I was given a vase as a gift. It was plain, blank and empty. I was encouraged to decorate it however I'd like, with whatever I chose.

They told me of all the beautiful flowers that I could use to fill my vase. But I became passionate about the way the vase looked, alone. People often commented on how beautiful my vase was, sparking the thought in me that maybe the vase was what really mattered, not what it could hold. It was more than a gift to me then, it became my point of value. What would people think when they saw my vase? Would they think it was better than other vases they had seen? They will probably like me more because of this vase.

My vase began to draw less attention as I continued to keep it empty. One day my eyes were opened to all sorts of flowers and all sorts of vases. Some of the vases looked nothing like mine, but they still held the most beautiful things. I began to think, "maybe my vase could hold some flowers of its own."

Overtime, I discovered all that my vase could hold. When people saw what was inside my vase, it brought life to them. They smiled when they saw the beauty stemming from the it. Through their reactions, I realized the purpose of the vase was to hold something that could impact others for good. When I actually started to tend to what was inside, people seemed to noticed the vase less. They cared more about the purpose that it was fulfilling and the beauty that it held.

Then one day the vase was shattered. All the pieces were not retrievable and the vase would never be the same. But even with the broken vase, what was inside still remained beautiful. The vase had served its purpose and protected the flowers. The beauty of the flowers could not be defined by the vase they were in.

Your purpose is not rooted in your appearance. There are so many beautiful parts of you that are being planted in your heart and soul. When we focus on growing those, our vases serve their purpose: to hold and protect. With this protection, we can flourish, bringing life and love to others. Your appearance could never come close to defining the beauty within you. Let your soul shine.