johnloveThe best advice I ever got about relationships came from my friend Luke. He said that in order for a relationship to be a healthy one, there needs to be an alignment or harmony between our most treasured or core life dreams or worldviews. If one person really wants to work toward a big house in the suburbs and the other lacks that ambition, or instead dreams of development work among the poor, there could be problems – no matter how much the two people love one another. When our dreams are stifled, inevitably it will result in an unhappiness that will likely express itself in a variety of counter-productive ways.

When Loveleen and I first started dating, we were very happy together. Taking Luke’s advice to heart, one day I decided to put it all on the line and find out whether or not our deeper purposes were really in harmony – and I was prepared to act on that truth. I told Loveleen that I had no intentions of living my life for me but that I was here to give it away, working to serve the world in whatever ways I could. Deep inside, I always felt that this was going to involve much traveling. When I probed into Loveleen’s core interests, she also seemed to have selfless dreams of working with children. It seemed like our fundamental desires were compatible enough to move forward. Ending the relationship at that point – when we were so happy – would have been the most difficult thing in the world. It’s not an easy question to ask honestly, because there is so much on the line, but in the long run, things will always come back to this truth. As hard as it may be, one might as well get to the bottom of this question right away.

Loveleen and I went on to spend many years together as very best friends.

johnloveleenwedding1The other day, someone asked me how long we had been married. Whenever someone asks me that, I have to think about it for a while. Technically, we’re not legally married, as I’m not so interested in having the government involved in my love life. We were, however, married under the Heavens, in a Divine Marriage, Cosmically arranged (great story – some day.) We also had a traditional Sikh wedding ceremony.

I decided the Divine Marriage was the real deal and that occurred at around midnight on December 3rd, or morning of December 4th, 1995. I calculated the year and realized that it had been almost 10 years, and then I realized that it was now December 2nd and that our 10 year marriage anniversary was like… tomorrow!

Phenomenal timing.

“Bummer!”, I thought, being here in India, with Loveleen so far away. And then quickly I got to thinking. I sent an email to a bunch of friends and tried to arrange the most romantic anniversary I could, being so far away. I asked one friend to leave flowers and a lit candle outside the door and knock late at night – at the real time of our anniversary. Included would be a note saying “Happy 10th Anniversary. John loves you!” I asked some friends to take her to her favorite restaurant and include a card that would say “Happy 10th
Anniversary. John loves you!” I asked another friend to give her incense with the same card and another to bring a vegan chocolate cake, again with the same card. And then finally I asked another friend if she could give her one of her famous facials, yet again with a card saying, “Happy 10th Anniversary. John loves you!” With so little advance notice, my friends back home rose to the challenge and went to work.

anniversarycakeLoveleen was very happy. :) A fun twist came about as well. I had only told a couple people about it, but somehow, that was enough. On my end, I received a cake in Ajmer from Gopi and crew saying “Happy Anniversary, John. Luvleen loves you!” And back at Manav Sadhna, word got back to Jayeshbhai and he asked everyone to personally make food for a cow and feed it to them in our honor. I also got another Happy Anniversary email telling me that Loveleen loves me.

It was nice.

When it comes down to it, how many people would be so understanding as to let their partner go off for a year to follow their calling without even questioning it. Loveleen has taken on the hardship of being alone and managing a household while I’m off here playing in a dreamland. She is an extraordinary person, truly exemplifying selflessness without any perks or recognition of any sort. Loveleen is truly a beautiful being in every way and I am so lucky to have been her companion for the last 10 years.

I have a feeling when we had that little talk 12 years ago that she didn’t think I really meant what I was saying quite so literally. Sorry Love. :) I adore you.