Thursday, February 12, 2009

The economy is no reason not to give...

First off, this is not a political protest. It's a people protest. I'm an American girl and love this country. I pray every night for the lives of those fighting in the war(on both sides) whether I agree with it or not. BUT I'm tired of us forgetting what's important.

I hear it EVERYWHERE...the economy sucks. I totally agree with that. But in true Kris Bush fashion and passion, I've got something to say about how we're handling the situation.

Come on boys and girls. Let's get out of our SUVs and cute little gas guzzlers(which started depreciating the second we drove them off the lot) and look past our own windshields. Did you know every 3 SECONDS a child in Africa dies due to various health issues because they have a virtually invisible economy? I'm not asking for you to agree with me on this or pull out your check book , but just to think about it. We complain about gas prices to fill up our vehicles when there are people in this world that just want their child, mother, father,sister, brother to just LIVE and can't even imagine having ANY kind of transportation.

Now, if you're reading this and have something against comparing our country to other countries...that's ok too. Let's talk about what a ME focused country and society we've become. What's your credit card debt look like? If you have none, give yourself a celebratory pat on the ass...because you ROCK!

If you are like the millions of us who do have some debt think about this: You bought something with money you don't have, but thought you may have money later on to pay for it all. Think about how crazy that sounds. And no matter how we slice it, we didn't spend it on others. Now if you're saying "I bought it for so and so" you still bought it to portray an image you can't pay for. In essence, you wrote a check your butt couldn't cash. What happened to people liking others for who they are and not just what they have or any other material presence. Seriously. Yes ladies, I love my cute shoes. I love my handbags even more...but I just feel we need to take a moment and decipher between WANTS and NEEDS.

Before my grandmother passed, she told me stories about the Depression. She said women couldn't afford pantyhose then, so they would take a piece of coal and draw a line up the back of their bare legs to give the appearance that they were wearing seamed hosiery. And they couldn't afford make up, so they'd pinch their cheeks to get some color and suck on lemons to make their lips red. Oh, and as far as food went? Yeah, they would eat meat only on Sundays, because they couldn't afford it the other days of the week. But just because things were bad for them, they didn't forget about others outside their home.

People during the Depression tried the best they could to help each other out. If they had kids that had out grown shoes and the neighbor kid needed new shoes, the neighbor kid got them. You can always give SOMETHING to those less fortunate...

Don't believe me? Did you eat a meal out this week(coffee, lunch, dinner)? Did you buy ANYTHING that you didn't need in order to physically live(wine, beer, cigarettes, chocolate,manicure, pedicure,waxing) or maybe something you could have down-graded(you super-sized anything, bought a 20 oz anything when 8 oz would have been just fine). Or maybe you cooked too much and the left overs spoiled in the fridge... there are people (yes even in America)who would fight for that food. Some don't even know what it's like to have enough food to give to the family dog, and they certainly can't imagine throwing food away.

Ok, let's say you're flat broke. If you are reading this, you're evidently breathing and that's verification to me you have a heart, so use it. There are plenty of local organizations that would value your time probably even more than ANY amount of money. When you give, something happens in your heart that no amount of money can replace. Believe me, I've scooped a ton of kitty litter for abused and battered cats and walked many miles for the Alzheimer's foundation for no pay and loved doing that more than any job I've ever had. Now, for all of you who are still resisting and doing your taxes right now, let me remind you that certain donations are also tax deductible... all the more reason to volunteer.

I think in these times we've got 2 choices. We can be a ME nation or a WE nation. And I've got faith in us...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Forgive... but don't forget.

Ok, before I start getting more hateful comments than Jessica Simpson did for going from a size 0 to a size 2, let me make myself abundantly clear about the "not forgetting" part. I believe in forgiveness more than I did the tooth fairy at age 3, but I don't believe we should forget how we felt before we forgave another OR how it feels to be really forgiven... for instance:

I adore a man that hurt me to the core. As a matter of fact, the days that followed after we parted will go down in Kris Bush history as one of the most difficult periods of my life. As my dear friend Emily put it-- I "felt as though I'd been raked over the coals on this one." For months there was no communication between us except for me gathering all his belongings he'd left in my condo and then dumping them on his front porch. Oh, and there were nights where I'd had an adult beverage and texted him horrible things. Ok, let's be real... some of those times I was as sober as an Alabama judge and was just full of piss and vinegar. Let me tell ya, "unforgiving" is an ugly color on me.

Now, he had every opportunity to be ugly back, but didn't. Not that he had the right to. After all, I was the one hurt. I was the one wronged. Can we say "Pity... party of one. Your table's ready." I still haven't totally forgiven him. But I'm definitely working on it. My want to let it go gets stronger day by beautiful day. Especially since the more I forgive, the better I feel ( as I'm sure he does as well :-) ). I don't wanna forget what happened and how I felt before I started forgiving. I want to remember I'm making progress in a situation. I get really excited now when I can just let stuff go, look back and realize the bigger picture and move forward. I am continually amazed by how much we as humans don't challenge ourselves to let go of the stuff that holds us back, sometimes for decades.

Oh, and how frigging good does it feel to be the one forgiven? Case in point:

A friend of mine had asked that I go into a joint venture while going through the above situation. Now, did I hope that I could do everything I'd promised. Of course. But the key word here is "hope". I didn't know that I could. So, with that being said I fell short of our agreement. Yep, me. I had wronged a friend. Talk about feeling like a jackass.

Did I apologize? Absolutely. And did she hold it against me? Absolutely, and with every right. She had to process it all. And, like the guy above, I had to realize it was my fault. I had put myself in that situation. Since then, we've talked over things and all is good in our world. Thank God! I really couldn't live with this girl being mad at me. I love her and the last thing I want is for something that's not gonna matter on our deathbeds to prevent us from having a continued friendship.

Sometimes you just gotta let things settle and not make rash decisions you'll end up regretting. You know... those crazy wagers we do in our heads like "I'll NEVER forgive/let go of this" in an attempt to make the other person "pay for it" . You know who ends up cashing that check? Yep, you. You carry around that crap long enough it will make you sick. Literally. Which brings me to the final and hardest person to forgive... yourself.

All I have to say about how to forgive yourself for making not-so-smart decisions is they have been made. Stop making yourself suffer. Sometimes it's an action, like making a promise you just can't keep. Other times it's no action, like instead of leaving you stay and end up hurt. And sometimes the things you hold yourself responsible for aren't even your fault. No matter the situation, one thing is true about the past... it's done. And when you forgive yourself you reap the benefits of both forgiving and being the forgiven... now that... well, it's divine.

Be good to you. Let it go.