The walks they would take everyday, was thru quiet lanes that were lined with trees on either side. Sometimes it was thru areas that had quaint houses with barely a person or two out on the road. Their walk destination was many a time to a small clearing. This clearing was surrounded by trees, with a stream gurgling her way nearby. It had two cut down thick tree trunks that were rooted to the Earth; flat enough to sit on them comfortably.

Many things that MAnvi learnt from her thAthA about herself, was during these walks. His listening would make her talk.. his questions would make her reflect.. his words would make her see..

For thAthA, MAnvi was a child he saw himself in.. her talk would make him listen.. her questions would make him introspect.. she brought out in him the power of articulation..

It was during one of their daily walks that she said, “thAthA, you will always say that every one of our battles is fought in our mind and then are fought outside with others.” Someone recently told me – Pick the battles you want to fight. You don’t have to fight every battle.

thAthA was curious to know the connect that she made. “What is the connect you saw, MAnvi?”

“thAthA, as you always have said – any battle is first fought in our mind. This is many times because of the difference between what we expect and what has happened. What we expect is on one side of the equation and what happens is on the other side of the equation. The two sides of the equation are not equal and that creates a dissonance within us. This dissonance then creates a battle within our mind. We may or may not be aware of it. Some of us who are aware of the battle that is fought in our mind, find ways to stop the battle before it is fought outside; while some of us become aware only after it is fought outside with the others. And that brings with it more battles that are fought. The question is – should we allow every battle to be fought inside our mind or do we have the choice of choosing which we need to pick to be fought?”

“MAnvi, very interesting to see how you have connected both these. It is even more interesting to see how your interest is more on the battles that are fought in one’s mind. Is there a reason for this?”

“thAthA, let me connect deeper these two statements – i) pick the battles you want to fight and ii) every one of your battles is fought in your mind and then are fought outside with others. Whether it is picking the battles or fighting them, it first happens in one’s own mind.. A battle is first picked by the mind, be it consciously or sub-consciously. The root cause for picking the battle, is the dissonance that is created by the gap between what we expected and what actually happened. If we are conscious of it, we would realise that the planning for the fight to be fought outside, also happens within our mind first. Then the fight happens outside.

On the aspect of picking the battle, it is not always a battle against someone external. It sometimes is a battle that we fight against ourselves; and this is also due to the gap in expectations – what we expect from ourselves and what actually happens. In this case, the battle is mostly fought only within the mind, though the impact of it can be faced by the others around us.”

“So MAnvi, you are saying that a person first consciously or sub-consciously, picks a battle that needs to be fought. It is fought within their mind and then it is fought outside. Is this what you are saying, MAnvi? Indeed interesting!!

“Yes, thAthA. The battle ground is mind. Imagine the scars it would leave in the mind, with all the battles we fight. I have a few questions though..

  • Do we have the choice of choosing which battle we need to pick?
  • Having exercised the choice to pick the battle, should we allow the battle to be fought inside our mind?
  • Should every battle that is fought in the mind be fought outside too?”

“MAnvi, as human beings we do have the free will to make a choice in picking a battle. For that, we need to be ‘in’ the present, which means we need to be ‘aware’. However when we pick the battle sub-consciously, the moment the fight begins in the mind our body picks the impact of the battle. If we are attuned to the signals our body sends us, we become ‘aware’ of the fight in the mind. It would be wise to pause at that time to check, if the fight is worthy to be fought any further.

Every day brings with it many situations that could be the trigger for a battle to be picked. If we are going to pick every battle, the scars it would leave in the mind and the body would make us feel as though always wounded; thus giving us no time and energy to live our life intelligently.

Not all battles need to be picked, some of them can be let go. Remember to ask three questions, when you are in a situation in which you are aware of picking a battle. The answer to these questions will help you to decide whether you need to pick the battles; and the time and place to pick them.

  • Should this battle be picked at all?
  • Should this battle be picked now?
  • Should this battle be picked by me?”

The silence within MAnvi was a thunderous one, which only her thAthA heard!!