It’s summer. For many of us, summer is a time to spend outside, at the pool or beach. For others, like myself, it is a time to face the anxiety and apprehension of the summer heat. It’s time to expose the scars that cover our bodies. It is time to face the questions and stares from family, friends and strangers. During the summer, it is inevitable to find people stopping, staring and occasionally asking about the scars I seem to (somehow) forget about. Years of battling against myself are displayed on my arms and legs. I find myself in a cycle of shame and guilt over and over again. This letter is to the fellow survivors that fear the warmth of the sun on their skin because of the judgment they may feel from others. These are messages to the fellow warriors, whose battles are more than skin deep. 1. You are brave. Not only because you are embracing the sun shining on your beautiful skin, but you are embracing your body with pride. You are welcoming in the wholeness of who you were, are and going to be. Nothing can take this courage from you. 2. You are worthy. You deserve to be comfortable in the summer heat, enjoying the salt water rushing over you at the beach. You are worthy to feel laughter bubbling out of your lips with joy. Your worth is never ending. 3. You are important. Yes, I know how it feels to have people stare. I can feel the shame rising in my chest when I see a sharp glance from another. Quiet the negative voices you hear because nothing can remove your importance. You are just as valuable to this world as everyone else. 4. You are loved. Even when you feel like no one understands you, you are loved. You are loved by your family and by your friends. You deserve to feel love from yourself because you have inherent worth just by being you. 5. You are healing. Beyond the healing of your wounds, your soul is healing. You are repairing yourself, stitching your heart back together where it has been torn apart. You are whole. There is hope. It is within reach, and you are more than capable to reach it. Image via Thinkstock. If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741 .