Inseparable: Character and Love

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…

to love.

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~ by Eva on July 3, 2010.

One Response to “Inseparable: Character and Love”

  1. well said.

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