Our brain is the relational organ par excellence. We are deeply wired to relate to both others and ourselves. More than any other species or animal on this planet we are shaped by relationships. Of all the animals we have the longest childhood spanning about 28 years, all of which revolves around learning to be human through relationships with our primary caregivers. Indeed, it is through our relationships to each other that we become who we are and come to know ourselves.

The only way we know others is through our senses. Physical energy signals from the outside world hit our senses, which then send the information up through our nervous system and the brain to create our subjective experience of the outside world. We can therefore never really be with a rose or a loved one. The closest we can get is to be attuned to our own internal experience as a translation of external reality.

That is why mindfulness is so important – we attune so deeply with our inner world that we reduce the distance between ourselves and others. This is what harmonious relationships are all about. We now know scientifically that the resulting kindness and compassion are at the root of health and wellbeing.

Copyright 2012 by Dr. Stphane Treyvaud. All rights reserved.