Can you see me?
I am here.
I am the mother next to you in the grocery store, struggling with the tyranny of expectation. I am the mother who has no one to say aloud, “me too”. I am the girl who never had the chance to say “thank you” or “I’m sorry” or “why did it turn out this way”.
This is what Listen To Your Mother means to me: being seen.
I wonder if Ann Imig knew she was creating a sacred space the first time she picked a stage for the very first LTYM show? This open space is the place where people come to be heard and to listen. This open space is the place where people come to be seen by others, some in their most raw and naked form.
I waited to the very last night to submit my piece to Lela Davidson for consideration. I wanted to be in the show. I WANTED to tell my story. I wanted…but I was so frozen, so stuck, in that place that echoes, “you won’t be good enough, your story doesn’t deserve telling, no one wants to see you.” I am sure that if I wasn’t chosen I would still be listening to those voices. I’d be facing rejection and trying to reframe what lesson was in the situation for me.
I was, however, accepted to perform my piece and so the themes that I reflect on are being seen, listening, and telling your story. The night I submitted my piece I had to come to grips with some things. I had to face that if I wanted to tell my story, telling my story meant I had to be seen. Being seen means taking a risk.
I don’t know if the risk to be accepted by others is as great as the risk of being seen by ourselves.
When we take the mask off and face ourselves in the mirror we lose the power to pretend. Being seen, by ourselves, means we are unlocking ourselves from the pull of illusion and false construct. When we step out of the shadows the truth and authenticity somehow anchors us in the present.
For some women, Listen To Your Mother will be another fun show they auditioned for and performed in. For other women, Listen To Your Mother will be a cathartic and healing experience of peeling away pretense and showing themselves. For Me, Listen To Your Mother will be a moment where I realize that the risk associated with being seen is worth the power I gain for seeing myself as I truly am;
and completely worthy of my own story.
I hope for each of you, be it on a stage or in your bathroom mirror, you are taking the worthwhile risk of being seen and telling your story… I just know there is someone out there who wants to listen.