Life isn’t a game of favourites

words & photo by Brian Thompson.

Since birth we’ve been taught to pick favourites amongst everything we encounter and perceive. We’ve been groomed into believing that inside every moment there’s a decision that needs to be made, an opinion, or a preference that needs to be formed and committed to.

There's a subtext that’s running on auto-pilot in the back of our minds at all times, “Pick your favourite — which do you like best, this or that?”

We analyze every little thing to determine how we feel about it, rather than just experiencing things as they are, judgement free. This never-ending processing of opinions takes us away from fully experiencing the present moment in all of its richness. So rather than fully and completely living in the now, half of the time we’re stuck inside our heads, while missing out on so much of the beauty and diversity of life.

Even in this very moment you're probably wondering whether you agree or not with these words — you’re already forming an opinion that's taking you away from digesting this entire thought.

We believe that life consists of nothing more than a proliferation of preferences that needs to be made in every passing moment. This is what we believe forms our free will, or so we think, and for this, we’re even willing to fight.

We do have to make an endless amount of choices every day, but when we’re faced with a decision we can simply make our choice and carry on — we don’t need to bind ourself to our selections and preference so rigidly.

But instead, we typically make our decisions and then stand firm by them, and in doing so we attach a piece of our identity onto every single one. We define ourself by them. We rarely ever waver, “This is my decision and my decision is firm,” we say.

And when our decisions are eventually questioned by someone, we take it personally, and we feel as if our personal character is being threatened — our very identity — our sense of self.

But the true nature of reality cannot be reduced into a mere preference or opinion. It cannot be reduced into a pass or a fail, cool or lame, or a hot or not selection of personal choice.

Strive to live judgement-free.

Life is more organic than such materialistic or selfish distinctions, it's fluid. It ebbs and flows, it rises and falls, it sways and exists simultaneously at one point and everywhere in between. A river can never be wrong no matter where it flows, and neither can life itself.

It is only our dualistic and distorted perceptions that makes things appear to be so categorically separate, definite and distinct. Reality itself cannot be divided or labelled. We need to live outside of such concepts.

The thing is, we don’t always need to choose favourites all the time, it’s just a habit — one which we can un-learn. We don’t need to align our identity and sense of self so closely with our personal tastes and preferences — doing so only divides us. Life defies our opinions, and so does your true Self nature. Your true being is beyond any preference or judgement, no matter if it’s yours or someone else’s.

When you believe that your opinion is more correct than mine, it separates me from you. It polarizes us. It creates tensions and enemies where there are none. It lumps people into two opposing conceptual groups, neither of which are actually tangible, permanent or real.

And when you live and die by the duality of your opinions, you end up defining yourself by the polarization of that which you stand against. In essence, you actually then need your “enemy” to exist as it defines your very opinion. Your happiness becomes ensnared in an unsolvable paradox.

There are no right or wrong preferences. Everything just is as it is, including the real you, not the false you you’ve come to know yourself by. Everything we perceive is interconnected; every moment, every person, every creature, every object, every thought. There’s no need to pick favourites.

Perhaps this is a level of complexity that exists outside our logical understanding, it’s hard to think beyond our conceptual thoughts. But life is a waterfall of endless phenomena, with each moment seamlessly merging into the next in the ever-present now, where all beginnings and endings become indecipherable, and where time matters not.

All choices and events merge into this solitary one, here and now. And the beautiful thing is, now has no competition, now has no preference, now has no enemies — it is as it is, just as you are, and just as forever will be.

Life chooses no favourites. Despite what you think, there is no duality to be found here.

When you shed the stark opposing opinions which you hold onto so dearly, and you step into the natural flow of being, life then just seems to float effortlessly downstream, unencumbered and unbound, opening up into infinity.