You are important
The greatest gift you can give to others is your presence. Really noticing the other person, listening to them, being present with them. When we are truly present with another we communicate "you are important," and even more than that, "you are important to me."
You are valuable
What is it like to spend time with someone who makes you feel valuable...heard...worthwhile? Someone who listens without judging or shaming. Without needing you to agree with them. Where you feel accepted and at peace.
You don't need to prove yourself
And what would it be like for you to spend time with others without needing to prove your own point or your own self-worth? Without anxiously wondering what the other person thinks of you or how you can get them to meet your needs?
You are enough
We need each other for this, but we can also give ourselves the gift of showing up for our own life, being present with ourselves. We can be aware of thoughts, feelings, motivations instead of avoiding, numbing, or distracting ourselves. We can be true to ourselves. We can listen to ourselves instead of trying to overrun or disown our own needs.
We can be present instead of spacing out. We can live from within instead of watching ourselves or managing our behaviors. We can treat ourselves with respect instead of bullying ourselves into better behavior. We can treat ourselves with kindness instead of shaming ourselves. We can be honest and real with ourselves.
You know when you’ve been around a person who is at peace with themselves and present with you. You leave feeling refreshed and can’t wait to spend time with them again. Seek out these people, learn from them, and be refreshed by them. If you don't currently know anyone like this, a counselor is a good place to start experiencing someone being fully present with you and there for you.
The path forward
Seek out a therapist or friend to walk with you on this journey. Practice being present and really listening. Go to yoga classes to practice living an embodied and present life. Journal to express the thoughts and feelings that come up on this journey. Find places that fill you with wonder and hope.
Note: often judging and shaming, the sense of not being enough, are rooted in deep beliefs about ourselves. Sometimes being aware of self-defeating patterns and self-limiting thoughts is enough to begin changing them. If you find that your self-limiting thoughts don't budge with logical examination, a counselor is often the most efficient way to effectively address them. I've seen clients see dramatic changes in their lives by addressing these patterns in therapy, particularly with EMDR. They feel like a burden has been lifted and are able to move forward with their lives. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org if this is something you would like to explore for yourself.