by Aqeela Naqvi

see your face.
see a flaw.
how. if you are the only one who has this face.
—the beauty construct

(nayyirah waheed)

In this entire universe, in this vastly exploding conglomeration of planets and galaxies and stars, there is one – only one – you.

How beautiful is that?

You are a wonder that has never existed before and will never exist again. You are a masterpiece.

Each one of us is our own masterpiece.

…So then, why do we spend so much time trying to become an imitation?

Why do we spend so much time comparing ourselves to other people – how they look or dress or act or speak; constantly degrading ourselves through comparisons and wishes to change the shape of this or slim down that, to have his or her hair or body or face or hands or demeanor or everything other than the amazing, glorious creation that we already are?

Why have we allowed ourselves to be tricked into abandoning our OWN selves, constantly envying others, constantly distracted by what we think we need instead of standing in awe of what we have, constantly trying to escape this singular existence that is our own?

To anyone who has ever felt that they are less than anyone else – whether through talents or smarts or looks – please, my beautiful friend, please stop.

Because you are judging yourself on a scale that does. not. exist.

You are you.

You. are. a. wonder.

And you, specifically, have been created to be who you are because there is something that you are meant to do that no one before you has done and no one after you will do, simply because there never has been and never will be another you.

You are beautiful. Anyone who says or makes you feel otherwise has much to learn. Because each of our souls is worth more than petty comparisons; we are all worth lives of love and kindness and compassion and inspiration.

Your journey is your own. Your path has been written for YOU. Stop matching your footsteps to others, denying the world the God-given beauty of your dance. You are made for a life beyond this one; make your way there to the rhythm of your own drum.

Learn to be.

To be.

The best version of yourself; not the best imitation of somebody else.