Friday, July 21, 2006

To belong

There is a very subtle difference between "belonging" to someone you love and being "owned" by them. Both are about possession but there are subtleties to this that merit some exploration.

In relationships, ownership is more about property than love. Slavery is a direct outcome of ownership. Slavery is what happens when one becomes a mere object of personal property available for the owners benefit. When someone is owned it implies that they had no choice in that contract. There is no equality in this relationship and therefore no real intimacy. There is no freedom in this at all.

Feeling owned by someone is suffocating and disempowering. When we feel owned we feel like we have no freedom to grow or be our own identity. There is an oppression to being owned that will kill intimacy and thwart all personal growth as individuals. Ownership of a loved one is disrespectful and controlling.

Belonging may be a subtle difference of semantics but it means a world of difference in relationship.

Belonging is about freedom of choice. We can belong to someone without being owned by them. Belonging is about choosing to give up a part of oneself in loving sacrifice and service to the one we love. Belonging is a bringing together of parts into a single unit, a blending of souls toward true togetherness. It is not about entrapment or property rights, it is more about commitment and respect. In belonging to another it is clear that we are naturally and intimately connected to that other person. When two people decide to belong to each other - the relationship is an intimate exchange both equal and satisfying.

The feeling of belonging to someone you love is both compelling and profound. It has a safety to it that makes us feel more alive and confident. There is reassurance and validity to everything we are when we are gently held as someone very precious by another. Belonging is both equality and intimacy.

In belonging there is respect and freedom too. When we simply belong to each other we are given the freedom to make choices about who we are and what we want to be. We also respect each other enough to allow room to grow, move and change as individuals - keeping the other close to the heart as a treasured possession but never choosing to own them.

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