Everyone is beautiful in some way, which is amazing to me, because we all look completely different. It’s true what people say: It’s our “imperfections” that make us beautiful. Every scar, stretch mark, mole, and birthmark, every cowlick and dimple, contributes to your general loveliness. And even when we doubt our own beauty, there are people around us who can see and appreciate it. Sometimes it’s hard to love your physical self, but we owe it to ourselves to try.

There’s always some part of me that feels inadequate. I’m not incredibly smart or incredibly attractive. But there’s more to me than that, just like there’s more to everyone. There isn’t some checklist or test that can tell you or me or anyone what gives us worth as people. But there are certain qualities I see in my others that make me love, value, and appreciate them so much.

One example: A good friend of mine is just insanely positive all the time, and it’s wonderful. She sees the good in everyone and the beauty in everything. She often reminds me that the world isn’t as empty as I make it out to be, and the way she sees the world is just beautiful in itself. Another friend has been subjected to all kinds of abuse and neglect. She has been bounced from home to home for the whole of her life. She’s even been homeless. But she continues to fight for herself. I have so much respect for her. She is so resilient that I truly believe she could bounce back from just about anything.

I could give you so many more examples of people I know and the special qualities they possess—creativity, critical thinking, motivation, persistence, curiosity, humor, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, self-awareness, self discipline, empathy, leadership, compassion, courage, a sense of wonder, resourcefulness, spontaneity, humility—but we’d be here all day. Suffice to say that everyone has some constellation of qualities that makes them uniquely wonderful. If you’re not sure what yours are, ask a trusted friend, and don’t quibble with their answer. Sometimes other see us so much clearer than we see ourselves. ♦