‘I know how you feel’, we say.
But we don’t.
We know how WE feel, at least approximately, or we remember how WE felt when we went through an experience with the same name.
I will never ever know how you feel.
And yet it comforts us, this shared sense or common idea of the human experience, this rubbing against each other’s pain, or grief, or suffering, or joy.
Although we’re always talking about subjective and truly personal experiences.
It’s a really complicated and even baffling thing, this whole ‘knowing how you feel’.
We know how depression or elation felt when we went through it, but we don’t know how it feels to have a different skin color than we have, or how it feels to be born in a different country with different parents and a different nationality.
And I wouldn’t even know how it feels to be Dutch: there’s no distinct feeling!
I have no idea how it feels to be a dad (although I have a daughter) or a copywriter (although I created advertising campaigns most of my life) or a white privileged male (I guess that’s supposed to be a sense of superiority, but how does THAT feel?).
Where exactly do you feel your political preference, and how about the physical sensation of being a vegan?
What makes a feeling typically female?
Where can you find the actual sentiment of being an Asian, and how does it feel, energetically?
How come we can be SO sure about what to call a specific sensation in our bodies, if nobody has ever been able to point it out directly, within us, and we simply learned all that stuff by listening to other people, cooking up our own interpretations?
Why does something we feel means jealousy, and another thing hope?
It seems to me this is just another example of all the things we’ve made up about the workings of life, and then forgot that’s what we did in the first place.
We solidify the flowing energy that we experience from moment to moment and make it into real things, scary and important things, and then we start comparing or hating or fleeing or longing, constantly managing those things.
This morning I felt like shit, and now I don’t.
I hope you’re doing well right now.