An important point of focus for me in the last few years has been to achieve harmony in my life, which of course makes me reflect a lot on what that means to me. I’m not talking about just a philosophical quandary that entertains my mind as I start to wind down for shavasana. It’s a far more practical question for me.
There’s wonderful variety among the people closest to me and that makes for beautiful interactions filled with insight and new perspectives. But it also means major differences in how we evaluate life’s circumstances and a lot of variation in how we express agreement and disagreement.
So the challenge for me has been to navigate those differences and preserve my love connections. Through the years I’ve come to the conclusion that my personal best strategy is in analyzing intentions and nurturing my own ability to let things go—a major challenge for me. I’m not a gold-medal winner in the sport of holding grudges, but there are times I could probably take the bronze.
Once upon a time I relied on just gauging right and wrong when dealing with my relationships, but they just haven’t been very useful tools for me. There are so many ways to assign rightness or wrongness based on our culture, the family we grew up in, our education, where we got that education, and the different societies in which we’ve developed.
Obviously I have my own very strong sense of right and wrong as well (hence the sometimes Olympic levels of resentment I’m constantly working on), so I can certainly see how people I love are equally attached to their own point of view. In the end for me it comes down to deciding if my love for them is powerful enough for me to find ways to forgive them and forgive myself when we managed to clash.
If you look up the word harmony in a thesaurus, you’ll find there are many synonyms like conformity, consensus, consistency… goodwill, understanding. I love the human medley life has given me, so I do my best to forego the neutral concepts (they sound boring anyway). Instead I aim for goodwill and understanding and am grateful when the people in my life do as well. Yeah, harmony is hard work.
© Laura Tamayo
Photo source: Google, labeled for reuse