What is your ultimate toxic trait?
Updated: Jun 7, 2021
Many of my blogs are reflections and thoughts I've written down over the years in a million notebooks and I've finally put my foot down and decided to post them all in one place. Not all of them are my own, but everywhere they are not I have always credited the author.
Firstly, hi again! I've taken a very conscious break for a while (read: four months) and I promise I have a totally valid reason for that. Unfortunately, that's looked like I've stopped writing - I haven't - so I thought I'd start off from the month I stopped in (September) with a follow-on blog for October.
If you don't know, October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening month and is focused on mental health education and depression awareness.
During this COVID-impacted day and age, I think this a very important month of the year to remember you need to rest and reset.
As Pacific Islanders, and most importantly, as Solomon Islanders - we don't address mental health enough. See my blog here where I start to explain why.
I heard a very savvy Solomon Island woman say very recently that as Solomon Islanders, we have two big strengths: our humor, and our high tolerance levels. As a result, we tolerate more, and we laugh off the bad.
Those traits have stood us in great stead in the past and saw us through a seriously damaging time in our nation's history, emerging from it on a conciliatory terms and moving past it (with a lot of help) together as a people.
Those same strengths are to our detriment when considered under different circumstances. Have you read Ceridwen Spark's article on 'Two Different Worlds' that talks about the lives of women working in development in Papua New Guinea? If you haven't, read it here.
I shared it with colleagues last year as I found too many similarities and it had me really, really triggered all throughout. What particularly struck me was the tolerance level we convey as a Pacific people - to many other things aside from systemic challenges we encounter not just in the workplace, but in our societies. Things that are known, but have not been properly acknowledged, so changes can take place.
As women, we are accepting, we are the peace-makers and we are the ones with the high tolerances for a lot - most times to the detriment of our mental health.
Which brings me to my second point of why I think remembering October's importance and relevance is vital for our well-being, as we take stock.
We are starting to weave a subtle message into our COVID-weary posts on self-care (especially amongst ourselves as women), that self-care is equated to fulfilling our basic human needs. PSA: It is not.