30. May, 2022

Migration and Immigration

Never will I forget the feeling of being suddenly walking, working and living on a new continent : new culture, new history, new ways, new traditions, new language, new weather, new system even though the differences were ever so subtle. After all I spoke English, but I felt as if I was exposed as being the " new one in town" . Everywhere I went I felt like a pioneer and was fascinated by colour and sounds in nature, but the people and their habits frightened me, I felt I did not quiet fit in and I looked and felt uncomfortable or should I rather say " not at home". In my work as an Occupational Therapist I often realized that my life experiences later helped me to understand a condition or an illness better.

When I observed people coming into Residential care (an Old Aged home) for the first time, I observed something so similar. In fact I recognized the same feelings: Disorientation, being overwhelmed, longing for something familiar, feeling out of your skin and plain paranoid. I could easily put myself in their shoes. I know that friendly faces, familiar things and orientation markers can make a world of difference.

Now that I have lived here 16 years I can still spot immigrants and my heart goes out to them every time. Back home you had a great position and were acknowledged in your community, but when you immigrate you feel like a nobody. But let me tell you, you are never a nobody. In fact the you, the real you only inhabits a body that is observed by others. The real you can flourish where ever it is put, it only needs to know that it is loved. So know that God loves you and that this Love comes through people that recognize you for the true unique person you are. Do not be afraid to connect, this way you can feel again that you belong.