Selma Blair recently made the headlines for dropping out of the Dancing With The Stars competition to take care of her health – she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2018 and has been open about her journey since then. Whether she’s walking the red carpet with a cane or moving audiences with her elegance while dancing on stage, Blair is an inspiration for anyone needing a boost of resilience. Here’s why.
1. She Is A Fighter
Multiple sclerosis affects the nervous system. It comes with a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance, according to the NHS. The symptoms vary from person to person, but it’s a lifelong condition that can cause serious disability. When Blair was officially diagnosed in 2018, she could have disappeared from the public eye and skipped social functions. Instead, she chose to attend the Vanity Fair Oscars Party rocking a custom-made cane and a designer gown.
Despite her life-changing health hurdles, Blair joined Dancing With The Stars at 50 to get out of her comfort zone and do something new (she had no prior dance experience). She became a fan-favorite on the show, moving the audience to tears while performing a Viennese waltz without her cane, relying on her partner’s Sasha Farber support. “It’s such a joy and I hope that we can all see that we can do things out of our comfort zone and it might not look like everybody else, but it’s still an incredible feeling,” she told ET.
2. But Also Knows When To Step Back
But even though Blair enjoyed partaking in the competition, it did take a toll on her body. She didn’t want to leave, but she recognized that she had to. She took the decision to exit Dancing With The Stars early after receiving MRI results. She chose to prioritize her health and avoid worsening the stress on her body. “I can’t go on with the competition,” she told her partner, Sasha Farber. “I pushed as far as I could.”
Sometimes quitting is the most powerful thing you can do, and Blair showed just that by making a difficult call by not pushing herself beyond reasonable limits. “This competition is hard for everyone, but If the others have climbed hills, you have climbed mountains,” said Dancing With The Stars judge Len Goodman after her final performance. If you’re struggling, remember that taking a step back is not a sign of weakness – it’s about taking care of yourself and your needs and that’s such an underrated aspect of being resilient.
3. She Shows Vulnerability Is A Strength
Perhaps one of the most important lessons in resilience from Blair’s battle with MS is the fact that she is not afraid to show vulnerability. When she made her first public appearance on the Vanity Fair Oscars Party red carpet a few months after announcing her diagnosis, she broke down in tears while posing for photographers.
She never sugarcoats things in her Instagram posts, from sharing the grief that comes with her chronic illness to giving shout-outs to the people who support her.
Those displays of vulnerability reveal courage and strength. As her close friend Sarah Michelle Gellar wrote on social media, Blair faces life with grace and dignity. “To say I’m proud would be a gross understatement,” Gellar wrote in the caption of a photo of Blair. “When I have a cold, I want to hide from the world under my covers. But not Selma. She is facing this diagnosis, the way she faces everything, with dignity, grace and head on.”
Let her journey remind you that when the going gets tough, the tough get going (and they accept their emotions and humanity instead of trying to “keep it together” all the time).