Shared Heart Column
Heartfulness June 2018
with Joyce and Barry Vissell
Sharing your life with a loving partner is very rewarding and meaningful. Barry and I met at the age of eighteen during our first year of college. Many people our age met someone in college or in their home town during a social event and got married by the time they were twenty-two years old. That was often the norm for the sixties and early seventies. But now that is far from the norm. There are many people of all ages wishing and hoping they could meet their life partner. And hardly anyone gets married now at age twenty-two.
Since we work with couples, we often ask them how they met. Often they will respond that they met online. Typically, they are somewhat embarrassed when they reveal this, thinking that it should have been a more natural and romantic way of meeting. But we have talked with countless couples who have met online, and they have beautiful relationships and miracle stories to share about how they met. You need not be embarrassed about meeting online. The “online” part is the practical way the Divine connects two people.
During a recent workshop, Carol was complaining about not being able to find a partner. She said, “I’ve tried everything, Match.com, Amazon.com…
We stopped her, “Did you just say you tried Amazon.com to find a partner?”
“Yes, and it didn’t work!” she said emphatically.
After a moment of confusion, we all realized Carol’s mistake and thought it was quite funny. We couldn’t resist following the hilarious idea of people using Amazon.com to find a partner. Someone said, “You could look at reviews for each prospect and see how many stars they got from former dates.” Someone else added, “You could pick your size and color.” Another participant piped in, “If you found a person of interest, right below would be, ‘Those that liked this person also liked these people.’” We all liked the 100% guarantee that you could send the person back if you didn’t like him or her. And we loved that the person could arrive by Amazon Prime in just two days, or overnight if you are in a real hurry. We all laughed for a long time thinking about finding your partner through Amazon and receiving him in a box with a big smile on it.
After the humor ran its course, and we could breathe again, we asked Carol if she had ever prayed before posting her profile. She said no. We told her that prayer was the missing ingredient. Involving the all-powerful force of the Divine would make all the difference.
Forty-four years ago, Barry and I moved to Santa Cruz and wished to live here and begin raising our family, but we could not find a place to live. We looked at the paper every day, but nothing appropriate was available. (This was before computers and Craigslist). Finally, we visited our friend, the Reverend John Laurence, in San Francisco and asked for help. John was a direct disciple of Yogananda, having spent inspiring times alone in his presence. John listened to our troubles about finding a place to live, then he said, “You’re giving no way for God to connect with your need. Place your own ad in the paper, then sit together and ask God to help you find a place to live.”
We did just as he told us and we prayed together and asked for help. The next day the ad came out in the paper. Right away we received three calls. One man said, “I wasn’t even going to rent this house as it is such a problem to find the right person, but I saw your ad, and you sound so nice I’ll rent the house to you.” The house was perfect for us, an old ranch house sitting atop 120 acres. It was a bit dilapidated, but we loved it anyway and lived there for fourteen years until the earthquake destroyed it. We got that house through the combination of prayer and the means (the newspaper ad) for the Divine to connect with our need.
To find your life partner, prayer is the most important element, sincerely asking help from a Higher Power. But like the Sufis say, “Trust in Allah, but don’t forget to tether your camel.” In addition to prayer, you need to take action in the world, like following through with an online dating site (not Amazon.com!). And then your meeting online and really connecting with one another will be the answer to your prayer.
There was a woman in our community who had two young children and no partner. She was barely able to provide food and housing. People told her she should try to find a partner to help her, but she thought to herself, “Who would ever want me? I have two children and no money.” At the same time, there was a wealthy man living near us. He had a beautiful home, but he was in a wheelchair crippled with Multiple Sclerosis. People told him he should try to find a partner, but this man thought to himself, “Why would anyone want to be with me? I’m in a wheelchair and have MS.” But their friends persisted and, after much thought and prayer, they reluctantly posted online for a partner. Well, these two people found each other online and sincerely fell in love, in addition to helping each other with their needs. The woman and her children moved into the man’s beautiful home, and he was able to provide a top private education for the children. The woman was able to cook delicious meals, push his wheelchair, and help in many other ways. They sincerely loved each other and, to my knowledge, are still happily together. They probably never would have met had it not been for the combination of their prayers and posting their profiles online.
Here are a few opportunities to bring more love and growth into your life, at the following longer events led by Barry and Joyce Vissell:
Jul 22-27, 2018 — Shared Heart Summer Retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs, OR
Oct 10-16, 2018 — Assisi Retreat, Italy
Feb 10-17, 2019 — Hawaii Couples Retreat on the Big Island
Joyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors near Santa Cruz, CA, who are widely regarded as among the world's top experts on conscious relationship and personal growth. They are the authors of eight books, including two new books, To Really Love a Woman and To Really Love a Man.
Call 831-684-2299 for further information on counseling sessions by phone or in person, their books, recordings or their schedule of talks and workshops. Visit their web site at SharedHeart.org for their free monthly e-heartletter, their updated schedule, and inspiring past articles on many topics about relationship and living from the heart.