"The family: We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together." ~Erma Bombeck
Our exploration of love will begin with the Storage-Affection type. The Greeks described SA as a natural affection like that felt by parents for their offspring. The Greek concept applied to family relationships or was used to express the putting up with or loving a tyrant. I find the Greek idea of loving a tyrant amusing because many a young person, myself included, believed their parents to be tyrants at some point in their life. The Greeks, of course, were referring to a political tyrant.
C.S. Lewis further clarifies SA type love by saying that the object of affection must be familiar. He simply states that "we can sometimes point to the very day or hour that we fell in love or began a new friendship" but with affection type love you can't. SA love is a modest love that comes to us gradually. If someone were to ask you to name the moment you fell in love with your brother, I would venture to say you couldn't. You just love your brother because he has always been around.
The family is our first experience with love. This includes the love of a parent for their children but also includes children loving their parents, siblings and extended family such as Uncles, Aunts and Cousins. The gradual building of SA love may begin even before we are born. There is a great scene in Quentin Tarantino's movie Kill Bill: Vol. 2 when Beatrix Kiddo explains when her love for her child superseded her love for Bill, the child's father. "Before that strip turned blue, I would have jumped a motorcycle on to a speeding train...for you. But once that strip turned blue, I could no longer do any of those things. Not anymore. Because now I was a mother." The love for a child or the love for family has framed the behavior of the individual for centuries.
The concept of responsibility and obligation is interwoven with the SA type of love. How many times have you or a friend said, "I have nothing in common with my brother/sister/mother/father" only to finding yourself coming to their rescue after receiving a late night phone asking for help? We love our family and it is only when a family member is toxic to the point of destruction or upon death that contact is cut. Whether it's only an annual phone call during the holidays or a weekly lunch at your favorite diner, remaining in contact with family is part of SA love. How would you describe the love you feel for your family, for your child? Do you love your family because they are familiar and have always "been there"?