The entire Listen To Your Mother experience has made me realize that I hunger for connection. I decided to make conversation and get to know some of the moms whose daughters also attend Munch’s dance studio. I needed to break out of my shell, and I wanted to break down the walls that I build around myself. There is no way of knowing whether or not I have anything in common with the other moms if I do not make that effort.
I had an amazing conversation one Saturday morning with one of the moms. It was evident that she really wanted someone to just listen and hear her story. I sat and listened to her. LTYM has made me a more intentional listener. I really focus on the story, the individual and what they need or want. We all need to feel validated and heard. My lovely friend, Jenna, has taught me so much about validation and how to respond to other’s stories. Validation is key to building our community, to realize that we are none of us alone. All we need is take a few moments to slow down and listen. I continue to build and strengthen connections by sharing my story with others and bearing witness to their story. Storytelling is cathartic and healing, and it allows us to express our authentic selves. I am no longer afraid or ashamed to talk openly about my struggles. It is liberating, and I have come into my own as a woman. I realized that we are all fighting some type of battle. Our burden is lessened when we share with others. It’s that “me too” moment of validation or just a simple hand on a shoulder with a gentle squeeze.