It’s my favorite line in The Taming of the Shrew, and one of the only ones that made doing that damn big speech okay each and every night.
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare
(Like, fuck you, Shakespeare, but also I just cannot bring myself to hate this play entirely. Sorry?)*
I am a soft creature. I am writing this whole sipping on cinnamon spice herbal tea, listening to the Coco soundtrack, and sitting atop my oft-mentioned and fervently beloved pink flannel unicorn sheets. I am siting next to Waddles, the chubbiest, most perfect stuffed penguin in the land. My lavender-blue room smells like my favorite scented candle: old books and Earl Grey.
You get it.
What does it mean to be “soft?” Because, for the longest time, I chided myself for my softness, equating it with weakness. This admonishment comes in a Voice that is not my own, but in one that I trusted so very much. I am working on letting go of this Voice’s vice on my heart, because it is too hard, too harsh, it hurts me too much.
I am banishing the lies that break my heart. It is not weakness to choose to walk away from hurt.
And it makes me sad, because this Voice does not really know me at all. I imagine that this Voice sees me in the way that I have previously seen myself: cowardly, sniveling even. “A cry baby.” “Lighten up.” “Put on your big girl panties.”
I have A Lot of Feelings. I spent most of the morning crying to the Hamilton soundtrack, and I chose to soothe by going on a walk to get a cookie.
(And it is here that I once again must Nerd Out, and thank dear, perfect Aziraphale- always, forever- for being the voice in my head today that said, so gently, “Have the cookie, dear one. Enjoy it even.”)**
Here is my point, I think:
My Softness, or whatever we decide to call it, is not merely my tea sipping, cookie eating, stuffed animal hugging, musical theatre sobbing aesthetic. (I think the kids are calling that “cottagecore,” by the way? Do I have that right? I am the oldest creature on Tumblr.)
Softness is my fucking super power. On a good day, it is the manifestation of my ability to take care of myself and others. To harness my love languages (which are indeed iced coffee and cookies), and to try to make someone else feel okay.
Softness is empathy, is compassion, is grace. Like all things, it is flexible, it is supple. Some days you might be crunchier than others, and those days are okay too. Because you can always find your way back to softness whether you should find it within a kind word to another or within a cup of tea brewed for yourself.
And, so my friends, as our favorite angel once said (and we, my dears, will say it loud and proud:
* We might get deeper into Shrew at a later date.
** I ended up eating three cookies yesterday, in the interest of transparency. They were each of them delicious.