Differences are inevitable when two or more persons come together. It would be pointless and boring for two or more to come together if there are no differences. Some differences are pleasant; others can be disconcerting. Differences can accelerate to disharmony, conflict, competition, or war.
While a reasonable amount of conflict can be creative and enriching, conflict that is not properly managed can be harmful. Interpersonal conflicts as contrasted to conflicts of ideas or principles are in special need of careful management. Viewing conflict or disharmony as the expression of differences can help to take the fear from conflict. Of course, if it is a heated or emotionally charged conflict, just re-naming it is unlikely to defuse the charge. But it may be enough for you to find your place of harmony in the conflict.
Living in conscious harmony is like playing in a symphony and knowing that we are playing in a symphony. At any given moment, our section of the orchestra may be in temporary harmony or temporary disharmony. Both group members and musicians must have the conscious intention to strive for harmony without being discouraged by the momentary notes of disharmony that add interest to the experience.
The symphonys composer wrote a score which the conductor interprets and the musicians play with different instruments, in their own style, according to their ability. At some times, we are more aware of one instrument than another. Or we hear a solo or a duet.
When we listen deeply to the music, we notice space between the notes: rhythm. Colors and tones and volume add texture and interest: timbre. We have different responses to different parts: feelings.
Satisfaction increases when everyone in the orchestra reads at the same place on the same sheet of music. At some times, its important for a musician to play softly to blend with the rest of the sounds and add texture. At other times, its important to play loudly, even being the center of attention. Rhythms might change, even in the middle of a piece. Sounds might fight with each other to heighten drama before leading to resolution.
Joy happens when everyone perceives the symphony as all One, with each instrument playing an important part. In order to live in conscious harmony, we must embrace the concept that we are all One. Comparing the interactions of individuals in groups to a the interactions of musicians in a symphony or an orchestra can be powerful.
What is the song you will sing or the dance you will dance or the instrument you will play today?