The psyche cannot tolerate a vacuum of love. In the severely abused or deprived child, pain, dis-ease, and violence rush in to fill the void. In the average person in our culture, who has been only “normally” deprived of touch, anxiety and an insatiable hunger for possessions replace the missing Eros. The child lacking a sense of welcome, joyous belonging, gratuitous security, will learn to hoard the limited supply of affection. According to the law of psychic compensation, not being held leads to holding on, grasping, addiction, possessiveness. Gradually, things replace people as a source of pleasure and security. When the gift of belonging with is denied, the child learns that love means belonging to. To the degree we are arrested at this stage of development, the needy child will dominate our motivations. Other people and things (and there is fundamentally no difference) will be seen as existing solely for the purpose of “my” survival and satisfaction. “Mine” will become the most important word. From “The Passionate Life: Stages of Loving” by Sam Keen
For God’s sake,
let’s take the word ‘possess’
and put a brick round its neck and drown it …
We can’t possess one another.
We can only give and hazard all we have.
Dorothy L. Sayers