Just be yourself: everyone is beautiful

by Jordan Green

As one of the most underrated country and comedic artists of our time, Ray Stevens has had some hilarious hits and some underappreciated, uplifting melodies.

On a recent Monday, I couldn’t get the words to his 1970 classic “Everything is Beautiful” out of my head:

“Everything is beautiful in its own way/ Like a starry summer night/ On a snowcovered winter’s day/ And everybody’s beautiful in their own way/ Under God’s Heaven/The world’s gonna find the way.”

I’d disagree that everything is beautiful. I’m really tired of grasshoppers.

But what we can all agree on, I hope, is that everyone is beautiful – in their very own, special way. These days, we hear a lot about people trying to make themselves into something else. People are trying to change who they are, alter their bodies, usurp new identities and otherwise completely turn their lives upside down.

My heart breaks when people do this. Most of the time, it’s because they’ve been told – or thought – that they weren’t good enough, or that they were only put on this earth in their bodies by mistake. What I’m here to tell you, though, is that you are just as beautiful today as you were the day you were born, and you should never lose sight of that.

You were born for a purpose. So, don’t let the world – or your own mind – convince you that you’re not. People try to alter who and what they are for several reasons. Some have been bullied and lied to their entire lives, and they try to “fit” what they’ve had inculcated into their heads.

Some feel like they’re inadequate in some way, and so they throw off everything they’ve ever known in search of comfort, or they exhaust themselves physically and mentally trying to become someone else. Yet others launch pursuits of “soul-searching” to “find who they are,” hoping that acting on every thought, emotion and feeling will usher truth into their lives. Many people have found themselves in such a situation.

Some call it a “life crisis.” At some point in our lives, most of us have probably felt like we weren’t “enough.” We’ve thought – or been told – that we should be taller, buffer, skinnier, smarter, more attractive, more talented, you name it. (Think back to middle school and high school bullying. That stuff really can leave you feeling down, can’t it?)

If we hear those ugly admonitions and thoughts enough, we can start feeling defeated, depressed, worthless, invaluable and plenty of other emotions. We might even begin to believe those statements and thoughts are true. But let me tell you, that’s not the case. I’m not here to deliver a complex, well-thought-out argument of any kind.

I don’t think it’s necessary. I’m just here to give you some simple truths. I hope you’ll accept them. Those truths are these: You are physically and mentally beautiful just the way you were made to be, and you have a purpose that no one can take from you.

People have debated the purpose of life ever since life began, and there’s no universally agreed-upon answer.

But what no one can argue with is that everyone has a purpose, whether we know it or not. Best of all, everyone has a different purpose, and that’s why we’re created differently: men and women, boys and girls all have a unique calling in life.

God created us the way we are so that we could eventually find and fulfill that purpose.

There’s just no other way to explain how amazing it is that each of us has different qualities, traits and gifts.

There’s no better way to explain the miracle of life on Planet Earth than that of an intelligent, loving creator.

When you believe that you were created beautifully and specifically for a purpose, life has so much more meaning than if you believe you were born only by chance, only because two people got caught up in the moment. Besides, I find the idea that everything is random much harder to believe, even though I haven’t seen God face-to-face.

No one can explain you and me nearly as well as He. You are beautiful the way you were made.

You were beautiful on your first day, and you’ll be beautiful on your last. Let no person, no thought, no experience and no negative situation tell you to change your body or who you are.

You are beautiful as you are — and accepting this truth will bring you freedom. Now, one caveat: We should always try to become more loving, selfless, caring, wise people, and we should strive to eat healthy foods and be physically active. None of this growth, however, requires us to completely change everything about who we are.

This kind of change simply helps us embrace everything that is beautiful about our lives that we might not be living out as fully as we should. Every man, woman, boy and girl across the world is made for a reason, and no matter how we might look, we are all beautiful.

As long as you’re here, you have a purpose – and you can fulfill it beautifully. Like Ray Stevens sang, everyone is beautiful. That means you.