When you looked in the mirror this morning, did you love everything you saw? 

I hope your answer to that question was a profound yes. 

Everyone desires to be loved. It's what makes our world go round. But in order to be loved, we must first love ourselves. And the only way to arrive there is to realize how beautiful we truly are.  

If you check out Webster's dictionary, you'll see beauty defined as "the qualities in a person that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit".

Unfortunately, we live in a world that has plastered it’s own definition of beauty everywhere we turn, and it doesn't involve any of those words. It’s on the cover of magazines, it’s printed in our newspapers, lined up throughout ours News Feed on social media, hell it’s even on the sides of buses and cabs in our cities.

As much as we hate to admit it, it’s affected us. Somehow, these depictions of beauty have become the standard in society, and we desire to be just that in order to feel wanted, accepted, and loved. 

Think about it. 

We take time out of our lives to get to the gym to get into shape. Albeit, some people get there to prevent or combat health issues, but the majority of people who step foot into a gym do it to look good. I think we all can agree on that. 

Even at those gyms we find pictures of what the perfect body should look like. In essence, it’s their slogan for beauty. So we diet and exercise with an image in our mind; an image of what we wish to be. Let’s be honest, it’s never an image of us. 

That’s where the problem lies.

Most of the time, regardless of the time and effort put in, we never end up looking that way. And even if we do, we struggle to find a balance between living a normal life and obsessing over our appearance. 

I'm not pretty enough, I wish my hair was longer, I want to be taller, I hate my ears, my legs are too skinny. These are just a small sample of complaints. You've heard all of this before, haven't you? I know you have. 

It’s not true beauty. And if you ever feel you need to look a certain way to be beautiful, to be accepted or desired, you’re wrong. 

Nobody on this Earth is perfect. We all have flaws, but they make us unique. Being beautiful has nothing to do with our looks or even our physical flaws, but everything to do with our heart and our souls. 

Society has painted this picture all wrong and it’s spread like a cancer. We worship celebrities who dress in designer from head to toe and super models who’ve been airbrushed ten times over. And you know what’s crazy? I can assure you even those people don’t think their beautiful because there will always be someone who is prettier or more handsome than them that can steal their spotlight ... in an instant. 

It’s a competition of appearance, and nobody is winning that game. 

Even beyond celebrities, there’s always that girl that posts pictures in her bikini. Hundreds and hundreds of likes. That same girl posts a status about life or what inspires her .. drastic change in engagement. People like what they see, they can give a shit about what matters to her. And that's sad. 

There's nothing wrong with taking pride in your appearance; you do work hard for it, but it shouldn't be what you base your beauty off of, and it should never be the main driver for acceptance. 

The truth is everyone is beautiful in their own way. It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, how much you weigh, whether you’re tall or short, rich or poor, straight or gay. Beauty lies within you. And when you feel beautiful inside, it exudes from you and draws all kinds of people in.

You have to realize that. 

You have to wake up everyday, look in that mirror and love what you see because there is so much more inside of you than any mirror could show. You have a heart that’s so eager to love, a mind that’s ready to run free, and dreams that you’re working towards making a reality. You deserve someone who appreciates that. All of that. 

Maybe you have a way of making people laugh, maybe you have a precious smile that could light up a room, maybe your words can touch someones heart, or maybe you just look at someone else and love them for who they are. And because of all of that, they’ll look at you and see you’re the most beautiful soul in the world; because you've captured their heart and their soul.  

You see, the right person will love you because of the way you make them feel. Nothing is powerful enough to change that.

My mother has always taught me to look for the beauty within others. Because of that, I’ve developed relationships with so many amazing people. Whether it be co-workers, friends, or people I've met along the way, I’ve taken the time to get to know who they are and it's shown me more beauty than I can ever find in a magazine. Whether they’re white or black, male or female, straight or gay, young or old, they all want the same thing out of life; happiness. 

So they’ve shared their stories with me, and I’ve shared mine. Together, we share a common purpose.

You know that saying, "I can be myself around him/her" ? Those are the people who see beyond your flesh and know how beautiful you truly are. 

Keep them close.