Love, love, love! Apparently its all around us according to the band Wet, Wet, Wet, but in reality, some of us never really get to fully experience it, so I think that it may be a little more complex than just 'being all around us.' One could also say that hate is all around us if we wanted to be a real Debbie Downer, and although I don't want to go there, I do want to start with opening a discussion around the perceptions of love.
Being an abstract and intangible emotion, love is open to a million different interpretations. This explains why some people think that love is pain and misery and others believe that love is the stuff that fuels cherubs and angels and makes everyone feel lovely and fuzzy inside. The absolute truth is that your interpretation of love is going to be completely based on your personal experiences of love. If all of your important life relationships have been a total shit show, then your idea of love is going to be pretty different than that of a person who has been surrounded by nurturing and demonstrative relationships all of their life. And whether you realise it or not, your ideas and concepts about love are being formed from the moment that you are born and they keep on evolving and changing until you die.
The first love that many of us will experience is the love that we get from our caregivers. Our mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings and the people that surround us and care for us as we grow are going to lay the foundations of what we conceive love to be as we develop. These first early childhood expressions of nurturing and caring love often begin our journey into understanding love and expressing love. From these roots we will then grow to form four branches of love comprehension; these will be our understandings of physical love, mental love, emotional love and spiritual love.
Physical love makes itself know through touching, hugging, kissing, closeness, presence and eventually sexual expression. I'm pretty sure that when Marvin Gaye said he 'needed some loving' in the song Sexual Healing, that he was talking about this kind of love. Physical love is expressed through the physical exchanges that we share with others or ourselves. Yes, I said ourselves, we do also need to love ourselves in all of the four forms as well, so don't be afraid to express self love either, it is an integral part of developing your full awareness of love.
Then there is mental love which is comprehensive and thought provoking. It makes us ponder and want to express ourselves. Mental love is what makes writers and poets write and song writers compose and artists create. It gets inside of your mind and make neurons fly off in all directions. It give us bright shiny thoughts or dark depressive thoughts, depending on how we have experienced love. Love can be a creative or a destructive mental process, complex and ambiguous all at one. It can create mental dependencies or deficits but it can also liberate and free people's minds as well. When you are experiencing positive mental love this will often lead onto positive emotional love.
Positive emotional love is when you feel connected, wanted, seen and appreciated. You have the feeling that you are part of a tribe, a partnership or a bond. When people feel positive emotional love they will usually want it to continue and will eventually want to share it with others as well. Hence dating, getting engaged or marriage and of course having children (creating more people to join in with the awesome positive love experience). Positive emotional love experiences is what holds relationships together and is what feeds good relationships. Those good love endorphins are powerful and they make for powerful love bonds that can last a lifetime. They are also addictive as hell and once people have felt them, they will struggle to go without them. Yep, like Robert Palmer sang "You're gonna have to face it - you're addicted to love." It's super addictive stuff, because when it is good and emotionally connective, love sets off all the feel good hormones inside of our body and it makes us feel wonderful!
This is all good and well until we find ourselves without love or if a loving relationship fails. Now we have entered the realm of the Nine Inch Nails' song "Hurt" because failed emotional love is the hardest to overcome, and it is the also one of the most destructive forces on the planet. It creates hate, hurt, jealousy, anguish, depression, anxiety, unhealthy obsession and a whole string of other damaging problems. However, this is only the case if people become attached to their loving relationships. For hundreds of years Buddhists have been preaching the benefits of non-attachment, especially in our relationships with others, so that we don't become co-dependant and reliant on another to supply us with love and fulfilment. This is why we must always have healthy emotional love for ourselves as well, so that we can accept when others move on, break up or leave an emotionally loving relationship.
All religions site the final limb of the love tree - Spiritual Love as generally being the most important kind of love for us to experience. Spiritual love is deeply meaningful, non- possessive and energy raising. It operates on a higher vibration than all mental, physical or emotional love and it is unconditional and eternal. Spiritual love is often used to express divine commitment or religious love and it cannot be removed, compromised or taken for it is within you always. You don't need to believe in God or follow any particular religion to experience spiritual love, it can be attained through meditations, quiet contemplations, time in nature and gentle self love practises.
So, what do you know of love? Are you experiencing love in all of its guises? Are you loving yourself? Are you giving and receiving love in equal measure? These are all good things to ask yourself so that you are having more Wet, Wet, Wet love experiences than Nine Inch Nails love experiences. But for now, wherever you are and whatever you are feeling, I'm sending some big love to you. I sure hope you are feeling it x
Release Date: 2022
Running Time: 125 mins
Another Marvel film (the 29th in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be precise - but who is counting right?) and a direct sequel to Thor: Ragnarok (2017). This instalment, directed by Taika Waititi takes some interesting and wacky new directions and surprisingly even has a romance element to the story line.
Thor and his clan of trusty side kicks must face a new foe called Gorr- The God Butcher. Wielding the powerful Necro-sword, Gorr abducts all of the children from Asgard and plans to open the portal to Eternity which will grant him any wish that he desires. Thor attempts to enlist the help of other Gods to assist him in defeating Gorr.
Featuring The Guardians of the Galaxy and some other old favourites from the Thor films like Valkyrie and Korg, there is plenty to like about this latest instalment. Natalie Portman is back as Jane Foster with a surprise twist, Christian Bale practically steals the show as Gorr - The God Butcher, Chris Hemsworth delivers Thor with his usual levels of good humour and ego, Taikia Waititi himself reprises his role of the Kronan gladiator rock-man Korg, and Tessa Thompson shines as Valkyrie. Russell Crowe makes an appearance as well, but I'd hate to spoil that gem for you!
The soundtrack is saturated in Guns n' Roses hits, the characters present with equal parts charm and awkwardness and don't even get me started on the giant screaming goats, rainbow highway or kaftan wearing, meditating Thor. Love and Thunder is truly madness and magic of the best kind; in short, it's totally great fun!
FINAL SAY: I want to choose my own path, live in the moment. My superhero-ing days are over.
3.5 Chilli Peppers