Ronan Loughney 2 min read

To the Pessimists: Life Doesn't Have a Choice

To the Pessimists: Life Doesn't Have a Choice
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For most of my life, I railed against it, demanding explanation:

Why was I put here? Why were humans made to suffer?

I gnashed my teeth against the terms imposed on me and all of us by life, the binding to a contract we never signed, the obligation to participate in something we never asked to be in.

I could not reconcile the problem of evil with a benevolent world.

I could not accept life’s inexorable demand that we must grow or decay, where stasis is not only unacceptable but impossible in a world that is characterised by ceaseless change.

I could not accept the consequent requirements to constantly face and overcome discomfort, shame, pain and sadness, nor the necessity to develop mindfulness in order to tolerate the maddening illogicality of existence.

I was angry with the world, not understanding that it was this anger itself which was my suffering, rather than whatever I was angry with.

Implicit in all of this then was blame. I was blaming the world for imposing these conditions onto me.

Seeing this, a flash of insight struck me:

Life doesn’t have a choice!

Suddenly, there was nothing external to me that I could fight against, no adversary, no agent that was manipulating or condemning me.

Within the very notion of struggle and suffering, there is this sense of fighting against something. Struggle entails separation, as only when there is separation can there be antagonism.

But in this moment, as hackneyed as this revelation may sound after ten thousand blog posts parroting the same line, I understood that I was life. And so, there was nothing to rail against.

The line looped in my head like a mantra:

Life doesn’t have a choice.

It doesn’t have a choice.

This doesn’t mean that life isn’t intelligent. That God doesn’t exist.

Rather, it meant an acceptance of the necessity and indivisibility of all things.

There is no grand puppeteer outside the play. Life simply is.

And we are life. We are an instance of a great unfolding.

Again and again, we must fall back into this realisation. Against all the struggle and the blood and piss and tears.

Life doesn’t have a choice.

There is no other way that this could be.

And if there is, it is we ourselves, as custodians and agents of life, who must bring it about. Through our own beliefs and attitudes. And through the new modes and norms of life that we can help to bring into being through our actions and interactions.

Together, can we will ourselves into something more beautiful than the current limitations we imagine are imposed upon us?

I am the universe become conscious of itself. No one is coming to save me. No one is to blame. But I am responsible. We are responsible.

Life doesn’t have a choice.

But we do.

Perhaps if we accept, that we are not the victims of this cosmic play but its protagonist, our sense of choice will return. But it will be us who do the choosing.

So, what do you choose?

Ronan Loughney

Ronan Loughney

Ronan is a trainee-Psychotherapist, MDMA Guide and Coach. You can reach him via or email him directly at

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