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I was moved to tears the other night after listening to Oprah deliver her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMile Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards. I know I wasn’t the only one. I saw it in the eyes of Hollywood’s finest – the women and the men. The black, the white, the gay, and the straight. I saw what I was feeling in their eyes. The feeling of unity, hope, and love. The most powerful feelings that exist. The feelings that make you shout “Yes!” on the inside and out. The feelings that make you feel completely inspired and empowered. Those words that Oprah spoke; those words hit me so hard and so deep I found myself holding my breath for a moment.

Almost four minutes into her speech Oprah profoundly spoke, “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” Ummm…hello. Those words -those hit me right in the feels. I felt like a caged bird flying free. Yes! Yes! And yes! For so long I never had the strength to speak my truth. I had locked my voice away in one of those perfect, pretty music boxes with the perfect and pretty twirling ballerina. I was the shy, quiet, good little Daddy’s girl. Until one day I wasn’t. Until one day when I decided that the pain of running away from my pain was too much to bear. Until the day I chose truth over fear. So yes Oprah. I feel you. Speaking your truth IS the most powerful tool we all have. Preach on sister.

She went on to comment how each actress and actor in the room is celebrated for the stories they tell. She is right. Actresses and actors tell stories for a living. Now of course they aren’t the only people who tell stories for a living. But they are the ones who are most celebrated in our society. They win the fortune and the fame. But at what cost? This I will never know unless Hollywood starts calling which is doubtful at this point.

But what I do know is this. I do know we are all to be celebrated for sharing our stories. I do know that [#metoo] is just a hashtag, unless of course you actually stop tweeting it and get off your ass and go do something about it. Share your story. Listen to someone else’s story with an open heart. Be vulnerable. It’s strong and it’s beautiful. That’s the space between the hashtag and the movement.

Me too goes beyond sexual assault and harassment. Yes those two things are a big deal and yes they are a problem in this country and yes #metoo. But me too is empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

So I say #timesup and let’s celebrate everyone. Not just the actresses and actors, but each and every person who shares their stories. And let’s support, inspire, and empower those who do not feel strong enough to share their stories. The black, the white, the gay, the straight, the women, and the men. Let us celebrate everyone for who they are. Because why? Because everyone’s stories matter. The stories behind why you have done or not done certain things matter. People matter. Period.

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