What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. George Levinger
Like marriages, life may be made in heaven but has to be lived on earth; this poses a dilemma for many; for we are forever oscillating between heavenly bliss and earthly reality. The wonder of living is that every moment brings about surprises, pains, hurt and hope. While one moment we maybe up in the skies the next moment we could be down in the dumps; ruing missed opportunities, cursing fate or wistfully longing for the good old days. The key to happiness therefore lies in our ability to react to our circumstances in the same manner as Rudyard Kipling says in his poem IF ‘If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two imposters just the same’ Click here to read the poem If_by Rudyard Kipling.
Unfortunately for the vast majority of us we are swept away by the momentum of triumph and then when disaster rears its ugly head, it pulls us down to the depths of misery. It is our ability to squarely meet our challenges, the difficulties and the ill luck that is the reality of life that will determine our strength of character and steely resolve. Levinger has wonderfully juxtaposed the learning through the example of how one deals with married life, He cleverly underscored the point that when there is compatibility and things go right, everyone is perched on the tall branches of comfort, peace and happiness; it is when we are not compatible, when there are differences, when we have to cross the bumpy roads on the highway of marriage that the true test of understanding, trust and belief in the other is put to the test. It is that point which charts out the course for two lives to meet in unity, two hearts to beat as one and one life to reflect the light from two souls as a lighthouse would in the midst of thunderous storms and rough seas.
Sometimes we are caught up in a battle of wits when faced with the awkwardness of differences of opinion. Often it is selfishness and our personal ego that blinds us to our folly of reacting impudently. Most times it is our inability to discern and listen to the voice of reason that brings about our downfall. Reactions are by and large spurred on by impulsive thought and compulsive action, a potent and dangerous mix if any, for the effects are no less toxic than if one were to consume poison or be bitten by a rattle snake. Alas ill timed, ill conceived and foolhardy reactions are worse than poison, for when we consume poison there is only one fatality but here the consequences are deadly; it might involve more than two lives and affect many more and the repercussions could be felt for a lifetime nay possible for generations.
Remember: “The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.” Bertrand Russell
- The next time you go to a dentist or have to take an injection be aware of your reaction to the process. Do you dread it? Are you terrified? Do you look away from the needle? Do you sweat long before the syringe is even unpacked? Do you put up a brave front and smile nervously while the doctor banters with you? There are no right or wrong reactions; just be aware that your reactions are unique to you and could wildly differ from another close relative or family member.
- Look back at the times you have panicked; perhaps before a major examination paper or on hearing news about the sudden accident or death of a close relative or loved one. Clinically examine your actions and reactions. Did you go blank? Were you hysterical? Were you too emotionally drained to react? Were you composed and be able to comfort others in distress?
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