For years, thousands of couples across the Globe have put “love locks” on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris as a symbol of their affection. Following a tradition that started 1914 in a Serbian town, many couples also threw the keys of their love locks into the river, epitomising a life of fidelity.
Despite the romantic and honest symbol to many, the bridge started to crumble under the weight of the locks. Both the degradation of the bridge, being a site of heritage, as well as the safety of visitors were of concern and this resulted in a decision to remove all the locks.
A symbol of infinite affection, love and commitment was removed. This affected couples in many different ways. To some, the lock was the one thing that kept them together, and with it being removed, some started to question their commitment to each other.
Humans use symbolism to communicate messages, meaning and reassurance. It has a powerful and valuable place in our lives – it’s presence or absence affects humanity to some degree.
Our lockdown is also not by choice. Invisible locks have been forced on each and every house, each and every person. Even the homeless have been handed a lock - no more access to food, no more care from good Samaritans, no more…
The very essence of being human has been taken from us. Social, physical and mental distancing has immense effects on humans. We are wired to be social, to be close and to connect.
Just as the weight of the love locks was damaging the heritage site, the Pont des Arts bridge, our freedom of movement, socialising and human contact is currently damaging to those we love, those we come in contact with and ourselves.
But, locking us in cannot take away the meaning and depth of our relationships. It cannot take away the meaning and depth of life.
There is plentiful article available explaining the effects of social distancing, the absolute need for physical activity, exercise and movement, staying healthy and checking in with others, and reducing stress.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones during this lockdown. Realise the effects of stress, anxiousness and fear on your physical and mental abilities and health.
Actively search for and identify areas in your life where you want to and can grow.
There is no, absolutely no better time to grow as a human being, than now.
I wish you all health, an abundance of tranquillity, wisdom and loads of perspective during this time.
Stay safe and be kind to yourself!