Updated: Feb 4, 2021
The term “helper” is one I’ve grown up hearing. In West Indian culture, it's synonymous with someone who provides care and additionally also fulfills the role of a housekeeper. Willfully or not, the foundations of my personal life and my subsequent career goals have been anchored around this notion. Despite brief attempts in college to distance myself in the name of finding my own identity, I found that extended periods of detachment from others created a void.
As social beings we need each other, and often feel compelled to connect and help. Yet as caregivers providing services, it remains essential to notice our own vulnerabilities, our own points of self neglect. Often times the word "vulnerability" can elicit the emotion of a curse word, causing us to recoil at the consideration of perceived weakness we can't afford when we have the important job of caring for someone else. But acknowledging that vulnerability instead creates personal power by requiring us to be honest, providing opportunities to expand our own supports, and experiencing respite when we can. Over time I've learned that walls only create isolation. If we are open, the process of time and learning can provide us insight to see vulnerability as a way to build. How would you describe your own experience with vulnerability as a caregiver?
On an emotional level, housekeeping highlights the benefit of attending to our wellbeing. Like all others, you require care. By removing emotional walls you can recognize and provide for the personal spaces that you need, while maintaining healthy boundaries or rules for self care. What boundaries would you like to establish which will allow you to live well while supporting those you care for?
Make Time For Healing,