>> Saturday, May 7, 2011
It's 9:00pm. I just read through my piece for Listen To Your Mother in front of the mirror, and then again for my patient husband. I finally picked out something to wear for the show that won't make me either disappear into the dark background of the stage or create the illusion that I am naked behind the podium. I'm think I'm good to go.
I'm really excited for the show -- to share my piece and its message, to listen to my fellow cast mates, to listen to the audience, three or even four generations of (mostly) women, as they laugh and cry and sigh with the recognition of seeing themselves in the stories that pour out from the microphone.
I'm excited for the show because it is so important, so valuable, for mothers -- for women -- to share our stories with each other. For us to reflect light into the shadows, the hidden or forgotten parts of each other's lives, for us to start seeing our commonalities and our uniqueness, for us to stop judging and start remembering that every person out there carries a story with her everywhere she goes. For us to realize that we each have a story to tell. One worth telling. Worth hearing.
I think that if we were all more open, more honest about what we carry around in our heart's pockets that there would be far less judgment, less envy, less hurt, less worry. If we shared our vulnerabilities and our humanness, our unpolished, imperfect selves; then we could all stop trying to measure ourselves against the false ideal that is really just a conglomerate of the best parts of every woman.
The most gratifying part of writing publicly is the notes or whispers that tell me, I feel that way too but never had the words to describe it, or thank you for articulating something that I hadn't even realized I was feeling, or I feel so much better knowing I'm not the only one.
This phenomenon is not unique to me. If you start sharing your stories, you will understand and be understood. You will relieve and feel relief. You will feel less alone and help someone else realize that she is not alone. You will give and receive so much more than you ever expected.
Sharing stories is an act of empathy, of joy, of validation and compassion.
That's why I'm so excited for the Listen To Your Mother Show. I cannot wait.