Who are you if you are not short or tall, blonde or brunette, light skin or dark, blue eyes or brown, fat or thin?

Who are you without the external qualities that define you at a glance?

Who are you when you decide to stop letting those external qualities define you?

Are you happy? Are you healthy? What makes you come alive?

Do you sing in the shower or dance when a good song comes on?

Do you step lightly through life’s difficult moments accepting the challenge as an opportunity to grow?

Do you speak kindly, act with integrity and embrace all humanity as equal despite our differences?

I do not have a degree in psychology, but I have a lifetime of experience in human spirit. I have seen, as many of you have, people rise from the depths of despair to reach the pinnacle of success despite poor health, traumatic childhoods, loss of loved ones, poverty and profound failure. Each one of those people were gifted with a body to carry them through this life and none of us are here to judge the size, shape or physical condition of that body.

To body shame obesity is to place yourself on a pedestal on which you do not belong. There are parallels to every condition and although yours may not be weight it is likely something else. Do you struggle with relationships, debt, parenting, keeping a job, maintaining a clean home, addiction? Do you wish to be judged for your struggles or supported and guided towards a way to want improvement that lasts? A new way of thinking is the only way out of the darkness.  You may ask for help and you may also offer it if you sense you have encountered an open mind who truly wants to learn. But you may not ever consider that what you see on the outside is a reflection of the turmoil your fellow human is feeling on the inside.