I notice in psychotherapy work an enduring theme in the soul lives of many people: a feeling of isolation, of a shell or wall separating a person from other people, which feels difficult or impossible to break through from the inside. Along with this is a hunger for the barrier to be broken through from the outside, by other people.
Eventually, most of us have to face the fact that much of the work of puncturing that shell will come down to us; the breakthrough will happen more from the inside than from the outside. In a song by Everything But The Girl, they sing, To know yourself is to let yourself be loved. Letting others in can be the hardest work. Receiving can be more difficult than giving.
Robert Frost catches these things wonderfully in his poem, Revelation:
We make ourselves a place apart
Behind light words that tease and flout,
But oh, the agitated heart
Till someone really find us out.
‘Tis pity if the case require
(Or so we say) that in the end
We speak the literal to inspire
The understanding of a friend.
But so with all, from babes that play
At hide-and-seek to God afar,
So all who hide too well away
Must speak and tell us where they are.