The older I get the more I understand the saying, ''pick your battles''.
First, the power to engage is in your hands. If you want to take on a particular battle, fine. If you don't, then hold fast and refuse the temptation to enter into something that you are not passionate about.
Next, some things are not battles. A battle is a hostile encounter between military forces. Most times it doesn't take ''all that'' to reach an end to a disagreement.
In my twenties, I would yell and scream in frustration. I would say slanderous and malicious things about people I was mad at, or jealous of, or indifferent toward. I fell in and out of friendships like a greased pig evading a captor (pig reference intentional). I wasn't nice. But I was sad then. Really sad and now I see that I was depressed. When I tell you that people who are hurting hurt other people, please believe me.
I had valid reasons to be sad, but I lacked the coping mechanism to deal with it and ended up hurting some people and damaging some relationships.
Today I'm so much wiser and now so much happier.
I walk away far more often then I engage in an argument.
When people I love and care for offend me, I think several times and decide if it was just a mistake of if its worth talking about. I try to approach situations when I'm calm and can articulate how they made me feel and why that was not acceptable.
I don't have to enter into a battle every time that I am offended or hurt. I can talk it out.
Some friendships and relationships have survived the turbulence caused by my past emotional state. Those I cherish and I work double time to make up for it.
However, I have not lost the muscle for a good fight and woe to any opponent I chose to do battle with. Just know that when I'm in a battle, it is now for good reason and worth the energy and time.
My husband has taught me, by example, that just because you can win doesn't mean that you HAVE TO fight. There is satisfaction in knowing that you were right to spare someone.
My past has allowed me to develop patience with those who exhibit my past recklessness. Since entering the media business, I have been on the receiving end of some overreaction and pettiness. But in following the example of the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan, I am forgiving and patient and believe that people are worthy of redemption and not deserving of condemnation.
The most humbling activity is to sit and think of the mercy and undeserved gifts that have been granted to me by Allah. And then to think of Allah's vicegerents who allowed themselves to be used by Him to bless me. I want to be that for someone else. But it takes communication with Allah to get instruction from Him.
I choose not to fight with all who fight with me.
I seek the blessing and permission of Allah before any battle.
With the help of Allah, I will have fewer battles but always be victorious in those We choose.