Carefully Choosing My Battles

Because I’d rather spend my time on things I can change

Aunty Jean
2 min readApr 12, 2023
Photo by Mayank Dhanawade on Unsplash

“That’s not fair!” Most children employ this phrase several times a day. Expressing frustration when things don’t turn out the way we want, is a normal part of human development. If we are lucky, we have a loving adult nearby, to acknowledge our feelings of disappointment and to help us work through them.

Many things in life are not fair, we know this intellectually; but to move on, we have to feel the futility in our brain’s emotional circuitry, too.

“Futility is a vulnerable feeling, bringing us face-to-face with the limits of our control and with what we cannot change.” link Gordon Neufeld, PhD and Gabor Maté, MD

Even for adults, it is hard to deal with feelings of futility. Especially when we work hard for change, yet get disappointed again and again. The frustration, the anger, the sadness. Wondering if things will ever change.

My eyes brim with tears, that then flow down my cheeks, as sometimes the sadness and seeming futility of it all feels absolutely overwhelming.

We often learn to hide our tears as adults, but the impulse to cry is hardwired into feelings of futility. Of course, there are other experiences that can move us to tears as well, like something in our…



Aunty Jean

Constantly curious, dog-loving, politically progressive, book-loving, vegan lady. I want to keep learning every day, exploring other points of view.