I love what one member of the audience had to say about the show:
"It was a great collective expression of souls intertwined, yet liberated and free; of struggles that have made people stronger and better. We loved the stories...."
Cast member Tanya Robinson said her castmates provided "a safe haven of compassion, empathy, and openness". The audience did, too.
That got me thinking about our everyday life, and what we choose to reveal about ourselves. Maybe the reason we don't open up and share more of who we really are is because it doesn't feel safe. We're afraid of judgment and ridicule. As I observe the harsh interactions that happen on blogs and social media, and even face-to-face sometimes—I believe the fear of speaking our truth is valid.
But, there was no room for judgment and ridicule on Sunday. The stories ranged from childbirth, teen pregnancy, adoption, alcoholism, suicide, and the day-to-day challenges of being a mom. Some were laugh out loud funny. Through it all, the depth of motherhood and how it shapes us hit home. The audience laughed, cried and said, "Me too."
Telling our stories is always a risk. Sometimes, we'll get the wind knocked out of us when our stories aren't respected or they are used against us. But we need to tell them anyway. We need to let people see us, and know us. Another member of the audience expressed perfectly the reason why:
"It's amazing how looking life straight in the face as it was/is and not exactly as you had thought/planned it would be can be empowering and not as fearful as what you thought. If anyone knew my story, what would they think of me? Most people would think exactly what everyone in the audience thought: 'What a strong person to share their story in front of a large group of people, and say this is my life and who I am and to hear the response, Me too, only I was too afraid to share it.' Thanks for giving us a voice."
The videos from Charleston's Listen To Your Mother show will be released this summer. I can't wait to share them with you.
Have you ever taken a risk and shared your story, and was surprised—in a good way— by how it was received?
On a different but related note, my middle child pretty much won Facebook this week when I posted this: