in a Name?"
For as long as I can remember, I have seemed to know the
name of the woman with whom I would spend my life. It was
supposed to be Amanda. I really dont know how I
knew this; I dont consider myself psychic. I do
vaguely remember a few dreams in my adolescence including
that name, and then one more in my mid twenties. But more
than the dreams, I have always seemed to possess a
knowing that her name would be Amanda.
On my thirtieth birthday, I looked back at my life with
sadness. I had met several Amandas, but none were right
for me. I tried very hard to be with one of these women,
to make her somehow fit as a lover, but it didnt
work. It ended painfully. I had other relationships with
women of different names. These, too, were painful as I
tried to fight against my inner knowing, or even to
pretend that I didnt have this bit of information
locked in my heart.
I also felt anger. It felt like a handicap to have such a
precise qualification for my life partner. I felt limited
in my relationships. My friends could enjoy the simple
pleasure of dating with an open mind and heart. I felt
biased, at times even cursed. For example, there was a beautiful young woman, Heather,
who lived in the apartment next door. I felt attracted to
her. I felt comfortable with her. When she greeted me
with that warm smile of hers, I felt her genuine caring.
If her name was Amanda, I would have leapt for joy. But I
had to hide my feelings for fear of breaking her
One Saturday morning, I decided to take a walk. My
apartment building bordered a large park with tree- lined
walkways. As I stepped out into the hall, I noticed
Heather was also leaving her apartment. We said
hellowhy did she have to disarm me so completely
with her smile? Walking together toward the stairs, I
told her I was going for a walk in the park. She said, I was heading that way too. Would you
mind if I came along? No, Id like that, I quickly replied.
Then came that old familiar conflict. Enthusiasm to be
with someone I really liked, and fear of getting involved
with someone I would end up leaving. For the walk, however, I managed to put aside my worries.
Being in Heathers presence was so comfortable, so
familiar. We had a great time, with much laughter as well
as some serious conversation about our lives. Later, alone in my apartment, I started to panic. One
walk in a park and I was falling in love. How could this
be? I again felt angry at my curse, and
resolved that I needed to follow my own path, to choose
the person with whom I would spend time. I refused to be
controlled by a name anymore. I would spend as much time
as I wanted with Heather. And I certainly wanted to spend
more time with her.
I knocked on Heathers door later that afternoon. It
was almost like she expected me, and warmly invited me
in. She showed me her apartment. We talked for hours; it
was amazing how much we had in common. We talked about
our spirituality. Although we came from seemingly diverse
backgrounds, we shared the same basic beliefs about a
Higher Power that was as much a part of us as it was a
part of everything in the universe.
It was obvious that we liked each other wholeheartedly. I
told her how comfortable I felt in her presence. Her
smile told me she felt the same. I knew I needed to tell
her about the Amanda thing but, before I
could begin, she started talking about her childhood. Tyler, she began, I didnt have an
easy childhood. I cant remember any time my parents
sincerely listened to me. Youre such a good
listener. I feel important in your presence.
Thats easy, I interrupted, I
cant remember ever enjoying listening to someone
else this much.
Heather smiled, thanking me, then continued in more
serious tones, I felt pressured by my parents to
live my life according to their beliefs, to follow in
their footsteps. When I finished high school, I
couldnt take it anymore. I chose a college as far
away from home as possible. In my attempt to find myself
and my own values, I did some wild living with partying,
drugs and sex. I even changed my name
A bolt of electricity shot through me.
Heather, I interrupted again, almost afraid
to ask, what was your original name?
She looked sad, then continued, I hated my name. It
has always been a reminder of an oppressed, controlled
child Ive been trying to run away from. But lately
Ive been feeling differently about that name.
Im considering going back to it, sort of reclaiming
my lost childhood. What do you think of me going back to
my childhood name, Amanda?
YES!! I almost shouted. I love the name
I could scarcely contain my excitement. My story tumbled
out of my mouth. Her face went from puzzled, to amazed,
then to excited. With tears in my eyes, I reached out and
hugged Heather. NoAmanda!
That was nine years ago. Amanda now loves her name. Our
son and daughter like to call her Amanda as much as they
call her Mom.
This story is an excerpt from the Vissells newest
book, Meant To Be:
Miraculous True Stories To Inspire a Lifetime of Love,
containing 38 of the most amazing and inspiring love
stories you will ever read. Look for it at your favorite
bookstore. Here are a few opportunities to bring more love into your
life, at the following longer events led by Barry and
Joyce Vissell: Jun 18- 25Living
Your Purpose Training at their
home; Jun 28-July 3Couples
Renewal at their home; Jul
Water Adventure in Northern CA; Jul
Hot Springs Family Retreat in
Joyce and Barry Vissell, a nurse and medical doctor
couple since 1964, are the authors of The
Shared Heart, Models of Love, Risk To Be Healed, and The
1-800-766-0629 (locally 831-684-2299) or write to the
Shared Heart Foundation, P.O. Box 2140, Aptos, CA 95001,
for free newsletter from Barry and Joyce, further
information on their books, tapes and training programs,
or their schedule of talks and workshops. Visit their web
site at www.sharedheart.org.
With all our love,
Barry and JoyceVissell, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org check out out website: