Unexplained Emotions: Sonder

Sonder n.
the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your ownโ€”populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness.

From the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Bokeh Night lights Sonder
Image Credit: Pixabay

Self centeredness is what I have identified with for almost as long as I remember. I have always felt that I am the center of the Universe, the point from which everything radiates. My perceptions have been important to me; my experiences very unique. As a young person, I felt as diiferent from others as could be.

Popular culture only reinforces this notion of ‘uniqueness’. The modern society puts a premium on being strong, independent, initiative taking, visionary, chasing ones goals to the exclusion of everything else. And so it has been for me.

My own self has been centre stage even in a public place, in crowded shops, in places where the throng of humanity presses you to the other, so that all you become is a mass. Even at those times, I felt that I was the centre of my universe.

I like to observe people, in places of worship especially, wondering what is it that brings them there. What joys they thank for, which sorrows they want assauged. I imagine that a temple is a place where people seek something. Only for a very few is it a matter of routine. Most come with prayers in their hearts and as they bow their heads, eyes closed, lips moving, I try to think of their lives and their stories.

But something has changed in the recent past. I see this mass of humanity, separate them out in my mind, each person different, living a life parallel to my own, different yet like mine.

And as time goes by, I see myself more and more in others, in the people I meet and in the people I am aware of. It is easier for me to imagine myself in their stories, how their lives unfold, their little joys and sorrows, the misery and the euphoria, the struggles, the wins and the craziness.

Gone is the concept of me as a different or a unique individual. I wonder what is it that makes me just me? Are my struggles not reflective of many others? Aren’t my joys widespread?

I wonder whether our stories are really that different. Are there not patterns to our lives, our aches and joys?

If you look around you with compassion, I feel that you can see that all our lives, the individuals are like a labyrinth, mazes that they navigate and that sometimes intersect.

I find myself as simply a point, of light perhaps, as opposed to the feeling that I am the center of the universe. Everything came to me and everything flowed from me. I am not the centre. I am the diffused light that suffuses everything and everyone.

This post is part of #MyFriendAlexa, an initiative by Blogchatter. I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter.

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27 thoughts on “Unexplained Emotions: Sonder

  1. I think we all go through a self centered stage in our lives (as long as you acknowledge you’re not superior, i think it’s alright). I think it’s normal to feel unique, and in a way we all are. what you go through – someone else may too – but it will never be the same. your circumstance will always be different, your way of thinking, your reaction, your sensibility. therefore, yes, we are all unique. this doesn’t mean you’re selfish, just aware.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a lovely post! I’m glad I chose to follow your blog ๐Ÿ™‚
    This is one of the traits of being an overthinker, I don’t think this way but yes I do overthink and assume or guess what people have in their minds when I’m at any public place.
    #vigorousreads #MyFriendAlexa

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Every experience we go through has also been experienced by someone else.. Very true..

    And that’s what makes you connect with few people closer than others.. And that’s how we feel almost a common trait between our friends..

    But you’re the only one who experiences them in that order and that’s what makes you unique.. For an experience impacts everything that follows..

    So even if I experience the same thing as you, I might not be as influenced by it, as you.. So we converge to diverge..

    Let many friendships be born of the sameness and let our knowledge grow of the uniqueness..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my post.

      I have been very fascinated by this word and a few others in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

      Look it up. You would love the videos as well.

      Like

  4. such a philosophical post and I had the same kind of conversation with my brother. being self-centred is not being selfish. and you had explained this so well in your post. amazing write up

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautifully written… Loved it so much…We are all unique in some ways or other…. I feel, it is your realization of being unique that makes you write so well… Want to read more from you…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What if you are the center because the center is everywhere?

    What if what you really want is to find something unique like the edge?

    Wouldn’t it be sad then to find out that the center will never reach the edge?

    Maybe this is what we really like about other people. We can see their edges from our central viewpoint.

    Liked by 1 person

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