Comedian Chris Rock says your favorite music is the music you were listening to at the point in your life when you first began having sex. I’m not so sure about the sex part, but the music you listen to as a teenager tends to make a powerful imprint. It’s a dizzying collision of hormones and the whims of pop culture. Funny thing is, people rarely say, “I like Artist X because he/she happened to be on the radio when I was hitting puberty.” Instead, people usually say some version of, “I like Artist X because he/she played real music–not like the music nowadays.”
I like what I like. You like what you like. We don’t need to defend or justify it. We don’t have to pretend that we always like what we like due to some deep spiritual journey or profound act of soul-searching. There is enormous freedom in admitting that many of your strongest preferences and most deeply held beliefs are more a reflection of when you were born, where you were born, and who you were born to than they are a conscious, intentional choice. This is true of musical preferences, but it’s also often true of ideas about religion, politics, love, money, etc.
When you begin to truly make peace with the “circumstantial” aspects of your self-identity, you begin to re-evaluate your oldest, most familiar blueprints for thinking, feeling and doing. Rather than desperately clinging to something out of habit or nostalgia, you begin to strategically let go patterns and belief systems that no longer serve you. And in letting go, you make room for new, more intentional approaches to living your life.