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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.

Is perfection really freedom?

Sometimes I get anxious to write my blogs. Not because of my anxiety but because of my fear that they will lack perfection.

There is probably something in your life that creates anxious feelings within your body- mostly because you’re craving perfection.

Here’s an unpopular thing to say as a bloggerI don’t have an answer for you about perfection. lol – no but really, blogs were designed to help make your life easier. “This recipe will help you make dinner in under 20 minutes!”, “6-pack abs, in 5 minutes or less!”, “Childbirth… it will be easy if you read this blog!”
My blog however, I hope never gives you the answers. I hope my blog leaves you with deep questions that only you can dive in and answer.

So lets tackle perfection- why do we strive for perfection in a world where perfection is unachievable?
Why do we expect perfection when it’s physically impossible to be perfect?

per·fec·tion/pərˈfekSH(ə)n/

  1. the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.

The definition of perfection is interesting because it is described as being ‘free’ of all defects. But I do not believe that NOT having defects will allow you to be free. If I lived a “perfect” life that had no flaws- a story that didn’t involve my brother dying and running for my life in a shooting- I would not be free, I would be shackled. I would be restrained to a life without lessons.

A life without lessons, is not a free life- it is a broken life.

A life full of lessons is a life well spent- it is a life full of stories that taught you and allowed you to grow.
I would choose growth over perfection every time.

Every time I choose to open my computer and write, I am allowing myself to grow. To grow as a writer, a blogger, and as a person.
And every time I write a blog that is not perfect, I am freed.
Freed of the very thing that causes me to grow.

I am grateful that I am not perfect.
I am grateful that I am incapable of writing a perfect blog post, or a perfect Instagram post, or buying the perfect items for my shop.
I am grateful that every time I choose to be imperfect, I am choosing to allow myself to be free.

What things in your life are you forcing to be perfect, when you could allow yourself to instead- be free?

This Monday, I ask you to free yourself.
It’s going to be a challenge, because if you’re anything like me you have several things you try to be perfect at- but just remember, a perfect life is a life without experience, without joy, without adventure.
A life tethered to perfection, and one I personally, do not want to live.

How will you choose to be free today?

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