To keep fighting battles that are already lost is to be lost
Suppose in a cricket match a batsman had a great opportunity to score on a loose delivery, but somehow they missed that opportunity. They would naturally be annoyed with themselves. But if they kept berating themselves so much that they became distracted from the next delivery and missed it too, they would simply be making a bad situation worse.
Sports matches are sometimes compared to wars, just without the bullets. Not only sports, but our life too is like a war. We all fight daily battles, wherein we try to capitalize on whatever opportunities we get. But fallible humans that we are, we all miss some opportunities. Such lost battles sometimes keep replaying in our head, almost against our will. These replays can distract and dishearten us so much that we may lose winnable battles in the present too. The Bhagavad-gita (18.35) indicates that self-defeating mental thought patterns signify a perverse determination in the mode of ignorance.
How can we stop fighting lost battles? One powerful strategy is by raising our self-conception from material to spiritual.
As long as we consider ourselves materialist beings, we define success in materialistic terms. With that conception, some mistakes can seem so catastrophic as to have ruined everything important in our life. But when we understand that we are indestructible spiritual beings, we see mistakes in perspective, as bumps on the road of life toward our spiritual evolution.
Additionally, we understand that overseeing all of existence is the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna. He is expert enough to bring good even out of our mistakes. With this understanding, we can let go of the past, entrusting it to his safe hands.
Being thus spiritually boosted, we can focus on doing our best in the present and lay the foundation for a better future.
Think it over:
- How does replaying the past make bad things worse?
- How does spiritual consciousness help us stop fighting lost battles?
- Is there any lost battle you are still fighting? Plan how you can let go of it.
18.35 And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion – such unintelligent determination, O son of Prutha, is in the mode of darkness.
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