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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

How can I explain myself?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30877points) November 16th, 2010

As Peter Frampton says, “Do you feel like I do?”

I don’t think so… How could you?

You haven’t been where I’ve been, you haven’t seen what I’ve seen.

Can any of us truly explain ourselves to one another?

Explain yourself to me, and all the issues you’ve had to deal with. Are we both foolish enough to believe that I can comprehend your hardship, your triumph, your historical reference?

Why do we even attempt to explain ourselves? Is anybody listening? Does anybody truly care?

What difference does it make?

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19 Answers

absalom's avatar

Faulkner said that we ‘use one another by words like spiders dangling by their mouths from a beam, swinging and twisting and never touching’.

Sometimes we come very close to touching one another, to being understood. But language, whether verbal or visual, is always an approximation or an abstraction, an inadequate translation of what we want to mean.

It does make a difference, though, to attempt communication. The spiders may never touch, but they are dangling from a common beam.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

great perspective… thank you

mrlaconic's avatar

If I understand properly what I am supposed to do with this question, I describe myself as a Survivor. My mother died of cancer when I was 16 years old. My father was never around because he was out dealing with his pain so I became both the mother and father two my two younger brothers. This caused me to start not doing well in school and dropped out because I was more focused on making sure my brothers got fed… and since my dad was never around to put groceries in the fridge I stole money from whoever I could so that I could buy them. Of course the theft wasn’t seen in a positive light.. I was accused of using drugs and kicked out of the house. I lived on the street and with my grandparents for a few years until I got into the Job Corps where I got my GED. That program led to me getting some technical training in computers and I got my first job for AT&T in Jersey. A few contract jobs lost and struggles with having no money.. some more time living on the street and with some friends when I could crash. I’ve now been living on my own for over 7 years and I’ve been solidly employed for over 8. Two years ago my father remarried to a great lady and my family that I didn’t have for over 12 years is finally starting to be put back together.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Are we both foolish enough to believe that I can comprehend your hardship, your triumph, your historical reference?

As much as I’d like to comprehend what you are attempting to communicate to me @mrlaconic… As much as I tell you I UNDERSTAND… does either of us really believe that I have anything close to the capacity to understanding what your statement is supposed to represent?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

And oh Jesus!... What difference does it make?

Odysseus's avatar

No, I do not believe we can truly explain ourselves to one another. The closest we can get to that is via a true loving relationship.
Why do we even attempt to explain ourselves? Ego and loneliness are two of the main reasons imo.
Is anybody listening? Listening -yes, but Hearing-unlikely.
Does anybody truly care? Paradoxically – yes

What difference does it make? On a personal level, it can be the difference between life/Death or Love/sorrow but in the grand scale of things Sorry it makes no difference.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5-yKhDd64s&feature=&p=2DBFA05BD5FFA76F&index=0&playnext=1)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What’s the difference between life and death @Odysseus? Thus far, I haven’t found any worth noting.

Odysseus's avatar

Truthfully, I know that in Life there always exists potential and at the end there is death. I do not believe that anything I can comprehend exists within death or if it ever has an end.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

thus, at the end, death could quite possibly… some would say probably… offer more life, or, to be so bold, birth true life?

Odysseus's avatar

Yes my death would ‘birth’ life. Basic science but as I said, not one that I could ever again comprehend.

(I intend to be fed to sharks when I die so my energy can get straight back to the top of a food chain lol)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

At least you have a plan @Odysseus. It’s all about the plan.

Cruiser's avatar

Do I want to feel like you do? I think given enough information, I could empathize with you, perhaps even feel levels of your happiness, success, failure, sadness and pain. We all have experienced these things, and the many other experiences of life we haven’t, we have either read about or seen in the news or portrayed in a movie. Yes, the more I know about you and you know about me, I think I could come real close to feeling like you do….that happens with the people you know and love.

Disc2021's avatar

Can any of us truly explain ourselves to one another? Yes, but not always with verbalized language. Body language, physical intelligence and social intelligence play a big role. Vibes, the energy we give off, etc. This can be almost scary. I’m away at college, over an hour away from home and the other day my account was getting low on money. I was hungry, but I didn’t want to ask for more money from my parents. To my surprise later on that day, my parents called me while I was in class and left a voicemail saying that they have left money in my account and to eat whenever I was hungry. It was almost as if they heard and read my internal stimulus to eat.

Explain yourself to me, and all the issues you’ve had to deal with. Are we both foolish enough to believe that I can comprehend your hardship, your triumph, your historical reference? No, I dont think we’re foolish for believing that you can comprehend all of my problems. However, I’m of the belief that explaining/dwelling and seeking pity for all of my problems never, ever gets me anywhere but just kicked in the ass again. I’ve learned to turn to myself when in need or to people that truly love me.

Why do we even attempt to explain ourselves? Is anybody listening? Does anybody truly care? Experience, I suppose. Yes, people do listen and yes, people do care. These are the people who love/care about you the most.

What difference does it make? Sometimes it makes all the difference. Maybe if all of the people who’ve committed suicide over the years would of just had someone actually stop, sit down and listen/help them when they were most vulnerable, weak, down and in need of love, they would still be here today. Sometimes all it takes is a gentle push from someone to get us that much farther in life. Appreciate the wonders of the “little things” – simplicity really is quite compelling, even when it appears not to be.

marinelife's avatar

We can make analogies of what someone is feeling because we have been through similar circumstances or circumstances that led to similar feelings.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Write poetry.

lazydaisy's avatar

sympathy vs. empathy.

I can’t say I fully understand, but I have been very near there. Is it the same? nope, but still shared.
I can’t say I understand. I haven’t been there. But I still care.

Explain myself to you? nah
Words don’t do justice.

wundayatta's avatar

We can’t explain ourselves to others. We just can’t. We can’t even explain ourselves to ourselves. That’s because all of us have parts that are hidden from view. The news from those parts is like semaphore signals seen through the smoke of war. What do we know?

And even if knowing everything about yourself was possible, what does explaining mean? Is it supposed to have something to do with truth? Reality?

No. An explanation is just a story. Or maybe not just a story. However it is an invention of our own minds and it changes from moment to moment. It’s about as hard to create an explanation as it is to figure out what something means.

Explanations are purely personal stories that we tell ourselves. They aren’t meant, really, to be told to other people, although we do that all the time.

If you wanted to read my explanation of myself, you would read every word I’ve written on fluther and Askville and the Experience Project and my blogs. Then you’d know a lot about the last three years of my life and a little about prior years.

Frankly, I don’t think explaining matters, or is even useful. What I think is useful are the stories we tell each other. Listening is useful. Caring is useful. Loving is useful. It’s not my job to tell you who I am or why I am the way I am. If you care, you can tell yourself that story. My job is just to be myself and to pay attention to all of you as best I can, given my large set of limitations. At least, that’s what I tell myself my job is. I’m sure everyone else… well, those who are paying attention… think differently. That’s ok. I doubt I see you the way you see yourself, either.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“It’s about as hard to create an explanation as it is to figure out what something means.”

Truer words were never spoken. Upon these comments, you shall be quoted.

“It’s not my job to tell you who I am or why I am the way I am. If you care, you can tell yourself that story.”

Truer words than truer words just were.

wundayatta's avatar

Give me a call when they are published in Bartletts. For now, I’m not gonna put off plans for my vacation.

And thanks for the encouragement. You are very kind. :-)

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