This past week has been a time of remembering in Rwanda. Of remembering a very tragic and horrendous part of their history. It has been a mere 23 years since the genocide that killed so many people and yet, there is a tangible sense of hope. Looking up and onwards, while still taking the time to fully grieve everything and everyone who was lost. It is an incredible thing to witness.
I’m not going to write about the Remembrance Period, I don’t feel I can adequately speak to that as a visitor here. But this time of grief and hope has given me space to think about my own home and everything happening in the US currently. It is so hard to see my home engulfed in such condemnation, turmoil, and polarity. What do you do when you see suffering and unrest happening and you’re 7,000 miles away?
Over the past few years I found my voice when it comes to speaking about things that matter to me. And I’ve found it hard some days to speak up at all. But in the US we have the freedom and the right to make our voices heard and that is a privilege other countries don’t have. I don’t want to take that for granted.
I know that there are a wide range of people who read my blog; people whose lives have been shaped in different ways, with views that are sometimes similar to my own and sometimes not. This post isn’t for any of you, it’s for me.
Being away from home is hard, but especially now. I feel like I can’t physically do anything about what is happening. It’s hard not being able to go to rallies or have conversations with friends and family over drinks. I can’t volunteer with causes I support or shop at stores that support things I care about. I can only read the news and that really sucks.
In a time when I feel like I can’t DO much of anything, I can still SPEAK UP. So here is a list (in no particular order) of some things that I support and that matter to me and some links that lead to more information or ways you can donate, volunteer, and make a difference. Some of them you may agree with and others you may not, but I’m not justifying any of it and I’m not asking you to either—this is my self-care.
- Intersectional Feminism and women’s right’s
- Yoga and Mindfulness
- The foster-care system in the US
- Giving animals a forever home
- Doing things that make you happy
- LGBTQ Rights
- Holistic health
- Relational Christianity
- Making and drinking coffee
- Reproductive health and family planning
- Justin Timberlake broke up N’sync
- The education system in the US
- Self-love and healthy self-image
- Special Education in the US
- Climate Change and the environment
- Herbal tea
Going into this weekend, take time to care for yourself, whatever that looks like for you! Maybe take a break from the news (wherever you happen to be) or take some time to research ideas and things that matter to you. There is no “right” way to care for your self, just a lot of opportunities to remind yourself that you matter! Because you do.