ASH PHOENIX

March 2021 – the world in lockdown, even our little paradise island. We wear our masks and live our lives – we love and sometimes hate. In my last article, I wrote on the topic of writing a novel. Today, I want to share my thoughts on something that concerns many of us: PAIN. During confinement, pain seems to be at the forefront of our minds, almost holding us prisoner – even the strongest among us.

Writing about pain seems to be a popular topic nowadays – Covid-19 has allowed many of us to look inwards as there is not much to distract ourselves with compared to the carefree times of the past – apart from cleaning, home-schooling, cooking and many other chores. In a way, the pandemic has placed a magnifying glass on our shortcomings and strengths – but also on the pain that we might feel inside our souls.

People do not like to feel pain – neither physical nor mental. Often, we do not even want to share with others when we experience it, no matter whether it is physical or an inner torment. If our body hurts, we can go to the doctor and hopefully, we will be healed. Mental pain is far more complicated – some people go to a psychologist but for most of us, that pain is not at a level that requires treatment by a specialist. Often, we only need someone to talk to and the pain subsides as quickly as it came.

We crave to relate our thoughts to other human beings when we feel challenged, sad, confused or even depressed. It almost helps in an instant when we feel heard and sense that our emotions are taken seriously. It is the experience that we matter that consoles us – even if we are only heard by one person.

But how is that exchange between humans possible during lockdown? How do people who live alone cope – with only two shopping days to exchange a few words with the supermarket staff? Even in Mauritius there are many people who feel that not even one person cares about them – whether it is true or just a perception.

I am not an expert in psychological matters but I know how I can release my mental pain – how I can overcome my inner demons. On good days, I do some physical exercises and usually my mood is uplifted instantly. On bad days, I somehow release negative emotions when I write about them. I do not supress those feelings of sadness anymore. I do not even try to deny the pain – I dive directly into it. Sometimes it even helps when I scribble down something in a journal or write it on a piece of paper. Often, I write poems. Writing can be a substitute for a real person that listens when we feel low.

My dear reader, I would like to encourage you to do the same. Whether you experience loneliness or inner torment – try to release those emotions by writing about them in case you do not have the physical ability to move your body. At least you can engage your mind by writing about your feelings – creating ‘someone’ who listens even if no one is around.

I know that many readers want to reply that they have God who listens to them. They have their prayers. I agree with that! The emblem on the title page of my fiction novel has a banner that says: fidem, spem et caritatem. One could translate that motto with: staying in faith, hope and love. It is a Christian slogan but I believe it is quite universal. Whatever our religion is, whether we are Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians or even Atheists – most of us strive to have faith, hope and love. Faith is not tied to a particular religion or belief – it can also be the faith in ourselves, the faith in our path, the faith in our destiny.

The world in lockdown may give us the chance to experience internal growth as external growth is hindered in an environment of global economic downturn. In that sense, I wish my readers – and all other human beings – that they may find the peace of mind in these challenging times because they discover that they can find peace only within themselves. And I want to say to everyone: YOU MATTER!

Ash Phoenix is the author of the fiction novel: The Chronicles of the Tiny Island. The hardcover book is available at Bookcourt, Mauritius (orders@bookcourt.mu) and also online: https://www.temple-publications.com/product/the-chronicles-of-the-tiny-island/. For more information about the author, go to: http://www.ash-phoenix.com