Soulmates and the Freedom to Love

Sibling soulmates battle with their forbidden emotions in Love’s Forbidden Flower.

In the last few years, despite releasing nine books, winning awards, and making the USA Today Bestseller list, the question I have gotten most revolves around why I wrote Love’s Forbidden Flower. While my reasons are many, the biggest is that I believe people who only seek to do good and enjoy happiness should not be discouraged from doing so. This belief is deeply personal in a way that goes beyond basic human and civil rights. While I do not subscribe to Greek mythology, part of its canon leads to an interesting point.

In my novels, the concept of soulmates is a recurring theme. It not only plays heavily in both Love’s Forbidden Flower and its sequel, Time’s Forbidden Flower, but it also makes a guest appearance in my visionary fiction novels, Scary Modsters and Voices Carry. I not only love the idea of soulmates—that the people whom we are closest to are ones with whom we have traveled before—I also firmly believe in it.

At a young age, I was told we travel in groups of people who find each other time and time again. Occasionally when I meet someone, it seems as if we have known each other for years. Maybe we have.

I also believe that we have no control over our birth circumstances. Why would we choose to place ourselves into a less-than-ideal situation? For example, would anyone choose to be born into poverty? Probably not. Would you choose to be born into a situation where society dictates you are not allowed to marry the person with whom you have been connected throughout the ages? I am betting no. Therefore, why is it shameful if you are the victim of birth circumstances?

In Plato’s The Symposium, Aristophanes tells us that humans were originally each two complete people who were attached. Since humans had great strength, they were seen as a threat to the gods. Zeus split them in half, thus weakening humans while creating twice as many followers. Although Apollo then reconstructed their bodies, each one remained as two. It is said that when two haves find each other, they will know no greater joy than reuniting.

How can we ever deny two people the joy of being complete? I don’t understand why we make love laws, let alone why we shame people for whom they love. In my mind, there is no greater insult to humanity than attempting the (thankfully) impossible task of stopping love.