It was pointed out to me recently that it’s a very male thing to make everything about combat.
I suspect that’s true. Let’s face it, wars have always been started by men. I cannot, for the life of me, think of any war that was started by a woman (maybe Cleopatra? Admittedly, I have not researched this claim). I am well aware that women have participated in combat and been leaders in battle — but I do not believe they have started a war.
Howsoever you approach it, there is a tendency to discuss matters of public or private discourse as battles, fights, combat, wars, and whatnot.
I am not, nor have I ever been, a soldier. While I have done a lot of study into warfare, strategy, and tactics (largely for battle scenes I’ve been writing), apart from leading many fencers in pretend-lethal melee combat — I am not a military man.
Perhaps it is due to my indoctrination into the expected societal norm that I also follow a combat analogy in how to approach discourse. I think this could be an excellent future topic to look into further. But for now, I digress.
When you are faced with a situation, whether broad, semi-personal or explicitly personal, you get to choose how to handle it. Ignore it or accept it, flee from it, or stand against (fight) it. The most important matter when it comes to such is how you will be capable of looking at yourself in the mirror, or in your mind’s eye afterward.
Your choices are to accept/ignore, to flee, or to fight
Even when two people agree on something, how they reached that point of agreement is likely not the same. Sure, it’s potentially quite similar, but it’s not the same.
They have each had unique life experiences, education, environments, influences, beliefs, and various other happenings that have colored them and who they are. When they can agree, that means that their current and present circumstances have aligned to bring to them to the same conclusion.
Because of those variations in education, experiences, environments, et al, it should come as no surprise when they disagree. Or even when they agree, but not totally.
Disagreements take any number of forms. From simple variations of opinion to fact versus fiction — two people believe different things. When you encounter this, you have a choice of reactions.
You get to decide if the argument/discussion is worth having. Is it a big enough deal to take farther? Or is it a minor disagreement that need not be pursued? You get to determine if you will simply agree to disagree or move on and let it go.
This is not worth it. You can do nothing in the face of the opposition, or they have you so dead-to-rights that you have no point to counter them on. Maybe the conflict is in danger of turning physical. Whatever the case may be, you determine getting out of it, and running away is your best course of action.
This used to better serve human beings when fear was more tangible and kept you from getting eaten by predators.
You choose your battle. The point to be made is too important to ignore, to disregard, or to run from. This is where you make your stand, preferably verbally, physically if it comes down to it.
But this is why the choice is yours. What’s more, this is why you need to choose in the first place.
When you choose you empower yourself
Straight to the point, choosing how to handle a disagreement, a battle, is empowering. It means you have taken a position, from which you can make an informed decision.
Yet that doesn’t make it easy. It also doesn’t make it entirely clear.
Recently, I was faced with two situations where something happened to me that I was faced with a choice. People I care about caused me to feel hurt and angry. I felt they were being selfish, insensitive, and certainly not for the first time.
Would entering into battle with them be worth it? Was there anything to be gained from picking the fight, pointing out the issue, and standing my ground?
The answer was no. The battle, in this instance, would just be a cause of needless hurt, and I would walk away feeling just as irked as I entered into the fray. So, I determined to choose not to have a battle over this.
Why? Because it was a matter of my own piece of mind. Sure, I could have let them know how their actions made me feel. To what end? It would not change that it happened, nor would it gain me anything but to stir trouble and create more negativity and distress.
I made the choice not to hold these battles today.
Decide if any positive will come of it
Why are the protestors out in the streets, standing up against police brutality and emphasizing the need to recognize that Black Lives Matter? Why does the LGBTQA community boycott Chic-fil-A over their continued donations to organizations standing against their rights?
Because keeping the focus on these issues can bring about positive change. It may take time, and it may be difficult and frustrating, but good will come of it.
These are battles worth having. Standing up in the face of systemic racism, homophobia, transphobia, and like matters makes all of these causes stronger. This is how the conversation begins to defund and alter how policing is done, as well as to protect the rights of the marginalized.
When you face a more personal battle, say in a disagreement with friends and family, the same question is relevant. Will positive come from having the battle? Or will it be pointless? Will it only expand upon the negativity?
Real positivity recognizes the existence and necessity of negativity. They are yin and yang. But when you are disagreeing, arguing, or fighting over something with a clear good or bad outcome to it, the choice serves you and everyone better when that outcome will be positive.
We all face situations where we will have to choose whether to enter combat or no. Use mindfulness to be aware of what you are thinking, as well as how and what you are feeling before you decide on the action to take.
That is your power. Use it well.
Choosing positivity isn’t hard — but it does require thought, feeling, and action
Knowing that you are capable of choosing how you think, feel, and act, you can decide when to choose to have the discussion, agree or ignore the situation, or run away. When you choose to enter into the fight, doing so with a goal of a positive outcome greatly influences your decision in what you can do, as well as when and how to do it. That ultimately empowers you.
When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that can spread to people around you. It can create a feedback loop of awareness and positivity.
As such, you can build more positive feelings and discover more reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve numerous aspects of your life for the better, help overcome the overwhelming negativity of the current situation, and generate yet more positivity and gratitude.
That can then spread to change the world for the better.
An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity that can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
Know that you are worthy and deserving of using mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done our thoughts, feelings, and actions matter, as do the choices we make for when to agree/ignore a situation, flee or fight.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on June 22, 2020.