Every single one of us is trying to figure it out. Life, that is. We search for a meaning. Many teach their findings along the way. Some question if they’ve ever sourced an answer. We each arrive into a completely unique body. Even identical twins have some dissimilarities, such as fingerprints. Yet, all of us are thrown into this living experience. I find this vast interrelation technically a community connection point.
Even if you’re one of those ‘lucky’ ones who played doctor as a child, then followed course to become a doctor as your career, and you love your work, I’ll bet you’ve crossed paths more than a few times in other personal or maybe intimate areas of your life where the search for meaning shows up. Our mindful obsession with wanting to understand it all, and know why we’re here, appears a big magic trick of sorts. Many assume God is their master Oz pulling the strings and writing our destiny. In his hands, we are living as we’re meant to be. Others want more data beyond trust of faith alone. What science explains only goes so far to that end.
While so many of us are busy seeking with whom and where we fit in our world, our individual complexity is actually commonly shared. Everyone is ‘going through it’. So, if we’re all in this, why not be aware of the togetherness? I think by virtue of being here we’re offered the opportunity to create emotional compassion to better humanity. When we dissolve the differences, we’re left with the singular aspect of being alive. Maybe the meaning of life is simply honoring all living souls.
Let go of distinctions, while starring in your best life. Showcase your positive strengths. Succeed with passionate stamina. Be curious and loving. Go forth next door or round the world. But, in all movements, remember to occasionally lay down your invisibility colored lenses. Realize the patrons at the restaurants and all cook staff making preparing your culinary delight, the beachgoers scattered along each granule of sand, every rider packed into your chosen subway car or those standing on the platform watching you whiz past, all came into being with the exact same ability for hopes, dreams, accomplishments, concerns, plights, and intricate potential.
As we wind along, choosing directions with our lives, some background people become our foreground. Some people we pass become those we meet, befriend, work around, start businesses with, fall in love, or marry. There are endless options. Yet every scene, every moment of every day, we’re surrounded by people somewhere who could affect a new outcome for us, or in the least identify with our soul. It’s an infinite gift, this elaborate correlation. However, the disguise is the irrelevance we place on those we ignore. So many people make up the spaces outside where we reach in our lives. Every life matters in its exceptional form to be as complicated as your own.
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own — populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness — an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
With extreme thanks to John Koenig for being and sharing his creations, I learned the above fantastic new word recently. I’d been internet cruising to explore a job lead with a web company unbeknown to me called Sonder, cited for my upscale clients and my personal bohemian life. Google returned me the correct website as the number one lead, but also gave me a number two lead that turned out to be as divine as the first, labeled “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows — sonder”. Learning new words for me is a bit like falling in love. It’s such an elated high. I feel it can last forever. I’m still in the honeymoon phase where everything about this word makes me smile, get all tingly inside, and honestly makes me want to make out with someone. Yep, language is that intense for me! I was initially blown away that I’d missed the onslaught of this word’s introduction into the vernacular in 2012. You’ll find what I consider to be the best descriptive of my new favorite word sonder eloquently explained as video in all its glory with this hotlink.
Part of my excitement over this new word is a great debate over whether it’s a ‘real’ word or not. I equally love a healthy debate. I quickly agreed with the irony at play that once upon a time there were no words. Then came words. Then came the written word. In all these iterations we’ve passed along forms of words. One might easily be swayed by what they hear or see, so I think it’s fair to say one could imagine symbols and words being misconstrued for ages. Some words exist in another language, but not our own. Word meanings, with the same spellings, may vary dramatically or slightly. I was surprised to find sonder already existed in German and French. Add to all this the theatrical imagination of a human and ‘presto!’ we have a new word anytime we like!
Sondering is what I’ve found myself doing an extraordinarily huge amount of the last few years of my lucid life. I claim ‘sondering’ is the verb version of Koenig’s beautiful sonder. Sondering is a case of actualizing, by thinking through in real time, wherever I go passing people in my life the realization of everyone surrounding me living a life as vivid and complex as my own. Talk about a humble malted milkshake! It’s a colorful palate considering all people in beds checked into every other room at a hotel where I might stay. I find myself rolling a story tape looking out upon the couples at a concert to feel what it would be like be her in his arms and what happens when they leave the venue. I’ve caught myself a number of times stuck in rush hour traffic wondering if my future husband is listening to the same podcast as me for blessed distraction, along with whether I’m passing him by in another lane of cars as I drive onward. And whenever I swim in an ocean, I honestly stop in moments to think about who is splashing in the waves along some distant shores who understands the same joy as me in frolicking in waves.
Two of my happiest married-couple friends recounted for me their love story online dating meeting. Since then, they’ve deduced a good few other times and places where they swear they likely crossed paths prior in their lives. Being in the same place at the same time, then finally uniting as a pair is such a swell of love magic! Sondering is a perfect bridge for all my timeline moments where I interlace the man of my dreams within my present world. As I sat under the full moon of the Vorovoro island in Fiji counting the last night of stars before returning to the States, I questioned if he was staring at the same moon nearby.
We’re writhing a vine of blooms we thirst to blossom during our existence. Babies, careers, innovations, inventions, lasting love, animals, luxury, service, and lots of happenings of subjectively superb variations. If you’ve ever wondered does another human feel the exact same way you do I promise they do. While our bodies are extremely rare, and our brains not breaching full capacity, our feelings reflexes mimic well between us. The breaths of a life meander through a variety of devotion, sorrow, affection, shame, ambition, loss, imagination, and more. No matter how imperceptibly solo you might perceive yourself, others will relate. Relating is the manufactured tapestry I wish us to weave together.
When you provoke respect for every beating heart, you open a doorway of tenderness that will grace you lifelong. Linking your story to that of any other that’s living, or one who has lived in your time opens you to eternal serenity. Like Luke passing Darth Vader’s presence many times, then getting to see the truth beyond the persona removing his helmet, let us be willing to unmask our assumptions of those we don’t know. Sondering is an empathy portal for which we become so fortunate.
May all of us sondering receive fortune beyond our wildest dreams!