It’s so strange sometimes to realize that you’re you and everyone else cannot experience what you are experiencing at this very moment. Isn’t it weird that how you feel, emote, behave is something exclusive for you and that at second no one really knows this. My reality is only mine. It takes a lot of getting used to- this feeling. Sometimes I don’t think about it for days and sometimes, the simplest things will make me feel like this. That every sensation, every breath is so completely my own. (And no, I’m not drunk.)
In the same way I cannot completely and truly understand what someone else is experiencing, but it’s only a watered down version that I can probably experience. What does it take to really understand someone? The ability to accept that the other’s reality is always going to be different than mine, and yet, trying. Empathy is a word frequently bandied about, but I sometimes check if I’m still with it. empathy means the capacity to understand what others are experiencing from their frame of reference. Now I sound like Google. Honestly, I sometimes wonder if it’s an illusion. If we ever come close. We try, of course. But is it really possible?
When there are so many questions we ask ourselves daily, which leave us drained, like where is my life going? And am I doing the right thing? Am I really in love? Or the trivial, but very important nonetheless-did I lock my home from the outside before I left for work? Or is there a bathroom, I really want to pee!! How do we get out of our own selves and our needs to really do anything else?
Maybe the answer lies in doing something for others, or maybe it lies in doing something creative, or maybe the answer lies in centering ourselves, or maybe we need to distract ourselves. As human beings we are wired for social relationships, and empathy forms a big part of it. It’s something we need to keep practicing. What is really required is to be curious. To want to know, and understand. To notice. To pay attention. To listen. To say something. To say nothing. To realize that it’s not your job to make others feel better. All you have to do is despite any limitations, try and understand. That’s really all sometimes. If that understanding moves you to do something, then consider doing that. Make choices that if not make everyone happy, does not aim to hurt anyone.
Having empathy makes us maybe a little closer in our search for meaning in life– the thing which we all are going bonkers about. Unless we’re so busy that we don’t even ask ourselves that question. Sometimes, you feel so jaded that nothing makes sense anymore, and you don’t even care. There’s no bloody meaning. You just get born and you die. While you’re here you just spend time in as much of a painless way as possible. That’s it, okay, pal? Sometimes, without really putting it so much in words you find it, one moment at a time. Maybe there is something to it after all. Maybe we’re like sea shells that find the sand when the frothy salt water hits the shore and then get picked up by the tide again. Why does it happen? For whatever reason it does, it’s charming. Let it.