I heard something once, I cannot remember who it is attributed to, but it said, “Never stay silent, so that someone else can remain comfortable.” This quote can sum up my entire experience. Tedx talks call for authenticity and vulnerability, two things I try to be daily, but sometimes the human side gets in the way. I’ve learned to use my voice in all that I do and sometimes it means staying silent, there is a time a place for it all. I used to be afraid to use my voice because I was protecting someone else, their story and their feelings, all the while, my story was silenced in a shameful way as to not expose someone’s else’s mistake. This Ted talk was not based on a training session, a piece of legislation or even something that was geared to change the world, but it changed my world in that I could stand there and proclaim who I am and why I have lived the life I have lived. Sometimes the hardest things and most comfortable things are to evaluate where we’ve failed or where we’ve remained blind to injustices around the world. We must look inside ourselves and find a way to change what we can and see others from another point of view. Aside from my own talk, I learned that my judgements and perception can be wrong and that the only way we work to change the world for good is to listen, to hear what others are saying and see them in their pain, and their rawness. Then we choose how we walk alongside them to use our voices collectively.

For me, this was the existence of my Tedx experience, to see others on the paths they are here to walk, the messages that they have and for me to understand how to walk with them not in fear or judgement, but in our raw state of humanness. We are all shaped by our life experiences and those experiences either change us or they jade us. We, ultimately, get to choose how we respond and who we want to be. I know that my life has been entirely changed and the fear that I have had to not speak my truth or alter it, so others can feel comfortable in their choices and experiences, is over. No one gets to tell my story, but me and no one gets to tell me that it is wrong. I also do not get to tell others that their experiences are not valid, and I will continue to see them as they are. In the words of Mother Teresa, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other.” Thank you, TedxCherryCreekWomen, for allowing me to stand in my vulnerability and authenticity, I know I will be a better woman because of it.

[Watch her TEDx Talk here: https://youtu.be/hcwVKnoZxeU]

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