To Misinterpret Harmony

Harmony isn’t necessarily something that we get to feel a lot of in this world, yet each of us knows it intimately and instantly. When we say aloud the word harmony, a vibration is felt that holds its true essence. We know harmony; we know it inside out, even if we don’t feel harmonious within ourselves or observe it in everyday life very much at all.

But why is harmony not our everyday way? Why is harmony something we feel in a moment now and again, and not lived or expressed with any consistency?

Is harmony something long forgotten? Do we even aspire to it anymore, or is there so much disharmony in the world that we are content to settle for something less, something that does not hold the stillness and joy that is harmony?

Many people have given up on harmony, settling for poor substitutes instead. We tirelessly try to make it feel like our lives are harmonious when indeed they are not. This is certainly something I relate to well. For many years there was little harmony in my inner world, and certainly not felt in the outer world either. I grabbed hold of the next best thing, a far lesser version, but one I thought I could maybe control, and that was… keeping the peace.

I’ll come right out and say that keeping the peace is not harmony. In fact, keeping the peace is an absolute misinterpretation of harmony.

So often in relationships we are not upfront and say that we don’t want to cause any trouble or upset another, so we hold back and tippy toe around, often causing more of a mess than being honest in the first place. We say Yes when we want to say No, No when we want to say Yes, we make excuses for ourselves and others instead of being honest, and we hold back, purposely changing the way we are and what we say.

Somehow, when we are not honest to another, we convince ourselves that keeping the peace is the best thing to do, and so we try to trick them with our mistruth, our fabricated story, and can feel relief when we get away with it too. But do we really get away with it?  We all feel everything, which means that we feel each other’s lies, mistruths, manipulation, insincerity, avoidance, and any slight change in our relationship… we feel it all.

Keeping the peace doesn’t call each other to be more responsible, nor does it heal or offer another the opportunity to evolve. It may avoid any initial confrontation, but the tension remains, left to build for another day.

I have discovered that when we say what needs to be said, and when it is delivered with honesty and understanding, we offer the gift of all gifts. Being honest offers everyone involved the chance to put a behaviour under the spotlight for review. It’s a blessing. And it is a very loving thing to do.

What if keeping the peace in any relationship, whether it be at work or home or anywhere really, is not actually about holding back the truth to try to keep harmony in our relationships or about preventing another from feeling upset or rejected, even though these are the stories we may tell ourselves?

What if holding back is actually about ourselves – about not wanting to lose something that we receive out of a particular relationship?

It might be financial security from a partner so we don’t have to face what awaits us in the workforce, a friendship that distracts us from feeling loneliness, it might be to keep a girlfriend or a boyfriend rather than lose the relationship, to have family members continue to babysit the children even though they come home high on a sugar buzz. With these realities, we may have to look a certain way to avoid facing the reality… wow, there are so many things that can be held back under the misconception of peacekeeping when in fact we are just not wanting to lose something we have invested in. It’s like an unspoken contract we have with each other. We may have convinced ourselves this is all creating harmony, but it is not harmony at all, it is just about self.

This may be difficult to admit, but this realisation is amazing as it allows us to break unhealthy and entrenched patterns, the control we put on each other when we don’t live true to harmony. It sets both parties free to be more open and honest, to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done… from love, rather than need. It is here that we begin to truly embrace harmony, because it is a life based on truth and on love. Harmony is the ingredient that enriches our relationships.

Peace, on the other hand, offers a temporary relief from adversity, but it is not harmony.  Peacekeeping actually allows and supports disharmony, because the matter is only suppressed, not truly resolved. It happens in war but it plays out in our relationships as well; a tension, unrest, anger, frustration, rage and even violence and then… the moment when it is squashed, postponed to be dealt with again for another day. This is not harmony.

‘Tolerance’ is another word to ponder upon in the discussion of harmony. To me the word tolerance holds a lack of acceptance, an inability to truly embrace something in full and can be something we ‘put up with.’ We see this often in how people try to deal with race, culture, and sexual orientation, but it is in our personal relationships as well. They don’t really agree with it all, but know on some level they have to look like they are. Eventually all that we tolerate will reach a breaking point and that’s because tolerance does not resolve the core of the problem – it’s more like a band-aid on a sore that just won’t go away. Tolerance (alongside keeping the peace) is not harmony.

There is something so very pure about harmony. It offers us true freedom, releasing us from the inner tension created by the turmoil of ideals and beliefs and the contracts we have with people to do what we have always done. To express harmony is to express love from a place within where there is no agenda, no motivation, no desire for an outcome or manipulation required. Harmony is a stillness within the body that allows you to express yourself in your fullness, without any compromise or fear of reprisal or judgement.  Harmony is never without absolute responsibility and understanding.

We are constantly provided with a reflection of harmony, as a way to inspire us to reclaim it in our lives. We are offered the beauty of nature and its cycles, forever reminding us of the ebb and flow that is harmony. The sun and the moon dance each day in a perfect synchronised movement, each taking a turn to shine. Even in the city there are blades of grass sprouting from awkward places on concrete footpaths and at any time we can look up and see the clouds moving effortlessly in the sky. We are constantly reminded that harmony is our true way.

To misinterpret harmony, by ‘keeping the peace’ or being ‘tolerant,’ is to reduce the brilliance of what it truly offers. Harmony is sacred and expresses from within. Our life will never have true meaning until we live a life that honours the true meaning of the word harmony, a meaning that needs no further explanation, because it is known in full by us all.

By Maree Savins, Australia

Further Reading:
The Grandness of our own Love
The Difference Between Peace and Harmony
What Happens When We Do Not Speak Up?


453 thoughts on “To Misinterpret Harmony

  1. I am not a peace keeper but sometimes it feels like I am a fight starter, as in I am always rubbing people up the wrong way in the name of what I feel. I am realising that harmony needs to be lived and felt even in my delivery or I am simply adding to the mess.

  2. We read so much from feelings and gestures, and are constantly scanning the outer world to comprehend, understand and feel safe. Sure some of us may pay more attention than others, but put an obnoxious person in a room, or a great big noise in a roof and just watch people respond. But are we equally interested in our internal landscape? Do we prize highly the ease and flow inside our body? What your words suggest to me Maree, is that we have been getting life the wrong way around for so long, thinking harmony is a result of our surroundings, when it’s truly a consequence of our internal state.

  3. I was talking to someone recently who persists with the word peace even when I use the word harmony with the understanding as given here, and I was reminded that for some it really is still about peace – as the absence of war – as Harmony may be a rather forgotten feeling for them as for many. I know that eventually they will come to feel and know harmony again.

  4. The missing of harmony is something that upsets us most about ourselves and the world as it is so deeply innate and known by us all, what a beautiful sharing Maree of our sacredness. “Our life will never have true meaning until we live a life that honours the true meaning of the word harmony”.

  5. ‘The sun and the moon dance each day in a perfect synchronised movement, each taking a turn to shine.’ – Love this, an absolute reflection of Divinity and the power we all innately behold.

  6. In a brilliant science course I attended not so long ago we were showed how every vibration no matter how chaotic is forever working its way back to harmony. This shows that the pull to harmony is natural which means that to pull against that would takes an enormous amount of energy.

    1. That’s very true kathleenbaldwin. The Universe is perpetually in a harmonious order so all that is within the Universe is held in a state of harmony and love that is undeniable. If we weren’t we wouldn’t experience the disharmony. Disharmony is the correction.

  7. I get a beautiful reminder everyday as I walk across a river to work, I get to see and feel the ebb and flow of the tidal rhythm from the ocean.. even though it is in the centre of a city.

  8. In saying yes when we really want to say no, creates a great disturbance in the body that goes out into the world in all we do and say despite best efforts to keep the disturbance wrapped up inside us like a toxin.

  9. We are so used to living less then harmony that we put up with the next best thing as a substitute rather then take responsibility for our state of being and aspire for the real deal.

  10. I used to feel harmony was impossible to live because I didn’t meet anyone who knew the true meaning of harmony or was living it. Also, I was not living in harmony myself. I thought that there is no way we could live in harmony with the current state of the world and humanity. But when I met Serge Benhayon and his family, I realised living in harmony is definitely possible and not only that, it is our natural way to live.

  11. Maree, I have done this and it does not work, it leaves an underlying tension that can build and will come up at a later date; ‘Somehow, when we are not honest to another, we convince ourselves that keeping the peace is the best thing to do’, I have found that it is important to talk about any issues that arise rather than trying to squash them down and pretend everything is ok – not dealing with issues can lead to bitterness and resentment in relationships.

  12. “When we say aloud the word harmony, a vibration is felt that holds its true essence.” It is true there is a resonance to the word harmony that I can feel in my body that feels true and complete. Listen to the word peace and it leaves me flat and with no resolution, it feels momentary and incomplete. What if we were to listen to the vibration of all words, and not just accept them because they become the common word we use, and hear the most.

  13. When we give up on harmony are we settling for just better? Being abused once a day is better than all day! Harmony just becomes a mythical place that only exists in fairytales, in our better world. Everyday day we are surrounded by harmony; we are the one that chooses not to accept the responsibility that goes with it.

    1. I agree Steve that there is definitely a type of fatigue or given up ness in the world where we have given up on ever achieving harmony or being a harmonious living species and so we have downgraded our expectations and settled for much less than what we are truly capable of and actually naturally inclined to be.

  14. A great reminder for us to be absolutely honest with ourselves and others and bring harmony back into our world in all its glory. Even the word harmony is calming and beautiful to hear.

  15. To misinterpret harmony is easy, because we let ourselves be so fooled by images. We can be led by the nose to think about how it ‘should’ be, when all the while it is our livingness that brings the harmnoy, no image in the world has harmony, just lies.

  16. Love love love how you expose the flimsy nature of peace and instead re-ignight what it means to be in true harmony with one and other – our real true and natural way.

  17. I agree that holding back and ‘keeping the peace’ can often (if not always!) create more of a mess by way of unsaid tensions and dynamics that end up being resentments or irritations expressed in an unclear way, creating complication rather than the simplicity that can come with being open and honest in the moment.

  18. Harmony is a feeling that resides within us when we let go of all the pictures, and the trying and everything else.

  19. Even with keeping the peace we can all feel there is no harmony for there is still a tension present and palpable in our bodies because we are not all aligned in the moment. Harmony is felt when this tension between parties no longer exists at all and there is only love, holding, understanding and connection.

  20. Yes, it is interesting how we can believe ‘peace’ is the answer to ‘war’. And yet, is the so-called ‘peace’ after any war lasting? We have not had one full day without war since World War II! I agree Maree, the answer to war lies in harmony, not in peace -and that harmony must start from inside each of us.

  21. I realised today that the process of building harmony can actually look messy in the sense that conflict or war may actually lead to greater harmony because there is more rawness and honesty in exposing the energy of separation that was always there, even in times of peace and no obvious conflict. Therefore there is actually more danger in peace than in war because it can look ok on the surface but the tensions, divisiveness and separative energy is still there but more hidden and more difficult to identify.

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