My lovely daughter gave me the most cherished comment in my life yesterday. As we were walking through Fred Meyer, she said "Mom, I love the way you walk."
Astonished, I asked her why. "You walk with your head held high; chin in the air, your arm swinging. I love you." she said, almost shyly ("I love you" is used as a compliment in this context, more than as a statement of feeling - similar to "I admire you").
The full impact of her compliment was a burst of happiness through my soul. It's an amazing thing to hear yourself so highly regarded by someone special in your life. It brought about some insight that I thought I would share.
I walk with confidence. It's not something I always feel, but projecting it can convince me that it's true. Sometimes it's an armor against the world that I feel is judging me. Other times, I feel it so intensely that it's impossible to contain.
My goal is to trust myself enough that self-confidence becomes a comfortable outfit, rather than one that is tight and restrictive and ill-fitting. It will be a final step in learning to love myself and to accept love from others.