Wellness Series: Live in Harmony, not Conflict

Carolyn Hoy

Wellness.com defines wellness as “the awareness of our true potential, reliable information, healthy living, expert care and the lifelong pursuit of a more successful existence.” More generally, it is “the state of being healthy” in all aspects of life. What are those aspects that make up healthy?

The National Wellness Institute outlines six dimensions of wellness: social, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, occupational, and physical. Each of these has many facets, which will be addressed over the next few months in Nvate.

Social Wellness

The tension assaults the senses as if it were a literal jelly to wade through. You trudge cautiously up to the door, barely daring to turn the knob. You’ve already spent hours killing time, trying to prevent going home. You’ve gone grocery shopping, you’ve made small talk with friends, and maybe you’ve even driven around the block or the parking lot a few times. Now here you are, and you have to face your fears—and the person with whom you are in conflict.

Nvate Wellness Series Forgiveness Live in Harmony Social Wellness

Credit: freedigitalphotos.net bigjom

This situation is more frequent than most would like to admit. Roommates don’t always get along. Sharing a room with a person from a completely different family and culture is difficult at best. Families are not always at peace, either. Sometimes a child faces the feeling of wanting to avoid curfew when they come home too late or when they are carrying a bad report card.

The issue goes deeper, which is why the divorce rate in America is at nearly 50 percent, according to Daily Infographic’s “Divorce in America.” The number one cause of that statistic is poor communication. This issue is at the heart of sibling rivalry and office hostility, of broken homes and broken hearts. The social sphere of wellness is crucial, but it is often managed poorly.

What exactly is the social sphere? The National Wellness Institute defines it as the dimension that “encourages contributing to one’s environment and community” and that “emphasizes the interdependence between others and nature.” Basically, this is the aspect that focuses on “improving our world by encouraging healthier living and initiating better communication with those around [us].”

The institute suggests two principles for having a well-rounded social dimension of wellness. Firstly, “it is better to contribute to the common welfare of our community than to think only of ourselves,” and “it is better to live in harmony with others and our environment than to live in conflict with them.”

These tenets seem like common sense, and yet the world is not socially perfect. People behave selfishly, not always with common welfare in mind. Conflict is prevalent; harmony is rarely within grasp. What, then, can be done to promote a healthy social dimension?

Give Forgiveness a Try

From Jesus Christ and Mahatma Gandhi to Oprah and modern psychologists at Psychology Today, most people agree that forgiveness of wrongs is irreplaceable in mending supposedly irrevocably broken relationships. An article on Oprah’s website called “6 Tips for Dealing with Difficult (Even Impossible) People” says that “grace is spiritual WD-40. It eases our way out of grippy, self-righteous stuckness.” Forgiveness heals the forgiver even more than it heals the forgiven. Psychology Today says that most psychologists recommend forgiveness because anger can “eat away at us.” In fact, the website links to 10 different articles about forgiveness.

Even before television and magazines, world leaders taught the power of forgiveness. Jesus Christ spoke of the power of forgiveness throughout the Bible. Gandhi, too, stressed the importance of forgiveness. Even though he was imprisoned many times for his civil rights stands in India and had every right to be bitter with his captors, he said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” He said it was the attribute of the strong, turning forgiveness and strength into equivalents, into synonyms. He essentially said forgiveness is strength.

Obviously, influential people see the power of forgiveness, and have for thousands of years, so why doesn’t everyone else seem to forgive? Why are people so fearful of opening the door of their homes to their roommate, spouse or child’s wrath, when research, experience and timeless teachings prove that forgiveness and grace lead to the peace so many are searching for?

Forgiveness is a crucial part of the social dimension of wellness. Forgiveness paves the road to selflessness, to “contributing to common welfare,” and to living in harmony rather than conflict. Through forgiveness of wrongs and understanding of other viewpoints, people can open the doors to their hearts and the doors to their homes, knowing that their relationships can blossom rather than becoming heart-wrenching statistics. Through forgiveness, people can strengthen the social aspect of wellness in their lives and in the lives of those around them.

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