I had a bit of a nomadic childhood, I moved around a lot. I never had a mentor or a permanent community, a supportive family or even an extended family. I learned skills like resilience and independence, making the best with what you’ve got. But I seem to be missing the inner confidence that comes with ongoing support. This is an obstacle to movement on my path.

Confidence is a skill, of course, just like anything else. I have other great skills: empathy, compassion, caring, creativity, passion, humor. I can dance and bake and sew and garden. I can maintain my car and fix a toilet and build a house. I am smart and intuitive and well-balanced. Is confidence just a belief in the value of what I am good at?

Universal Wisdom: This is an important exercise, for you to be thinking about this. When you have confidence in your own abilities and qualities, you will be able to find these positives in others as well. When you can focus on abilities and qualities in others, you will be less invested in their behavior. You will be less likely to be disappointed when someone behaves poorly. You will be able to see the behavior in the context of the whole person, not just one act. Of course, this also applies to you. When you are able to focus on your positive qualities and abilities, you will be less likely to judge an individual behavior of your own. You will be better able to separate ego from spirit. 

You are correct that this is difficult when you have been taught your whole life that you are a lesser person because of some trait that is not in your control: gender, skin color, body type, social class. You cannot become something you are not. But you can become more of who you are. You can bring your positive qualities and abilities to the fore. You can nurture them and celebrate them. You can learn to appreciate them as uniquely yours. Not that other people do not have, say, creativity or passion, but your own creativity and passion have been formed over your lifetime, co-mingled with all of your other positive qualities and abilities. 

As you have said to your own children many times: everyone is good at something. Everyone is good at many things. We can learn to appreciate and support those many things in each person. That is what it means when you say “I see you”––you are seeing the real person inside the physical body, the spirit in the human temple. Look in the mirror, look deeply into your own eyes and say “I see you”. Say it with love and appreciation, with gratitude for the opportunity to apply your qualities and abilities in this lifetime. “I see you. I love you. I support you.” Say this to each person you meet. Say it with your energy and your presence, not necessarily with your voice, although that is good too. But you do not even need to know someone or interact with them directly to convey this gratitude. 

You have already been practicing this. And for someone who is afraid to say these things to themselves, this is a good place to start, by loving others. It is a place to start, but not a substitute, for saying these things to yourself. You must become willing to take the gaze of self-Love. Not self-love, in the ego way of “I’m so wonderful”. But self-Love, in the spirit way of “I am so full of wonder”. Honor thyself as a companion of the Creator, ultimately unknowable except as an embodiment of the Universe. 

This is enough for now. This is not something to think more about. This is something to practice feeling. Open up, and feel the richness of Being.