Life is a first-person experience. Which mean, that every experience you have, is yours all alone. No one is having it, but you. You experience your life for yourself. Others might experience similar things, but not the same. Your joy is, first and foremost, only your joy. Your pain is only your pain. This seems obvious, but it’s often overlooked.
In our bubble of consciousness, we are all by ourselves. This bubble encompasses literally EVERYTHING, you have ever seen, felt, thought, heard and tasted. Do you get that? You have NEVER experienced something outside your consciousness, and in this consciousness, there is only one single being, who is experiencing it. You.
The unbridgeable gap
You can share your experience and build emotional connections to others. This feels very good and is supportive and helpful in many situations. Great joy and comfort can be found here. Keyword Empathy. For me, empathy is all about understanding the emotions and thoughts of others and being understood by them. We say things like “I understand you” or “I feel with you”. But what does that really mean? How does that work?
When we tell a story about ourselves, we describe the emotions we felt. We try to “put them into words”, but this is actually not possible. We don’t put the emotions into the words, we just “point” to emotions by using language as a tool. This is a subtle, yet critical distinction. If I tell you, that i am happy, you don’t feel and think about “my” happiness. My story about being happy triggers a memory in you, of “your” happiness and this is what you experience. I have “mine” and you have “yours” and i cannot give you “mine”.
For this “sharing” of emotions to work, it is absolutely elementary, that you have experience a similar emotion, that i can then trigger in you, by using its name. By the way:
Who says, that “my” happiness feels the same way as “your” happiness? Since they take place in different ballparks that is impossible to find out.
And what happens, if you experience an uncommon situation, with the accompanying emotions and sensations, that i have never had? In that case, your trying to share your emotions with me, is utterly futile, because i have nothing to fill your words with. You are trying to point to something that literally doesn’t exist in my present state of being.
And even if i have experienced something similar, the unbridgeable gap between our consciousnesses remains.
Why is this so important?
This means, that you have to face all challenges, all tragedies and all downfalls alone, by yourself. You will have to sort it out, because noone can do it for you. If you are lucky, you read this, before the first serious tradgedy hits you. And it will hit you, one day, no doubt. Your life is temporary, loved ones will die, and wishful plans will sometimes fail.
This brings a shitload of suffering with them. But don’t despair, you have the power in you, to deal with all of them, and emerge whole, healthy and happy.
Take this as a call to build self-efficacy, self-love and self-reliance.
In my opinion, the most important pillar of this trinity is emotional mastery. This basically means a healthy and skillful relationship towards your emotions, where you are neither their slave nor their dictator. I will talk a lot more about this concept, its benefits, its utmost importance, and what techniques there are, to master it.
TO-DO for all of us:
Write down all the areas of life, in which you are dependent on others. Examine those dependencies, are they healthy or unhealthy? For example, a child being dependent on his parents would be natural and healthy. A 28-year-old man, who can’t decide even simple things by himself, not so much.
What would it take to be more self-reliant? What fears would you have to face?
Thanks for reading!
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Here are some more links, to articles I deem very important for life. Go checkt them out!