Johnny Cash once sang “Because you’re mine, I walk the line.” His song was intended to proclame his love and devotion to a woman. But in reality it was – as is so often the case with love songs – a declaration of an unhealthy relationship based on possession and a fear of loss.
Look at the words again. The reason he’d walk the line was because the subject of his song was “mine”. In other words he would be faithful to the other person for as long as they were his possession.
Take away the ownership and Johnny would no longer be walking the line. In other words, his fidelity required possession of another. The moment that possession was lost the the fidelity would cease.
But fidelity based on possession or the threat of loss is disempowering. It places the responsibility for your actions in the hands of another person.
A far more powerful way to express a promise of fidelity would be to say “I’ll walk the line because I’ll walk the line.” There is no reason needed or given and no justification, just a simple promise to be kept despite the circumstances.
So what keeps you faithful? Is it a sense of mutual loss or a simple commitment to keep a promise made?