"The one thing I do remember is that a middle-aged couple wandered over to us, clearly lost, and asked for direction. I thought to myself, 'Can't they see we're going through a breakup? How incredibly horrible of them to approach us, instead of anyone else in this park.' Yet they didn't realize what was going on with us, they just knew they were late and were wrapped up in being lost. We were merely extras in the movie of their life.

"What I learned in that moment is that everyone is wrapped up in their own stuff, so 90 percent of the time they won't even notice whatever you might feel ashamed about. The 10 percent of semiobservant people who see your pain will likely empathize with you. Having seen that you are having a hard time and knowing that they have experienced similar things in the past, their hearts may very well go out to you. They might hold a door open for you or offer you tissues. They are not pitying you, necessarily; they are extending their whole being to you.

"To reiterate what I've said elsewhere in this book: you feel what you feel. There is no shame in feeling those things. If you can, even for a second, look that shame in the eyes and let it go, you will be able to move through your vast emotional landscape less encumbered. You do not need to feel ashamed for leaning on people, for public displays of emotion, or for being who you are. You can drop the shame and return to this present moment, feeling whatever is coming up in your body. Like many things in this book, this is simple advice but not always easy to follow. I believe you can do it. The first step is realizing that you are not alone: everyone else is suffering right alongside you."