We all need an experience with at least one person who cares about us.
Before we can fully believe the good in our selves, we have to experience it personally. We need specific encounters with other individuals. This provides us with necessary roots, a basis for hope of a better life, even to the end.
In my work as a psychotherapist, I've seen lonely, angry, disordered personalities become gentle and receptive. They do in response to my taking an interest in their selves and lives. As I unconditionally accept them as they are and help them in their journey, many gave up their self destructive habits. It's a direct response to the love and caring and understanding they received in our work together.
Author Ben Weininger, in his book "Aging Is A Lifelong Affair," he observes:
"You need an experience with at least one person who cares about you. It doesn't matter what age this person appears. If you didn't have a close relationship when younger, and you now have one close person in your life, that makes up for the early deficiency. That person can appear at any time in the life cycle, even on the day of death. One does not need to make up for lost time."
I once knew a foreigner when I was much younger. At that time, I felt totally vulnerable. I felt hurt by my parents, and I could not get close to them. Then, this man from another country started talking to me. He kept visiting me, dropping by to take walks with me and have coffee talks. He'd crack jokes, treat me to nice meals, and bring me to feel part of his family. In my self development, such person was most meaningful and moving because he was not kin or within my immediate circle of relatives.
There may be no certain guaranteed formula for self-security. But the presence of at least one person in your life who cares about you almost always serves as a strength.