Choosing Your Battle (K.Blais)

battle (noun) – an extended contest, struggle, or controversy.

principle (noun) – a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and that influences your actions.      (www.merriam-webster.com)

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Throughout our experiences in life, we often find ourselves having to choose our battles.

There are always (and will always be) issues or concerns that will pop up in our daily lives which we must deal with in one way or another. We may choose to address the concern, to ignore the issue, or even to file it away to be dealt with on another day. We may choose to handle one battle over another, weighing out the pros and cons, perhaps even asking ourselves ‘how much does it really matter anyway?’

There are times though, when we are more successful at “choosing” our battles appropriately. This is often difficult for us as human beings because even though we attempt to stay rational and ‘logical’, our hearts (that is our emotions and feelings) become involved and it is hard to look past the “principle” of the battle itself.

We may also find it difficult to choose to ignore  or ‘let go’ of certain issues because we may feel that they blatantly go against our own morals, beliefs, and principles. We may also struggle with injustices in certain situations, mainly because we believe that we would never treat others in the way in which they are treating someone else.

Lying often begins at a young age. Lying about something small and trivial like who took the skipping rope isn’t a huge deal in the big scheme of things, but the act of lying is. If we are going to lie about taking a skipping rope when we are young, what won’t we lie about when we are older? The art of lying becomes a tangled web which we weave and one in which we often trap ourselves.

Disrespecting another person in words or in actions isn’t ever ok, but is it as bad as physically being aggressive towards someone else? Perhaps not, but it is still wrong. We may find it very difficult to let disrespect “go” because respect is something we all deserve to be given (because it is something which we all want in return).

Being trustworthy, honest, and kind is not everyone’s goal, believe it or not. There are some who do not care if there are people in this world who actually trust them nor may they care that they cannot be trusted, how honest or dishonest they are, or even if they show kindness to others or not. It is often unclear to us as to why individuals may act this way,  which makes it very difficult to understand these actions especially when our own principles do not allow us to support, condone, or even to adequately explain this behaviour.

Let’s try to remember:

We were put on this Earth to help one another. If we can’t help one another, then we certainly shouldn’t hurt one another.

Words and inaction can inflict as much damage as physically aggressive acts. Our words and behaviours are what shape our reputation for the most part so we should choose them wisely.

We will often have no idea what battles the person next to us may be fighting. Choose to be kind over being anything else.

The Golden Rule isn’t that hard to live by – if you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else. It’s that simple.

Whatever our beliefs and principles are, our own struggles and trials will come and go. We will have to choose our battles and to fight them in our own way, without losing sight of our principles in the process.

When We Hurt The Ones We Love (K.Blais)

It is said that we are hardest on the ones closest to us. All too often I have seen friends and loved ones hurt by the very same people who are supposed to love them the most. I have, in fact, even been the victim, and, ashamedly, the cause of hurt on my own loved ones as well. So why does this happen?

Careless words, thoughtless actions, and misplaced, well-meaning intentions seem to prevail in society today. There are several reasons as to why we may hurt the ones who mean the most to us.

Deliberate Actions

There are times when hurt is done deliberately. Perhaps we are lashing out or back at someone who has hurt us first. Perhaps it is because we carry resentment, jealousy, or hurt from a past time, maybe even from someone different than the person we are currently hurting. Sadly, but truly, sometimes hurt is intentional and deliberately done.

Obliviousness

Some circumstances find us hurting those we love unconsciously and unknowingly. It can often be a surprise to us when we have hurt the ones we love and we later find out about it. Our intention may not have been to hurt at all. We may have been striding towards our own goals and accomplishments, possibly forgetting about others or, even, stepping on them in the process.

Negligence

Through neglectful consideration of others’ feelings we can hurt and damage our relationships with those around us. Perhaps we forget, ignore, or fail to do something important or meaningful to those who rely on us. We may “drop the ball” so-to-speak and cause pain to others. Once again, it may have nothing to do with intention, but everything to do with human error.

Growth

Sometimes we outgrow our need for people in our lives and so, perhaps intentionally or unintentionally, we pull away from them. They may also remind us of a time when we were weak and when we needed them the most. If we have grown and strengthened ourselves since that time of need, we may find ourselves moving away from our connection with those who have seen us at our worst. It may not make sense to the ones we are hurting, especially if we cannot find the words to explain it to them. Sometimes people can represent bad memories to us and so we want to forget even the positive aspects that the person brought into our lives.

When we hurt the ones we love it can do two things. It can destroy the relationship with the loved ones we have hurt. Trust can deteriorate and the pain of the hurt can be too much to be forgiven. Secondly, it can serve to strengthen the relationship, but only if those involved are willing to work through the hurt and reinforce the positive aspects on which the relationship was built on in the first place. How we react and deal with hurt from our friends and loved ones often challenges our character. It can, however, strengthen us and teach us to persevere, turning the other cheek and continuing to love those who are the hardest on us. When we hurt the ones we love, it does truly hurt, but, in time, we can forgive and be forgiven.