“Choose your battles wisely. After all, life isn’t measured by how many times you stood up to fight. It’s not winning battles that makes you happy, but it’s how many times you turned away and chose to look into a better direction. Life is too short to spend it on warring. Fight only the most, most, most important ones, let the rest go.” – C. Joybell C
he first time I heard this phrase was last year after a pretty heated argument I had with a friend. I heard it again, when mediating a sit down between two other friends, and until I was in that in-between position, I didn’t understand the meaning of the phrase. I’ve come a long way in terms with dealing with conflicts, shitty circumstances and all other bullshit that may possibly disturb my inner peace, and it’s simply down to choosing what I will allow to unnerve me.
This year has been a year of learning to be good to me. From rearranging my apartment to rearranging life priorities, I’ve aimed to keep my personal needs first, or at least in a place where they’re not overlooked or put on the back burner. I’ve decided what needs the most attention, the most nourishment and sunlight while still acknowledging that my other goals, wants, and needs are still important too, just not important for right now. You know, adulthood shit. But there’s often a time where you need to do this outside of you, with your job, with your family and friends, and even with the events of the world.
This week was full of absolute bogus shit. So much shit that yesterday I gave myself a headache from trying to keep up with it all and after a long day comprised of work, dr. appts, happy hour and a protest, I slid into my bed with all of my clothes on and tried to tune out. But I couldn’t. I thought over tuesday’s argument. I revisited the conversations, new articles and live streams centered around the Mike Brown tragedy. I replayed watching a fellow NSBE member get arrested for doing absolutely nothing during the NMOS for Mike Brown protest. I pondered on the distressing news I heard before lunch.
Then my mind drifted to all the things I should be doing: blogging, reviewing documentation, preparing for another sleepless weekend, my goals list, my homework, vacation agenda, finding a dress for the gala, this website design, my new business cards, responding to the lawyer, responding to reader’s emails or notes, preparing for my presentation, paying that damn bill.
Sometimes it’s just a bit much. Sometimes you can’t dedicate yourself to everything at once. Sometime’s it’s okay not to care. Sometimes, just sometimes, one must make the conscious decision to let shit be just that, and place all focus and energy on the things that truly matter. Focus on the things that bring light, and positivity into your life.
When it comes to picking your battles, ask yourself “Will this matter a few days from now?”, “What is the point of this?” or “Is this so important that it must be handled now?” I do this for events, tasks and conflicts and it helps me see through the emotions I’m currently feeling at that very moment. It helps me see clear to the logic I need to proceed to make a decision. If not, I do what I’m notoriously known for doing: I step away. When I know I can’t give something my all, or if I know nothing good will come from a situation if I immediately react, I step the fuck back and close my mouth. Silence is better than spiteful words. No action is better than a terrible action you can not take back. Not to mention having your name tied to shoddy work is not ideal either. We’re only given a certain amount of hours a day, they shouldn’t be spent on battles that are not even worth the wounds.
Learn to pick your battles. Choose them wisely. Not everything is worth fighting for. Not everything is worth your energy or time. Choose your battles based on the greater good, not simply because it feels right at the moment, or it is done to simply fulfill the inflation of one’s ego. Save your armor for the battles about truly important issues and remember the art of acceptance.0