To pretend we don’t have preferences would be to say we are not human. In almost every situation, there is an outcome we would like to see, a way we would like things to play out. These are our preferences.
Our preferences start to impact us when we become attached to them. What I would like to explore is: where is the line between letting go of attachment to outcomes and passivity?
Phrases such as “everything happens for a reason” or “whatever will be will be” tend to trigger me. And at the same time, to think I have total control over circumstances would be naive. I am aware that I always have choice in how I respond to circumstance. I am also aware that being a free will planet allows for others’ actions to have an impact on my life.
I clearly do not have the answer to this one.
Here are a few choices I make daily that have given me insight along this journey of discovery:
- Action. Often times my preference for how life plays out shows up in my goals. I have a clear vision for my future, with corresponding goals, and appropriate actions. I make choices and take actions based on my chosen future. I do not let life happen to me.
- Life in Obedience. When I am living in alignment with god and my best self, I am able to make choices and then release attachment to the outcome. This releasing of attachment comes into play with things like prayer. A lot of times, prayer is a statement of preference. When we think god hasn’t answered our prayers because we did not get the outcome we wanted, it can really put a stress on our faith. When we accept that things may not always play out exactly as we wanted or planned, we can keep our faith, and stayed aligned.
- Response. I have been in the work of recognizing when I am in reaction vs. response for years now. I have developed my awareness around my reactions when things don’t play out the way I prefer, and I get myself back into response (most of the time).
So yes, I will speak out loud my preferences and stand in them. I will take actions on the things I want for my life. And I will recover myself and carry on when things don’t go the way I wanted them to go.