you are still you and your partner is still them. it is two people coming together to be BETTER, not to be ONE. you are still your own person, so go be that person.

whatever is making you unhappy is YOUR problem. so stop the bull crap excuses. stop blaming other people for YOU being unhappy.

honestly, its your own damn fault.

the choice is yours. you stay in your unhappiness or you decide to make a change.

“respect yourself enough, to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”

everything has a time and a place. some things were only meant to serve you for a certain period of time. some relationships were only meant to help you grow to a certain point.

and that’s okay.

its okay to outgrow people, its okay to give yourself permission to move on to the next thing that will MAKE YOU HAPPY.

but you have to give yourself the permission to change.

you have to give yourself the permission to be happy.

it’s hard work, it is a constant choice of not letting the little things annoy you, having A LOT of patience, and always choosing joy over every thing.

respect yourself enough to choose happiness. you deserve it.

Serious Topic: Dance Parties

if you follow me on instagram (which if you don’t you totally should, it’s a party over there @kassidy.owen), you know i LOVE a good dance party. 2 minutes into your favorite song and your whole mood can change. but somewhere along the ride of life i stopped having dance parties, i stopped living for the joy a good song could bring me, i stopped dancing through life.

that’s when i knew things needed to change.

when i stopped having dance parties, when i stopped rolling my windows down and singing on the top of my lungs, that’s when i knew i had let the things of this world get the best of me.

when i was little a good family friend gave me a sign that said “dance as if no one was watching”, a popular quote i’m sure you’ve heard. it was hung above my door and i would read it all the time but never really understood the meaning behind it.

as an adult i totally get what the quote’s saying, don’t worry about other peoples opinions, JUST DO YOU. do whatever you want and don’t think so much about what everyone else is going to think about you. dance as if no one is watching, because at the end of the day their opinions don’t matter, the only opinion that matters is YOURS.

so, do you dance as if no one is watching?

are you confident enough in who you are to dance in a world full of people who are just trying to “fit in”?

will you be the one dancing or will you be the one standing in the crowd WISHING you had the confidence to be the one dancing?

as many of you know i am a nanny to two extraordinary little girls, who would probably be mad if they read this and i said i was their nanny and not their sister (lol!). i’ve been with them since they were born and love them beyond words. they are my constant dance party partners and sometimes we dance in the kitchen and sometimes we dance in the middle of Main Street at Magic Kingdom. why? because i want to teach them to “dance as if no one is watching”. i want to help them build confidence in who they are by remembering it doesn’t matter who is around, you BE WHO YOU ARE MEANT TO BE. how do i help them do that? i make them have dance parties in the middle of big crowds and i encourage them to be silly and have fun no matter who is watching. because at the end of the day you will never regret being in a dance party, you will only regret not joining one.