On Strength and Weakness

I stumbled across a click bait slideshow of the 20 bitchiest quotes from Bette Davis a few days back and had to smile over the featured quote in this post. (source: flavorwire.com/512679/20-of-the-bitchiestbettedavisquotes)

I could think of several people who fit her description with whom I came into contact in my life. As such, her quote seems to me  brutally honest and I had wished someone would have shared this pearl of wisdom with me so I could have been more prepared to identify it before my energies were wasted in those relationships.

I find that what impressed me most is learning that Ms. Davis, in real life outside of acting, was just as brassy and open as many of the characters she portrayed. I always admired her craft. She chose such complex and outstanding roles of women, often intimidating, steely, cold and, yes, bitchy. But strong. Even when she had the challenge with the tragic Charlotte Vale, in “Now Voyager” she knocked the viewers’ socks off with her stunning performance, letting vulnerability and weakness take the forefront. That film was a game changer for me in my fandom of her work.

The thing is, I was surrounded by very strong and considerably bitchy women in my life. Never once did I see them exhibit any weakness which I thought was daunting. The expectation was that to be a survivor, a success, one never showed weakness. No matter how heavy the burden, you shoulder it. No pity parties, no crying. You do what needs to be done.

I survived because I was tougher than anybody else”– Bette Davis

I thought it was the norm that when the going got tough, you pull up your big girl/boy pants, take a breath and keep going. Mostly this is true because it is so easy to get lost in the drama of the situation and feel sorry for yourself and simply give up. Lately this week has given me pause in terms of not letting some of that weakness show. I cracked a little and finally let out the stress, the anxiety and the fear. I cried on the way to the grocery store. When I pulled in to park, I realized my eyes were more than likely swollen, puffy and my face very flushed. So for that moment of release, I sat there spending the time to pack it all back in, taking that deep breath and carry on.

I learned right there on the slow walk into the store, that moments of weakness are needed. I had to let it out as keeping it in was tearing me down, mentally and physically. Sometimes one can find more strength from showing or recognizing weakness and tending to it for just that moment. Asking for a break, a little help, or just disconnecting to let it out some.

One cannot be strong all the time and it is okay to take that moment to let the stress of the burden out; briefly, but out.  Denying the toll life’s challenges take on one’s self will manifest in different, more self-destructive ways. Recognize it and tend to it.