Beliefnet
Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicChronic illness can truly affect dynamics at home. If a child is ill, other siblings might resent the attention that parents have to give to him or her. If a parent is ill, the other parent might have to do “double duty,” and perhaps resent being so overworked. I’ve heard many times about arguments sparked because of the pressures of illness and pain, not to mention the stresses of financial and emotional burdens that health conditions bring. Personalities, pained and frustrated, can clash like the loud section of a symphony, and scare away quiet, peace and harmony.

I learn a lot from music. Oh, I enjoy it, too, but music theory has so much to teach us. Especially about harmony and how it relates to conflict.

We all want harmony, especially at home. But sometimes we misunderstand that “harmony” does not mean everyone’s feeling, doing, and thinking the same thing. Just as in music, harmony at home really happens when people understand and accept their roles, where they are “at” at a particular time, and what they and the others there are capable of doing. And then, they work together with these different roles to create the “music” of life within a family – the harmony that comes from being different.

Another important aspect of harmony is that it is not static. What one particular musical line does at the beginning of a piece might not be what it does in the end. So, too, it happens at home. What one person (parent or child) was and was able to do might not be what he or she is capable of now. But this does not meant that he or she has “gone away” from the family. It just means that he or she has a different role due to different circumstances. Again, differences recognized and coped with within a family unit create harmony.

It’s not easy, and it’s not something for which there is a quick “fix” and a void of future potential conflict or problems. But it is helpful to remember, all along the way, that harmony doesn’t mean we’re all the same. It means we all work, in our individual ways, within a common place/family – all for the good.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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