let yourself feel. don’t suppress it, and don’t let anyone else suppress it. it’s healthy to let feelings come and go. acknowledge your emotions, validate them, and purge them. find a safe space, secure some time and give yourself permission to hurt and heal. no, it’s not easy, and sometimes the circumstances won’t allow this, but don’t repress your pain if given the opportunity for a little catharsis.

stephashmore: Aren’t these two just the cutest? It will be four years ago tomorrow that ashleydonovan and I were seated (with luck) on the upper balcony at the Capitol for Obama’s second inauguration. We wouldn’t have been there had Kelly Clarkson not been invited to perform. And I guess we wouldn’t have been seated on that balcony had our hands not darted up in lightning speed; we raised our hands first and there were just two tickets for Kelly’s camp. The chill was relentless, but we were giddy. I mean, there was so much energy all the way to the Washington Monument from the sea of people that you could feel it. It was exhilarating, emotional, humbling and we were in awe. Plus, despite the wind that whips up from the mall, Kelly sang beautifully and, maybe it should go without mention, live. Tomorrow, I’ll just think about this day and smile that it happened.