How can someone sit in a group of strangers and feel more calm, connected, heard, loved and seen than they do in their normal every-day life waiting outside the doors?
The fact is that many people do. The company of strangers becomes a place to heal from "normal" life.
Many people feel alone, isolated, lonely, "different" - particularly when surrounded by friends and family. Even those who have large numbers of familiar people in their lives are more open, calm, comforted and less alone in the company of strangers - sharing their deeply-held and closely-guarded secrets, exploring their most challenging feelings and simply learning to be themselves in the absence of the expectations of others.
Perhaps, with a group of strangers there is nothing to prove; we are not even sure what we should be hiding from them so we don't bother raising the facade we use with everyone else?
Maybe we recognise that there, we get to test-drive or at least explore a "new" version of us - one that feels better and fits better, one that is less exhausting than the version we currently show?
Could it be a sign that we no longer have the energy to raise that well-worn facade for yet another group of people - leaving us with no place to turn where we can truly be ourselves?
It is when we choose to be what others expect of us that we are the most disconnected from ourselves. In living up to the expectations of others, we abandon our relationship with, and knowledge of, ourselves.
In the absence of these expectations, we are free to make other choices about how we behave, think, feel.
It's one of the great paradoxes of life that there, in a group of strangers, we are more at "home".