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Getting Personal: Self-Care and Haiti…

July 10, 2010

So much has been stirring since I last wrote, hence the hiatus.  Much on the personal side and the humanitarian side.  I spoke to a friend about what I had been dealing with and tonight I’m taking her advice and sharing this with you (thank you sisters).  Haiti is a challenge.  It’s a challenge working here and being successful with all odds against Madame Haiti.  What many people don’t speak about is the personal challenge and as a Haitian American, and an individual who was here a few days after the earthquake for some time, it certainly has its effects. Here’s what I want to share with you…

We’re all busy here and don’t find a moment to do anything outside of work really…any spare time is usually for work and when it’s not work its something else, or dealing with something else.  Haiti is a stressful country to live with and now there are so many layers to this revolution of change and there’s also many layers to the personal revolution one has to challenge the self with in order to take care of yourself to serve.

This entry is not about blame but about reflection.  I too hate being here at times, yet my purpose humbles me and it always feels right in present moments.  At times I am bitter, annoyed, irritable; I don’t believe that things will change, I don’t like dealing with my own people, I internalize how I feel, I don’t bother because “whats the point,” or I get stressed out.  Then there are the moments that are beautiful and kinetic, where everything and everyone just works and the halo of solidarity is bright.  I feel loved and give love and accept the situation as I see it, or perhaps I romanticize about it so that I feel good (hmmm…).  Some days I feel alone as if there is no support and the support system I have is too far and then there are other days when I feel the force of the universe and my ancestors guiding me.

Point being: it’s very easy to lose yourself in Haiti.  I wonder if many other countries that lack infrastructure and have a swelling NGO population have this same aesthetic.  There are some who have seen so much disaster in this world that they have no hope for humanity, yet they’re tasked with helping humanity.  There are some who believe and disasters and wars challenge them into disbelief.  There are some who soothe their inner struggle with any vice available, no matter what the mask is, and there are some who swing back and forth, unable to function outside of traveling the world giving aid.  What are we running from?  I state all of the above because I see how a person can shift with many challenges and loads of responsibilities.  It’s the truth.  Helping others in the depths of a complicated situation as Haiti is no easy task: not personally or in any other form.  It takes conscious practice and self-care.  The more challenging the situation, the more self-care you need.

I’m working on taking care of myself and it wasn’t until I noticed a shift that I began to reach out to others seeking advice.  It’s easy to think you’re right and its very easy to blame.  What’s not easy is accepting people and situations as they are.

I’m working on it and hope those in similar positions are too.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. sunshine permalink
    July 11, 2010 5:48 pm

    Regine,
    What a beautiful truth you have spoken about the complexities of being human. You have chosen a road that calls for so much more courage than I have.
    Loving ourselves and accepting things as they are, some of our greatest human challenges. Thank you for bringing that part of ourselves to be illuminated.
    sunshine

  2. July 12, 2010 4:43 pm

    I am calling it the rabbit hole…it’s amazing how the place and its cast of characters can suck you in and at times suck you dry. Self care is important. I find myself repeating: my place is here now; working through it is what it is all about. Somehow, this mantra helps through the difficult days…
    Take good care of yourself!

  3. July 12, 2010 7:31 pm

    Self-Care is key!!! And Rose-May it is kind of like a rabbit hole in a way…someone said something that was really insightful today: “Always stay receptive and open. It is oppressive to spend every day battling against the inertia of Haiti. It saps one of patience. Must keep breathing and give 100% and surrender the outcome to the universe.” This is definitely a mantra that I intend to repeat and remind myself of as we all grow through this. Thank you for sharing and reading…

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