We all have preferences; for the food we eat, the people we mix with, traits in others, the car we drive or even how we pronounce a word. These preferences, part breeding, part culture, shape us and the way we see the world. A preference will guide our choices from friends to food to what yoga class we go to. Preferences can also inhibit or control us or even make us judgmental. Sometimes if we don’t get exactly what we want we can ‘spit the dummy’.
As a child we learn to preference. Through life observation we learn that if we get what we want we will be ‘happy’. This can cause a couple of problems when we are no longer in nappies. If we constantly seek to just surround ourselves with only the good stuff then we are going to be living in a constant state of fear. Fear that we won’t get what we want, fear that we won’t like it, fear that if you try it you will be disappointed. The second problem is when we do have something come into our arena that we don’t like or want we become unhappy. This is not what I want/ordered/like you think as you throw your own version of the adult tantrum.
Say we turn up to our yoga class and heaven help you, your regular teacher is not there. The one that you like. Immediately we go into preferential mind. Who is this person? I don’t like/want this person. I want what I want. Give me what I want. As the class starts you are already attuned, all your attention is flooded towards the fact that you haven’t got what you wanted and now you have to suffer an hour of what you didn’t come for. The class starts and it might be harder or easier than you wanted, they might move too quickly or too slowly than you wanted, they might not be spiritual enough, organised enough, give enough cues. Or they might give too many. So then we turn our rejecting mind to judgement mind. That teacher/person/partner/friend is too…. fast/slow/disorganised/ happy for my liking. Why can’t he/she be more onto it/spiritual/prettier/ try harder.
So all day long when we preference, we judge,……. then we spread. We tell others that person is too (……..x) spreading a type of judgmental poison around.
Here are some alternative ways to view life/yoga/relationships/people
It might not quite be what you wanted but it is what you have got.
Everything you don’t like/want is also a mirror to something about yourself that you don’t like/want.
What you get may not be what you want, but it can be exactly what you need in that moment.
Every characteristic or trait that you don’t like in someone has a positive aspect as well. Maybe you don’t like people who are controlling but they can be very organised. Maybe the disorganised person is very flexible.
Practice for today: See if you can catch yourself in preferential mind/judgement today. Trying to fill your life with your preferences only is an illusion that you have control over this world.
And if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need……………….