How do I know that the red that I see is the same red that you see?
It’s kind of a disturbing question, not only because most people would say color has a fairly important impact on their lives, but also because it points to a reality we all struggle with, which is that, in a sense, we’re all kind of alone within our own experience. There really is no way to confirm this isn’t the matrix, and no way to really be sure what we experience is “true,” that our red really is red.
As naturally social folk, this is hard.
After all, why do you think Buzzfeed lists really are so popular, or gifs or hashtags? It’s because we like to relate, to be in the “in” crowd, with the people that “understand” or “get it.” We see that gif of David Tennant crying in the rain, Brad Pitt pumping his arms and think, yes, that is what I feel right now. The ever present caption: “This is my life.” Nobody really wants to be the outsider, to be the Stitch in the family (even if they say they do. Been there, done that).
(If you’re wondering, yes, I did search for sad gifs, and yes, it did make me sad.)
Except, you are not Jean Luc Picard face-palming (although to be fair, we all probably wish we were at least a little), nor are you high-fiving Tina Fey, that super psyched kid at that birthday party, Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Batman, or *insert any other super famous gif person (many pardons if you actually are Tina, Tom, Britney, Beyonce, Brad, David, Patrick or birthday party kid. Welcome to my blog!),* and that is not your life.
Which is great.
Because here’s the thing. Your life experience is entirely unique, and while that does mean you might have times where you feel like nobody understands what you’re going through, it also means there are beautiful, powerful experiences that God, the creator of the entire universe, has given to you and only you, to just one person out of the billions and billions of creations that have stemmed from His Holy hands, and what could ever be more intimate than that?
Think of the times in your life that you can’t explain to others. The feeling you had in your greatest accomplishment, times when you felt something divine, all of your most beautiful, exquisite moments and feelings–all while being alone, outside, the only one seeing your red. It’s hard to put the feeling down in words, right? And God made that for you, a story, a journey, that only He and you will ever really take, experience, and understand.
“Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” Proverbs 14:10
It’s hard to feel lonely, and it’s not always easy to believe that God is with you in the midst, but just remember, you’re the only one who’s ever going to experience those things, the only one who’ll ever get your amazing, beautifully crafted life, so enjoy it for all the strange craziness this life can bring and cling to Him when things get tough.
Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got. So, what do you think? Do you see your uniqueness as a gift? When have you struggled with this, and what has helped? How do you think our society could benefit or struggle as a result of this understanding, and do you even think it’s true?
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