Love Letter to Humans (no. 45) — on the Myth of Objectivity

Myth of Objectivity: The relational fuckery of assuming or insisting you and I are (or should be) having the same experience, or that a similar experience holds (or should hold) the same meaning for you as it does for me.

It can be difficult and sometimes uncomfortable to imagine an experience we’ve never had, never witnessed, or never been taught to consider. It is even harder—impossible, perhaps—to understand the depth of what that experience means to the person living it.

It’s easier to believe in a mythical, objective experience (usually our own), especially where our privilege aligns with the majority or dominant experience. Even where we don’t hold privilege, it’s easy to assume we know what decisions other people—people whose experience we have not lived—should make, how they should feel, what they should know, or what something should mean to them. This is contempt, and I’ve never seen it lead to relational joy.

Other people—even the people closest to us—are not us. Our parents, our children, our siblings, our partners, our colleagues, our teachers, our best friends, our clients, our students, our community members, our leaders, and our lovers are each having a unique and subjective experience of life and everything a life contains… as are we.

If we want to know and be joyfully connected with ourselves, we can get curious about and acknowledge ourselves and our own experiences rather than diminishing our differences. If we want to know and be joyfully connected with others, we can ask what it’s like to be them instead of diminishing their differences and projecting onto them what it’s like to be us.

Relational practice: Curiosity

Where do you hold assumptions about someone else’s experience or judgment of their choices?

Where do you judge, diminish, hide, or attempt to erase yourself because what you are or have doesn’t fit with a “normal” or dominant experience?

In Regard we explore some of the ways dominant, punitive, white supremacist patriarchal culture impacts the ways we have been conditioned to relate to ourselves and with one another… and how we can choose something different.

I LOVE private work with individuals, partners, and small groups. If you want to dive deeper and practice together in 2020, I do too… let’s talk. 🧡