I love humans. Humans are the greatest, most amazing, most gloriously curious creatures and I will adore them always.
Even the stupid ones. Even the ones that I disagree with, or the ones that cut me off in traffic. I love them and always will love them and there’s nothing you can say to change my mind.
I love to observe people manage relationships, circumstances, emotions, miscommunication, disagreements. I love to watch them come together through challenges, to unite in hardship, to celebrate together, grieve together.
A common theme I’ve noticed about humans is how much we like to be right. Like, just love it. We start wars over it, ruin relationships over it, self-sabotage and self-destruct over it. So fascinating.
I’m essentially the poster child for someone that wants, needs, and lives to be right. I love to be right. And I do pretty much any and everything I can to assure that I am right as frequently as possible. I also acknowledge the disconnect and damage this has created in my life and I’m trying to curb the habit a little.
I wonder what the world would be like if we all stopped needing to be right about things.
I think we forget that we have this incredibly effective mechanism in our brain that constantly reinforces our bias (the reticular activating system - be a fellow nerd and Google it.) And our glorious bias, as real as it is for us, is built entirely around our individual experiences and perceptions.
If we gather and process the data of our everyday life entirely based on perception and bias then can there even really be factual happenings?
I like the saying that there’s three sides to every story: He said, she said, and the truth. And the whole argument I’m making here is that we’ll never ever know what ‘the truth’ is because not one human being has the capacity to be entirely objective.
So if we were to accept that line of thought that there’s no real ‘truth’ effectively, no one can ever really be right.
Maybe this would change how we interact with each other. We could argue our sides of a story differently. Not because our experiences lack value, meaning, or validity, but rather to understand they are not comprehensive. That the human experience is so incredibly unique from person to person. Even if perceivably the ‘same thing’ happens to one person - their human-ness means that they might process that event incredibly differently than another. And that’s totally okay.
This idea also encourages us to be better listeners and work on holding space. To step back and trust that their innate, natural intelligence will guide them through their experience in a way that is meaningful and impactful for them.
I suck so bad at this.
I love to offer advice, opinions, and random tidbits of information I’ve accumulated over my short life. I self-congratulate every time I feel like I’ve bestowed the privilege of my wisdom upon another. I love to show them how right I am about all sorts of things.
But, ultimately, I acknowledge that I’m making this person’s experience about me. I’m not really cultivating an environment for this beautiful human to experience their own natural process.
So I’m working on listening. Staying out of the way. Being the natural and curious observer that I so love to be. Allowing all the humans, to human away.
Tanya Ryan is a local singer/songwriter with an appetite for life and learning. #LightSideUp is for the candid exploration of everyday life, events, emotions, and stories with the intention of finding the lessons and teachings buried in the normalcy of daily living.