photo: author provided
I love this photo of our son-in-law Ryan and our almost three-year-old grandson Owen. Ryan is taking Owen for his first surfing lesson. Owen is holding his hand with complete trust. He knows that his father has great wisdom in this situation and will take care of him.
Ryan is a lifetime surfer and knows the ocean very well. Owen cannot manage the ocean by himself. Ryan is a safety engineer and is always looking for ways to make Owen's life as safe as can be.
I Want To Trust That I Am Safe
I love this photo because I want to have the trust that Owen has here. I want to look to my unseen Father/Mother to guide me in a safe and wise way. I want to trust that, even though a situation may be scary, the One who is guiding me can see further ahead than I, and knows the gifts and blessings of the journey. Even though I can only see the wave in front of me, my guiding light can see the whole ocean.
I have been tested in this kind of trust over and over again in my life. A time that comes to mind is when our family experienced the 1989 earthquake which totally destroyed our home with all five of us in it. Our son was only five months old and our girls were seven and twelve. There were so many miracles that happened during the earthquake, situations that could have easily killed all five of us.
And yet we were protected. But our home and most of our possessions were gone forever. It would have been easy to feel abandoned by our great Mother/Father. And at times I did.
Unable to find a suitable place for our family, because so many homes were destroyed, we ended up camping on our neighbor's property for almost a year. Yes, we did have a small camper, but we also had three children, one in diapers, two going to school with homework. And also a dog and four cats. Having always worked at home, Barry had to get an office space far away and was gone long periods in the day.
The children and the animals were insecure, and they looked to me as the mother to bring stability. But I felt insecure as well. In my rare quiet moments alone, I looked to my great Mother to bring the security I needed. I felt Her saying to me that she has the big picture in mind, and that I needed to hold Her hand and trust Her wisdom for myself and for our family.
Trust Higher Wisdom and Let Go
The beautiful part of this extended camping experience was that we camped right next to the property that we had always loved so much while living in our home. I was able to walk on this property every day and realize that this is where we were supposed to live.
Barry was busy trying to find a suitable home for us to buy and yet he never could. Nothing ever felt right. And yet, day by day, this bare land right next door felt more and more right. Finally, Barry was able to catch my vision and we were able to buy it. The owner sold it to us for far below the market value because of the earthquake.
Twenty seven years later, we are still living on this beautiful property next to where we camped for those many months. Everything about our land and the home we built feels right, and we are able to hold seven workshops a year right in our home, using the land for camping and hiking.
We had loved our first little home that was destroyed by the earthquake. But it was way too small for three children and a home office and never could have worked for workshops. We were content there and perhaps never would have made the change. But our Mother/Father made the change for us and brought us lovingly to a place that is perfect and very affordable for our work and our family. I learned a major lesson in trusting the higher wisdom and power.
Ask For Guidance and Protection
We are blessed to work with many people who are in recovery. I find most of these people to be incredibly conscious and beautiful human beings. I always want to hear their stories and especially the point when their life of addiction started to change. For most people, the moment came after a particularly difficult and low period when they felt they simply could not go on anymore.
It was at this low, desperate time for many of them when they realized that they must invite a higher power into their lives. They realized that they could not overcome their addiction without help. They had to hold the hand of their Mother/Father and ask for guidance and protection out of the mess of their life of addiction.
This beautiful Higher Power brought them to meetings and sponsors and 12 steps that could usher them into a life more beautiful than they could have imagined. Most people in recovery realize that the success of their recovery depends on them constantly holding this hand of the Higher Power, trusting the higher wisdom and guidance.
The Best Thing I Ever Did: Trust
When I was twenty-two years old, I was completely in love with Barry and wanted to marry him and live the rest of my life with him. But his Jewish background did not allow for such a marriage of a non-Jewish woman, and I had always wanted to marry someone of my Christian faith. Every human we trusted suggested that we end the relationship.
I clearly remember as if it were this morning, the loving voice of my great Mother/Father speaking to me in my heart saying, "It is OK to marry Barry. You cannot figure it all out yet, but you will have a beautiful marriage."
The best thing I ever did in this life is to trust that inner voice, for indeed being married to Barry these fifty years has been the greatest blessing of my life.
Taking the hand of our Mother/Father and trusting our lives in their care is difficult, but it can also lead to the greatest blessings.
* Subtitles by InnerSelf
Book by this Author
To Really Love a Man
by Joyce (and Barry) Vissell.
How does a man really need to be loved? How can his partner help to bring out his sensitivity, his emotions, his strength, his fire, and at the same time allow him to feel respected, secure, and acknowledged? This book gives tools to the readers to more deeply honor their partners.
About the Author(s)
Joyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors near Santa Cruz, CA. They are widely regarded as among the world's top experts on conscious relationship and personal growth. They are the authors of The Shared Heart, Models of Love, Risk To Be Healed, The Heart’s Wisdom, Meant To Be, and A Mother’s Final Gift.
Here are a few opportunities to bring more love and growth into your life, at the following events led by Barry and Joyce Vissell: Jul 21-26, 2019 — Shared Heart Summer Retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs, OR; Sep 24-30, 2019 — Assisi Retreat, Italy; and Jun 7-14, 2020 — Shared Heart Alaska Cruise 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.
Two Recent Books (2018) by the Vissells:
To Really Love a Woman
by Barry and Joyce Vissell.
How does a woman really need to be loved? How can her partner help to bring out her deepest passion, her sensuality, her creativity, her dreams, her joy, and at the same time allow her to feel safe, accepted and appreciated? This book gives tools to the readers to more deeply honor their partners. Although these writings refer mostly to heterosexual women and men, there is a wealth of information for LGBTQ. Our focus, after all, is how to deeply love another person, whether it be a man or a woman.
To Really Love a Man
by Joyce and Barry Vissell.
How does a man really need to be loved? How can his partner help to bring out his sensitivity, his emotions, his strength, his fire, and at the same time allow him to feel respected, secure, and acknowledged? This book gives tools to the readers to more deeply honor their partners. Although these writings refer mostly to heterosexual women and men, there is a wealth of information for LGBTQ. Our focus, after all, is how to deeply love another person, whether it be a man or a woman.
Listen to a radio interview with Joyce and Barry Vissell on "Relationship as Conscious Path".