As clear as I am getting on why I am here - to spark real conversations that create real change in the world - that is really only part of the puzzle.
The conversations I am being called to start/spark are around a topic I don’t want to talk about. Because of shame. Judgement. Rejection. Even hatred.
There are times when I want to run from this industry - the female empowerment, spiritual awareness, personal transformation, self-help industry complex world of gurus and goddesses and invisible boxes and spiritual bypassing.
The thin veil remains in place online through almost any discussion - except in two areas, which happen to be the two areas I am called to speak from - with experience and total fear of being seen.
The first one I’ve talked about before.
This belief that to change the world you have to first change yourself. I don’t agree. I believe things are so dire that the world can’t wait for you to reach enlightenment before putting the oxygen mask on others.
I don’t talk about this as much as I want or should. Mainly because I have very strong judgements around the concept of helping those who look just like you and believe in what you believe - how that actually changes the world.
I can see it as ripples in the pond - each woman who embraces her power, steps into her purpose, fills her life with joy, controls a portion of the wealth that shows the patriarchy that women must have a seat at the table -- all those are good things.
But in my mind, I can’t reconcile the fact that 20 million people right now - this very minute - are dying from starvation and I can’t see how learning how to talk to your yoni helps them.
And yet, I can see the importance of both personal development and social action. I just wish more leaders in this industry talked about both instead of what feels like only creating empires to fuel their own egos.
Yep, I am judging. Yep, I know it is wrong. Yep, I am working on it. And nope, I won’t shut up about it, especially when I feel the urge to call out the hypocrisy.
But what I am most scared to talk about is the amount of body shaming - fat shaming, in particular - that happens in this industry.
I expect to see nasty comments on Buzzfeed posts and places like that.
But yesterday, I watched an amazing video of a yoga teacher who didn’t look like most - who looked more like me. I braced myself for the comments. Surprisingly, most were pretty cool. But there were a few, and one in particular I can’t shake.
The comment: Obesity isn’t self care. Overeating is low self worth. She is self abusing with food.
I get it. It is super easy to make assumptions based on what you see. After all, we are forced to believe that our outside is a reflection of our inside.
So it makes sense that if you are obese, then you must really hate yourself or something is really wrong with you on the inside.
Simple conclusion. Happens in an instant.
Imagine being the person who feels broken and can’t hide it - even for a millisecond.
Imagine just wanting to be seen for who you are - but knowing, because you are doing it to yourself, that everyone can see all of your internal pain - it is on your hips, your abs, your face, your arms. Displayed for all to see and judge.
Imagine not ever having a safe place to be yourself, to been seen for who you are and not how you look. This goes beyond weight. But that is all I can relate to.
And imagine if the women who claim their purpose is the empower other women - imagine how it feels when they avoid you, or can’t connect with your heart because they can’t get past your size.
Imagine reading comments like the one above and then wondering if there is any room for you in their circle, in the sisterhood.
What does that tell you about you? About them? About this industry based on helping others help themselves.
I don’t need to be saved. Not by me. Not by you.
But I do wonder, and this is where my ego is screaming for me to shut up and stop typing, how many of us who are doing this work who are also obese - what if that is our purpose?
What if my weight is my message? What if my body is my story?
What if the conversations I am supposed to start have to do with radical acceptance and compassion and empathy and seeing souls instead of egos wrapped in a body society has deemed as ugly, disgusting, evil, wrong, broken, pathetic, sinful?
This is not the path I want to take.
I do not want to read negative comments about how I look or what I believe about myself. I don’t want to be fat shamed and made to feel like I don’t deserve to life. Or told how my being obese is everything that is wrong in the world.
I am crying just thinking about it. I am not strong enough to handle that criticism.
And I don’t want any advice on how to lose weight. I know exactly what to do.
I can’t stand up for transgender people if I can’t stand up for myself.
I can’t stand up for gay people if I can’t stand up for myself.
I can’t stand up for People of Color if I can’t stand up for myself.
I can’t stand up for disabled people if I can’t stand up for myself.
I can’t stand up for people in need if I can’t stand up for myself.
I can’t stand up for you if I can’t stand up for myself.
I am tiptoeing into this space - into a place I wouldn’t wish upon my enemy. To face off against the worst in others - the judgement, hatred, bigotry, shame, guilt, disgust they have for fat people - and stand for who I know I am - to hopefully spark a conversation around being seen for who we (all of us) are not what we (all of us) look like.
I am not ready for it.