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Oprah’s speech made me cry. I have watched it 3 times and cried every. last. time. Like a baby. Snotty, alligator tears, bumbling idiot cried. When I watched it with my girls, I sobbed and rambled on and on about how important this moment is in their lives and how proud I am that they get to witness it. I am crying just revisiting the moment in my head.

And it is a big moment in our world right now. The things that are happening to promote change and social justice often bring me to my knees. There are rally cries shouted around the globe and this time in history will be notable. Thanks to the unstoppable presence of media in our lives, we always can be in-the-know. And isn’t it so easy to see the bad things going on and to be terrified of what’s next? Thankfully, we also can see the good in the world, but I digress . . .

As a child, I was often labeled as “the emotional one”. I always thought it was a bad thing. Even as an adult, I’ve been told that I’m “too emotional”. I’ve been told I could never be seen as professional, logical, or rational because of all my big feelings. And I believed it.

Until last year.

So, if you’re reading this, and you have all the big feelings, too (or you know someone who does) this is for you:

There are hundreds of articles written about the habits and benefits of highly emotional/sensitive people, so I don’t need to add to the pile. Instead, I want to encourage you.

  1. 1. You are made perfectly, just as you are. There is no shame in feeling things a little bit (or even a lot) deeper than others. Matter of fact, it simply means that you are more attuned to the world around you.
  2. 2. Accept the good and the bad feelings. Better yet, don’t label them! All feelings are good because it means that you are in tune with the world around you. It means you care. It means you’re connected.
  3. 3. Don’t stop or hold back. BE YOU! Just the way you were created. Stopping the feelings from flowing, or holding them in, is like putting out a flame. So what if your flame burns a little brighter? That just makes you exceptional!

If Oprah makes you cry, or you laugh a little a little louder, sink a little lower, pray a little harder, get stomach-turning anxious a little more, or get giddy over the smallest things … this is for you! This is for all of us who have the BIG BIG feelings:

YOU are the earth-shakers, world-changers, deep-thinkers, and brave soldiers who lug around a heavy sack of all the feels day in and day out. And you are incredible! You go through your days entrenched in the world around you. You notice the things that make people tick, that hurt them or make them happy. Maybe you even come home and disconnect because it all seems like too much. If this is true for you (I know it is for me) – I challenge you do this: consider your big feelings your superpower, one that gives you purpose and meaning and hope for yourself and everyone around you.