Ash Phoenix

April 2021 – already more than a month of lockdown on our little paradise island. More impatience, more frustration, more fear and perhaps even more anger – many of us are likely to experience one of these emotions at the moment. They are the shadows of our lives and sometimes they are difficult to control. My dear reader, we hear a lot of negative news nowadays. It is not my task to dwell on them even more. As always, I would like to share some uplifting thoughts. In my last article in this newspaper, I suggested that we can cope better with the constraints of the lockdown by exercising and journaling. I also wrote about faith, hope and love and that we should never lose these virtues.

Today, I want to write about love. I picked a difficult theme and I am aware of it. Countless philosophers, poets and literary geniuses have shared with us their thoughts and feelings about love. One may rightfully protest that everything that could have been written about love has already been written – in every aspect. I would like to respond to those critical voices that love – at least the experience of love and not its prosaic explanation referring to chemical and hormonal processes – is something subjective and personal. It is a feeling and as such it is something that causes heightened emotions – whether of a positive or a negative nature.

Every writer, poet or philosopher will have a slightly different outlook on love. Even those who try to objectivise love do so from their subjective viewpoints. Consequently, this article is a personal account of what love is – or what it could be. We are all aware of those beautiful descriptions of what love is, how it feels and what it can do to us and those who we love. Many of us have also experienced the shadow side of love – the pain that it caused when it ended or when it was unrequited from the beginning. Sometimes, love cannot move those mountains that we wish it could. Sometimes, it can.

Love goes beyond the romantic love between two people. We love our children, parents, other relatives and sometimes even all human beings on earth. Some of us can feel the latter if they are spiritually enlightened, although I doubt that many of us will have experienced such a far-reaching love. For the majority of us, it is already beneficial not to hate. Hate is the

evil side of love. It is the shadow of our existence as human beings – sometimes intertwined with our fears, guilt, anger, sorrows, lies and illusions. Often, those shadows are born out of disappointment over failed love relationships, refused affection or even out of pure obsession.

I have written about romantic love in my fiction novel and I would like to share some of those ideas with you today. It is said that love is the strongest of all forces and that it can overcome anything. Even Einstein said that love is a universal force.

I believe that love has different vibrations. Most humans experience the physical form of love when they embrace each other, when they kiss or when they are intimate. It is important to acknowledge that this kind of love is the basis for human life on earth.

Most lovers are also connected at a mental level. We can not only love physically but also with our minds – even if we are far apart from each other. No one can forbid us to love someone, to think about them or feel intellectually connected to them. Perhaps, this form of love is a higher vibration as it is independent from the subject of our affection being physically with us. In particular in lockdowns, people start to experience love more intensely at that level. Many lovers cannot be together, unless they live under one roof. Thus, we have to find other ways to love. The love in the mental realm is more an exchange of our hearts and minds. I believe that this form of love is however not complete if the first level is not fulfilled as well. Something is just missing if we cannot embrace and kiss each other – if we cannot feel the person that has such a special place in our heart. That is why extended lockdowns are so hard to bear for many of us. We all miss the physical touch and social distancing simply feels cruel.

The highest vibration of love can be found at a spiritual level. I believe that such a connection has only been experienced by few – even between two lovers. Maybe that is the case because many of us have not yet learned to embrace our own soul. I believe that loving ourselves is the pre-requisite for truly loving someone else. If we embrace our soul, we can also experience the soul of the one we love. The two souls can connect with each other in the spiritual realm – at least that is how I see it.

I believe that if the love between two lovers is true and pure, it contains all three elements – the physical, the mental and the spiritual. That is why love is called the strongest force. I want to conclude this article with a short poem and an appeal to my readers: Just love!

YOUR SOUL

I did not recognise your soul

So I ran away – again and again

Every time you came near me

I ran and ran and kept running.

One day I stopped fleeing

Realising that I missed you

When you were not near me

That I was longing for you.

On that day, something tingled

I found you deep inside my soul

I recognised you and understood

That I wanted to belong only to you.

Ash Phoenix is the author of the fiction novel The Chronicles of the Tiny Island