“Dissonance: A lack of harmony. A tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements” (Wikipedia).
I feel this lack of harmony internally when my actions don’t match my values and beliefs. I shared with a friend that I value freedom of choice and I’m willing to use the currency of certainty to purchase that freedom. When I begin to choose certainty over freedom-my internal turmoil begins.
The inconvenience of dissonance is that I live with a real-time awareness of the gaps between my actions and deeply held beliefs. In the past, I could ignore and push past the dissonance for long periods of time. Which often resulted in finding myself way off-course and disappointed.
As I’ve become more wholehearted, I now more quickly recognize my dissonance. I feel the lack of harmony and know when I’m drifting off-course. I’m beginning to believe that my awareness of dissonance is a reward vs. an inconvenience. The disharmony that I experience helps inform me that my direction of travel needs to be adjusted.
People like us, me and you, value living our life fully. We’re not content to simply amass a large sum of money and call that a success. Instead, we feel obligated as Walt Whitman narrates, “That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”
Dissonance although inconvenient at times, reminds us to contribute our verse with harmony.