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Love yourself first

Love yourself first.
Above all, love yourself.
Even through insecurities, love yourself first.

I’ve struggled with acne for as long as I can remember. Besides the painful bumps that erupt on your face, the mental battle that acne brings is agonizing. Acne is a physical condition, but creates an emotional toll beyond words. It questions your worth, your ability to be loved. It makes you wonder why you’re on earth, if only to look so hideous behind something so beautiful.

I’ve grown to accept that some people battle acne, while others battle their weight, and others battle their relationship with food. All of us are fighting our own self worth battles. Just trying to make it to the other side unscathed from our own worst enemy, ourselves.

Learning to love yourself is the only way out of the vicious cycle of self hate. Love drives out hate. You have to learn to fill your mind with love instead of the destructive thoughts that come with insecurities. You have to drown yourself with love to empty out the hate. And believe me, it’s not going to be easy, loving yourself first never is.

When I am really struggling with my acne or mental health, my therapist always tells me to start simple. Don’t go all in to the personal development podcasts, books, videos. Why not just try to drink one glass of water? That is more beneficial to your body that overwhelming yourself with words your brain can’t take in that moment.

So lets love ourselves in the simple ways. Lets do the little things that add up to loving ourselves well.

Lets…
Drink some water.
SLEEP, maybe even take a nap.
Remember to eat throughout the day.
Take a shower, sometimes if you don’t have the energy to wash- just rinse. Just lay under the water and let it fall onto your silky skin.
Brush those teeth. You deserve a clean, beautiful smile.
Write three things your grateful for, no more, no less. Just three.

By loving yourself first you’ll be able to love your people better. Your cup has to be full before you can attempt to fill someone else’s. I’ve learned this the hard way over and over again.

Love yourself first, then love and be loved.

The sun will rise again.

Love your Internet bestie,

Kass

It’s not personal

Do you ever catch yourself reacting to something in a not so lovely way? Specifically something someone has said to you? Suddenly your chest is tight, you feel inferior, and the world is ending. All over something you’re probably taking to personally.

Yep, I went there.
99% of the time we are taking things too personal and in return reacting negatively.

Lately when I start to notice myself reacting negatively to something someone has said to me or texted me, I do my best to stop myself and ask one question. Am I taking this personally? The answer is almost always yes, and from there I evaluate if it is actually personal.
Is what they said really about me? Or am I making it about me?

Humans are selfish beings. We are constantly focused on keeping ourselves alive, and it’s necessary, without putting our oxygen mask on first we would never get the opportunity to save the person next to us. But because we are selfish we tend to forget that not everything is about us. Other people’s intentions are not always to go against us and make us feel bad. Most of the time we are just reading the message wrong, or taking it the way we hear the message– not the way the person meant it to be.

It’s not personal.
Whatever the text said that you are looming over like its the last day on earth- it’s not personal.
Whatever your boss told you that disrupted your day- it’s not personal.
Whatever you thought your best friend meant by saying your butt looked fat in those jeans- eh, that might be personal but bottom line she may be just as insecure about her butt in her own jeans!
It’s not personal.
Stop taking everything so personal.

And while I’m on my soap box- stop assuming everyone is against you!
Friends, don’t you believe in humanity? That maybe a small percentage of people on this earth are actually FOR you and not against you?
From now on, I’m going to assume every single person I interact with is on my side. They like me, they think I am the most awesome person on the planet. And until they tell me otherwise- they love me.

How would it change the current state of our world if we believed other people liked us? How often, especially as women, do we immediately assume someone hates us? Be it a fellow girl or the guy at work we have a crush on but continue to say something like, “He’ll probably never like me.” GIRLFRIEND, what if he already does? You’re not even giving him the benefit of the doubt because you’re so consumed with the fact you think people don’t like you.
Get off your high horse.
People like you but you don’t give them the chance to.

Friends, it’s not personal and not everyone is against you.
Start to ask yourself when you react, am I taking this personally?
If you are taking something personally, take a step back and evaluate why- because that’s on you and not the other person. Take some ownership before starting down a road neither of you wants to head down.
And give people the benefit of the doubt, I know it may seem like the world is against itself right now, but you’d be surprised what people do when you decide to give them a chance.

In the words of the very millennial (but not better than) version of Grease, We’re all in this together (High School Musical).
Remember, tomorrow is just another version of today but brighter.

The sun will rise again.

Love your internet bestie,

Kass

Survivor

“If your path is more difficult it’s because your calling is higher.” – @edmylett

It’s no secret that most wise people have the most traumatic pasts. They have fought long battles and probably lost most of them. They are also the most interesting people you will meet because they have gone through hardships.

But those people are also the ones fighting the hardest to live out each and every day. They are the ones escaping the wrath of suicide, depression, anxiety, negative thinking, and everything else that comes with trauma.

Lately I’ve been escaping those demons, barely getting away from the hands of my past. It’s easy to slip back into sadness, and unfortunately more difficult to choose happiness. I think it is because we long to be where we were before the trauma happened, before the loved ones died, we want to reverse time. I try every day to not live in the past, to consume my present and try to be the best version of me- I hear people say that “you can’t grow by living in the past” – but sometimes the past is just too hard to leave behind.

Post traumatic stress disorder is interesting, and for me, I find it is the hardest mental illness to overcome. Sometimes I find myself in the daze of a flashback and usually I do not want to return to my reality, I want to stay in the flashback where I know what is going to happen next. See, if I am having a flashback of me at the Route 91 concert, I know the next scene includes raining bullets. But if I go back to the present- its unpredictable, my mind is unsure of what is going to happen next.
Flashbacks make me comfortable, I’m in control- because it’s a scene of the story that has already happened.

Lately, I have been scared of my present and my future.
I have been obsessed with control.
And the only thing my brain believes to be in control over is the past.
So I’ve decided to write a letter from past Kassidy to present Kassidy.
I hope if you’ve been through something traumatic it resonates with you.

Dear 2019 Kassidy,

You’re missing out. Life is flying by and you’re sitting in a hospital room that is no longer yours to be in, walking halls that no longer exist.
You’re running from bullets that have already landed.
You couldn’t control the bullets, the cancer, or the pain- so what makes you think you will be able to control today? tomorrow? or next week?
You’re trying to put together a puzzle with pieces that don’t yet exist.
You’re losing your life all while trying to control it.
As you know, tomorrow is not in your hands.
You are not in the drivers seat.

So why don’t you sit back? Why don’t you do only what you can do in this day? Why don’t you rest, relax, and realize that you do not need to control what happens next, control is not the role God gave you on this earth.
I know you’re trying, I know you’re doing your best.
But remember that you don’t always have to be the best, you can just do your best.
Doing your best looks a lot different than being your best.
Just do what you can with what has been given to you today, not what was given to you 4 years ago, and definitely not what you think will be given to you 10 years from now.
Today is your only obstacle, what will you do with it?
You will survive.

You’ve got this.

Love,

Kassidy from 2013

I’d like to say writing this letter solves my PTSD. I’d like to say it cures it, helps me live in the moment that is today. But the illness doesn’t work like that- I have to remind myself of this letter every day. I have to choose now, 2019, over 2013, or 2017, or 2020. I have to decide to put my effort into today- and that’s harder than you think.

This post is dedicated to all who suffer from PTSD- from soldiers, to mothers, to fathers, to siblings, to you who’ve been through the worst of the worst.
You are not alone, your feelings are real, your flashbacks may haunt you but it’s only because you are called for a higher purpose.

Unstoppable

“You will never always be motivated, so you must learn to be disciplined”

This is exactly where I am at in my business.
See, I have trained myself to be habitual in many areas of my life. For example, going to the gym and drinking water- those are two things I must do and I know they are on my list every single day.

But, in business, it is easy to lack motivation- especially when it is slow.
Last week I made zero sales. None. I also was not able to focus on my business as I was busy working my other job- so it makes sense my sales were down. I currently do all marketing by myself, so if I am not posting– people are not seeing my blog, shop, or media content. But at the same time it is INSANELY discouraging to have no sales- to think you have progressed in your business to then have your report at the end of the week say “$0.00 profit.”

My limiting thoughts came burrowing through… “Who do you think you are to run a business?”, “If this week was $0.00 profit, next week will for sure be the same”, “You’re 24- who do you think you are to believe you can run a virtual business you can work from anywhere?”, “No one reads what you write– you should just stop writing.”
Now here’s where I have to personally make the choice.
I can choose to believe my limiting thoughts- or I can choose to change my narrative.

Last night before I went to bed I was scrolling through social media when I stumbled upon a post from one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Sara Blakely. If you’re unfamiliar with Sara, just know she is the inventor and owner of Spanx– which she started from her apartment. She is my ultimate mentor when it comes to my business and somehow at the exact moments I’m feeling down about what I’m trying to create, she posts on her social media to remind me that persistence and repetition help create the outcome you want- that, and the power of positive thought. Yesterday, Sara shared a story about spreading positivity and how powerful our thoughts are. I read it and was so inspired- because I have always struggled with my thoughts. I have always believed that my negative self talk was in control- and I was not. But over the years I’ve learned I am ultimately in charge of my thoughts and what I put into the world. So before I fell asleep last night I said my prayers, listed 10 things I was grateful for, and then I sent out positivity- I sent out light. I know it sounds a little witch like but hear me out. I write down every single day “I wish to be light”, I write that down because I truly wish to be a positive light for everyone in my life. So by sending out positive light it is only bound to come back to me- just like in Sara’s example in her post.

I fell asleep with a grateful and positive heart and mind, and after a week of doubt and zero sales… this morning I woke up to a sale. I was mind blown and a little shaken up. I think Jesus was trying to remind me that because of him, I have all the power I need. I just need to trust him and trust in the power he has given me. I have all the power inside of me to create a successful company, to write a successful blog, to be successful in the way Jesus has intended me to be. I just need to believe it and take ownership of the power he has given me.

I know I am not the only one doubting my abilities. I know you are too. And maybe you’re not doubting a business working out or your writing. Maybe you’re doubting your ability to be a mother? Or a student? Or just to make it another day without falling apart?

Let me remind you of something extraordinary.
You have the power.
Jesus has given you the power to be the best version of you- and when you can’t, he’s there to pick you up and say “try again”
You have the power to believe that you are a good mother.
You have the power to believe that you are going to do great in school.
You have the power to believe that you are going to make it through this day.
YOU have the power to believe in YOU.
And when you realize that the power is inside of you, you will be unstoppable.

For more inspiring posts- check out my Instagram!

A look designed by Gracious & Grateful Founder- Kassidy Owen

The Floral Mini Dress from Gracious & Grateful The Shop is a staple for your closet. The variety of colors we offer allows for a dress for every season! Not to mention if you’ve caught the travel bug- it’s an easy dress to roll up and fit in a suitcase! Dress it up or down, depending on shoes and accessories! I paired it with my matching Moon-Shaped Handbag and my beach boho statement earrings from Gracious & Grateful The Shop! My shoes are from a couple years back from Target– but I’ve linked some similar ones!

Floral Mini Dress

Moon Shaped Women’s Bag

Statement Earrings – Beach Boho

Women’s Espadrille Sandals

Photographer – @piperariellephotography

I started Gracious & Grateful The Shop to show young women that you have the choice to chase your dreams. It’s all on you girlfriend– your dreams are on you!

*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*