We are wired for connection. It’s in our biology. The infant comes into the world with needs and getting the needs met is the source of survival. As we grow older, our needs for connection naturally become more sophisticated but the need remains the same.
It is critical that we connect – emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually – with others in order to feel accepted and to believe that we belong and are valued for who we are.
Shame unravels are connection with others. It keeps us from sharing our pain and from hearing the suffering of others. In a word, it isolates.
Practicing compassion allows us to hear shame. Empathy, the most powerful tool of compassion, is an emotional skill that allows us to respond to others in a meaningful, caring way. And when we share a difficult experience with someone and that person responds with an open heart we lift the silence and heal the pain of unbearable aloneness.