Tag Archives: Divorce
When I say “character” I mean that what I say and what I do are entirely congruent. That who I say I am and who I actually am – when no one is around and/or behind closed doors – are the SAME.
When I say “love” I mean secure attachment. I view it as an emotional connection/bond between two people that each person feels is safe and permanent. They feel that when the bond is tested it may be stretched, but in the end it will hold strong, even strengthen.
I am making a note here that character and love are inseparable, because love as I’ve defined it, cannot be secure unless each person is a person of character. No one I claim to love will ever feel secure in such, unless they know that when I look them in the eye and say, “I love you,” I mean that I will do my utmost to love them whether I’m with them or not. I will love them in my mind, in my speech, and in my “heart.” Pervasively. Not selectively, with only the pieces of my life that are visible to them.
When I love someone selectively, I choose to damage their security in my love. If they feel that I will only love them – in thought, word, and/or action – when it is fitting to me, then that attachment is no longer secure. It is damaged, broken. That is not love.
In secure attachment, “love,” both parties can and are dependent on each other. They’ve opened to each other the soft parts of their beings, those that are most easily wounded. In doing this, they have become dependent on each other to protect those soft parts. And when the attachment is secure, those parts are even more safe than were each person on their own.
This is why human beings generally crave and seek secure connection/attachments. We find these relationships in our families, friends, our significant others. We are hardwired, bio-psycho-socially built to desire these relationships. They are what make us feel safe in the world, where we are at risk, especially when we are alone.
I say all this because I recently wounded someone who I care deeply about. I failed at demonstrating – pervasively and consistently – the security of my love/attachment. In realizing how horribly I have wounded this person (and myself) in damaging our attachment, I have been starkly reawakened to the importance and inseparability of character and love.
Love cannot be inconsistent or it is not love. If you, as a person, are inconsistent, you cannot truly love. Not until your character is established as reliable, trustworthy, and proactively caring, can anyone ever be secure in their attachment to you, in your love.
I do not want to be a person who loves inconsistently or unfaithfully. I want those I love to know that every day – in thought, word, and deed – I do my utmost to truly love them.
Unfortunately, much like a reputation, it takes a life time to build real love and five minutes to damage it. The damage is never reversible. There is no ointment that will heal it. No apology that will change it. Once the damage is done, it’s done.
If you care at all though… if you ever have loved anyone at all… when damage is done… open yourself up to feel the weight of what you’ve done. Feel it in all its brutality. Beg forgiveness.
And then begin… perhaps for the first time…
And because anyone who’s read this blog for any amount of time should knows that I’m scared of marriage for that (noted in the article) very reason… I’m also adding this song that I love, love, love, love, love, love to balance it out.
A song about renewal of old relationships!
(Click to link to the posts…)
*Thank you, John Shore!
I was with a lady today whose husband died last week. It was so sad…
“I loved [him] more than life itself.”
“It’s like everywhere I look he’s screaming at me… I can’t even go to the grocery without something making me think of him…”
“It wasn’t supposed to be like this! We were supposed to grow old together!”
It got me thinking about grief. Everyone experiences grief throughout their life, even when they haven’t necesarrily had a loved one die. We go through a grieving process every time something is lost, even if it’s an intangible like, security or hope. Whatever the loss, the more significant it is, the more deeply we grieve. The important thing to remember is that no matter how big or small your loss… it’s okay to grieve.
I keep a stock pile of the book Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen, for whenever I, or someone I know experiences a loss. It’s a therapeutic guide for healing. These are some of the most important points from the story…
1) Everyone grieves in their own way.
2) Rushing through grief does not make it heal faster. Slower is better.
3) People grieve about all kinds of things, like divorce, a house fire, retirement, chronic illness, loss of a prized possession, a break-up, a stillborn child, flunking a class, an unfaithful spouse, death of a child, loss of status, death of a pet, infertility, death of a spouse, a fatal diagnosis, death of a friend, and many more.
4) Grief is messy. There is no guide for how to do it. It hurts, and to make it worse, there are misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and wrong assumptions all over the place.
5) Grief always takes longer than one wants it to.
6) Cry… Cry alone. Cry with someone. Cry on someone. Cry softly. Sob. Wail. However you do it, just cry. It’s okay if you do most of your crying alone. It’s okay if you can’t cry at all right now.
7) Letting yourself grieve will hurt, and for awhile it may be the only thing you feel.
8) Remember the good things and the bad things. Go over each one carefully.
9) You may still be grieving when everyone else has moved on.
10) Well wishing people may do or say things that make it worse.
11) Sometimes what one needs the most is a knowing look, a warm hug, and a listening ear.
12) Get some exercise.
13) Eat comfort food when you can’t get yourself to eat anything else.
14) It’s okay to be angry with God. He can handle it.
15) Don’t put off grief. Just because you don’t deal with it, doesn’t mean it will go away.
16) It’s okay to give yourself a break from grieving.
17) Share your grief with someone else who is going through the same thing.
18) Eventually, give yourself permission to not grieve all the time.
19) You may never completely finish grieving and that’s okay.
20) There is something down deep within all of us ready to help us survive the things we think we can’t survive.
If you are grieving right now (or need to be), I wish you the best as you travel this hard and painful journey. ~Eva