If I asked you to name everything you love in this life, how long would it take you before you said yourself? This previous week I decided to ask 10 girls what they love about themselves, then I asked the person next to them what they loved about them. Nine out of the 10 girls immediately picked a physical feature about themselves, while their friend always said something based on their personality. I then asked the girl if one, they expected their friend to say that’s what they loved about them, and two, how long would it take for them to notice that about themselves and list it as something they love. As I asked the first girl what she loved about herself, she paused for a long moment, surprised and not sure how to answer. Finally, she looked at me and said, “I suppose I love my eyes” (which were an amazing sparkling blue with long thick lashes I could never achieve no matter how much mascara I caked on.) I nodded and then turned to the man she was with and asked him “What do you love most about her?” to with no hesitation he replied, “She has the best sense of humor I have ever seen in a girl.” The look on her face after he said this said it all. She told me she never realized that’s what people admired about her or even noticed.

While asking these 10 girls what they loved about themselves, each time the look on their face when they listened to what people truly admired about them was priceless. The majority of the answer I got was “I guess I love my smile,” “I’ve always had really nice long hair,” and to never failing blunt answer “Guys always compliment my tits.” The thing was every answer I got didn’t surprise me. As a society, we have it programmed in ourselves to only focus on our exterior. We think that people only pay attention to our external being and never imagine that it truly is what you have to offer that people fall for and stay in your presence for. We were always told as kids not to judge a book by its cover, so why do we do that so much with ourselves? The look on the faces of the young ladies as they got to sit there and listen to why their peers truly loved them will never escape my memory. In that moment, they got to experience an understanding that their presence made a true impact on others. Then that got me to wonder though, why is it so easy for us to pay a compliment to a stranger about their appearance so quickly, than it is for us to tell those closest to us what we truly admire about them? We are all guilty of being our biggest critic but we are also all guilty of not taking the time to tell people why we truly love them. Why don’t we compliment people deeper than their skin more?

I hope you understand from this that a mirror is never going to show you the way that you make others laugh; a mirror is never going to reflect the presence that you bring to a room, or the joy you have brought to others lives. Learn to love those things about yourself that brings happiness to others. Yes, your eyes are so gorgeous and everyone does notice that brilliant smile, but how beautiful would it be if the first thing you loved about yourself was your compassion for others, or your ability to make anyone smile?