At work we were talking today about priority setting for healthcare in communities, which made me think about priorities in family settings, individual relationships and ourselves. For the mental/spiritual/physical health of a family I think it’s really helpful for people to share similar priorities. I saw a video on Sikhnet that talked about how in a marriage, the devotion of the heart should match. Guruka Singh said it doesn’t matter if someone is further along in their spiritual growth because that can be balanced, but devotion matters a lot. He gave the example of a wife who has the Guru and sangat as the center of her life, and her husband has his job and “mates” as the center of his life, being a mismatch of devotion. (Of course it could be the other way around). How do those two people grow together? They would be growing in two different directions! I think his point ultimately can be summarized as “priorities.” What are your priorities as an individual? As a family? When we do Anand Karaj we are saying that as a couple we have decided that our priority is Guru Ji. Guru Ji has established this as a base for successful marriage. But some people leave that behind as soon as they walk out of the Gurdwara. If parents don’t have the same priorities, its hard for the children to figure out what to prioritize and for the family unit to be all on the same page.
Ultimately a person’s time, effort and heart’s energy is going to go towards where their top priority is. The maximal number of thoughts will go to that priority. Bhai Sewa Singh Ji talks about in his books how it is these differences in thoughts that lead to fighting within relationships, families and society at large. As Sikhs we are taught that our top priority is that main reason we came on this earth- our union with God, to move beyond the world of thoughts and connect on a deeper level of souls.
There’s nothing wrong with realizing that you need to shuffle and readjust your priorities. I remember I wrote a post a long time ago that talked about how I had my priorities that I ideally wanted to have and then I evaluated how realistically how my day played how didn’t match, so I worked on matching it up and eventually I did that successfully. So I encourage you to think about what/who is important in your life, and what you actually did today (where were your thoughts? what were your actions?) and whether they aligned.