By Joyce and Barry Vissell
This is not an article about the benefits of getting a vaccination. Nor is it an article about not getting a vaccination. I am writing about following one’s heart and having respect for others’ decisions. There is so much tension right now about a person’s decision to either vaccinate or not. We need to have respect for one another.
The decision to get vaccinated was not difficult for me. Right away, in my heart, I knew this was the right decision for me. I have had Covid-19 and I was really sick with it, and I also know how lucky and blessed I was that I never had to go to the hospital. I do not want to get Covid-19 again or any of the variants. I did not even have to think about this decision. My heart directed me very clearly.
But just as clearly, people are being directed by their hearts to not get the vaccination. We have a mentorship program that now meets on Zoom. There are ten women in this group, with Barry and me as the leaders. Having this group has been enormously helpful for all of us, especially during this time of the pandemic. During one session, Kerry cried while she shared a recent very traumatic experience. A friend had asked her if she was going to get vaccinated, and Kerry replied that it did not feel right for her. The friend then proceeded for two hours to verbally abuse and bully her, calling Kerry irresponsible and part of problem of the pandemic. Finally, Kerry had to ask her friend to leave, but she felt traumatized and, after two weeks, she was still dealing with the emotional abuse she felt from that time. Kerry’s trust in her friend was deeply broken.
In this same mentorship group, we also have, besides Barry, three other wonderful doctors, each with over thirty years of experience. I asked one of the doctors how she felt about the vaccination, and she gave this reply, “I tell all of my patients about the benefits of getting the vaccination. But then I also tell them to tune into their body and into their hearts and intuition, and find the answer for themselves.”
I have two very good friends that I have had for over thirty-five years. They do not know each other and live in different cities. Each one has come to the conclusion that, for them, the vaccination is not right. For me, I know that the vaccination is right. We respect each other’s decisions and there is no need to argue.
The pressure can go the opposite way as well. I have a counseling client, Betty, who is eighty years old. She is undecided about the vaccination because her daughter subscribes to the various conspiracy theories about vaccinations. Her daughter puts great pressure on Betty every single day to not get the vaccination, and sends her articles that support her argument. Betty’s doctor has urged her to get the vaccination, especially because her husband has multiple health challenges involving his lungs and heart. Betty’s daughter has told her that she will feel betrayed if her mother gets the vaccine. She gives her mother no freedom to go inside her own heart and intuition and find what is right for her.
We need to respect each other, and trust that each person will follow his or her own heart. If your friend is making a decision that is very different from your decision and belief, there needs to be respect. The proper answer is, “OK, I trust you are making the right decision for you.”
I swim almost every day at a sports gym near my home. There is a beautiful outdoor pool, and we all must sign up for a time and then can have a whole lane to ourselves for just 45 minutes. Today, I was running late and was in a hurry to change into my suit. As I entered the locker room, I was keenly aware that there was a verbal fight going on between two women. I quickly gathered that one of the women must have said that she did not believe in vaccinations and the other woman was yelling at her, blaming that she was the whole reason the pandemic might just continue. The rest of us were just trying to change into our swim suits or get back into our clothes, and had to endure the arguing and negativity. As I did not want to miss out on my swim time, I quickly left. But I thought about it while I was swimming. We all need to have tolerance right now for different opinions. When it comes to the Covid-19 vaccinations, there is much uncertainty and fear.
None of us know the inner story of a person’s decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate. We know a young man who is choosing to not get vaccinated. When he was a baby, his mother allowed his doctor to vaccinate him, and he ended up in a hospital with a severe allergic reaction. The doctor in charge told his mother to make sure that he never receives another vaccination as he could end up back in the emergency room, or worse.
Right now, we need to spread tolerance, understanding, respect and kindness, not only with the issue of vaccination, but with all issues. Our world is needing this right now. If someone you know is making a decision different from what you feel, just allow them to have their choice and give love, acceptance, and understanding. Giving forth a peaceful and loving energy can help so much.
Joyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors near Santa Cruz, CA, who are passionate about conscious relationship and personal-spiritual growth. They are the authors of 9 books and a new free audio album of sacred songs and chants. Call 831-684-2130 for further information on counseling sessions by phone, on-line, 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.
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We would love to give you a free gift, our new audio album of sacred songs and chants, available for download at SharedHeart.org, or to listen on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGml4FDMDyI&feature=youtu.be