Tag Archives: self awareness

277. Understanding myself and my submission

277

I think if my blog has one consistent lesson, it is this:

Don’t suggest your husband spank you as you may get what you asked for. 

Ha!  No, that’s not it.  It’s this:

Don’t chew ice.

Okay, not that one either, although if the consequences are “chilling” enough, you might not ever chew ice again.   

Alright, maybe the lesson isn’t a lesson, but a question. 

That question is  —  It is more fruitful to understand our emotions and actions than to hate, ridicule, or ignore them?

Aha!  Yes, that’s it!  And maybe there should be a second part to that sentence of, “… and whether you understand them, hate them, or ignore them, a good spanking can cure what ails you.”   LOL!

IT’S ESOTERIC RAMBLE TIME
It’s been a while since I’ve dropped some Jenny-style psycho-babble.   I’ll do my best to try and make this a coherent as possible, as I have a lot of disparate thoughts rolling around my head.  

I was doing some thinking as I am prone to do, trying to come up with one idea or theme that I felt was the predominant thread in my blog.  Sure, it is a blog about Domestic Discipline, but I feel a consistent theme I’ve gone back to time and time again is that we should take the time to understand our emotions and actions.

Another word for this can be self-awareness, but this word can be tricky.  Your awareness of yourself is always limited.  It is limited by, well. . . by your awareness of yourself.  While you can do things to be more aware – complete awareness can not exist (any Buddhist’s out there may respectfully disagree).   To me, what can exist is a better understanding of yourself.  This becomes a constant journey and not a final destination of 100% self-awareness.

And if you are a long time reader, I will flunk you now and send you to the principals office if you can’t answer the question, “And how does one better understand themselves?   It’s all about the “V'” word –  vulnerability.   

WHAT SELF AWARENESS MEANS TO ME
I don’t want to repeat myself as there are probably a dozen posts dedicated to the “V” word and a dozen others that touch on it.  (Beavis:  “Aa-huh. . . she said touch the V.”  If you need a refresher, here’s one post I often find myself referring back to Post 67.

Vulnerability is only the catalyst.  It is not the end-all, be-all.  It is the catalyst that helps me increase my self-awareness.  And if you buy my definition of self-awareness as being  a “better understanding of oneself,” then vulnerability allows me to better understand myself.

This begs the question, What is it about myself that I am trying to understand?”   

I believe it comes down to me trying to answer this question, “What is giving rise to the different feelings I am having?”   I’ve always been highly self reflective, but I have only been fully honest in my reflection for the last 3-4 years.   It can be very difficult as the things that give rise to your feelings can be highly complex and a combination of external influences and things that are just from our own nature.   Navigating that complexity is made even harder due to the many built in bias’ we all have. 

Here’s a great article on bias.   While not tied to self-awareness, it gives a great lesson on the bias’ we all have.   The point this article helps make is that if you don’t take time to really question yourself, your motives, your feelings, your reactions, you likely will never get to the root of what gave rise to them.  You will discount/ignore any “bad” or unhealthy motivations and assume only the “good” or positive motivations applied to you. Thus transformation/growth is not possible, and ultimately happiness and fulfillment will allude you.  

My drive to try and understand myself comes from a perspective of boiling life down to two choices:

  1. Understand your emotions and let that understanding be transformative and manifest themselves in positive ways. 
  2. Suffer your emotions – hate them, ridicule them, or ignore them, and let them manifest themselves in negative ways.     

And recently I added a third part to this:

3. Understand that #1 and #2 can also apply to those you allow into your life re “understand their emotions or suffer their emotions.” 

If you strive for #1 as I do, keep in mind that if you have done #2 for too long, you may need professional help to break out of it.  That’s the core of what a psychologist and psychiatrist does – it is about helping you understand your emotions.  Doing so requires you to be honest (vulnerable) to them and pour out all your “truths” to them.  Or, you can just be vulnerable to your significant other and let them spank you.  lol

Thus, I am compelled to try and understand my thoughts and emotions behind Active submission vs Passive submission which I wrote about in Post 275.

ACTIVE SUBMISSION?
I think I used the word “Active” because up until recently, practically all my submissive acts were caused by me.  The motivation of those acts were borne in me.  They flowed from within me, and flowed out of me. 

PASSIVE SUBMISSION?
Contrast that with “Passive.”   That is where I find my submissive acts are becoming only partially from me or even not all from me.  That is, they are requirements of Mike to which I am willing to meet.

Both are worthy submissive acts.  Both are fulfilling.  One is not better than the other.  They are like water from a different well.   There is no substantial reason they are different.  But emotions are typically not reasonable.  It is in the emotions where you find the difference.   

If  you are a submissive, it doesn’t matter if you more closely identify as Active vs Passive.  There is no right or wrong way, or even an absolute.  You can be half-and-half, or lean a little, or completely, one way or the other.  It isn’t about what I have come to understand about my emotions.  It is about what you discover when you come to understand yours.   Of course, this is my blog so I will talk about what I’ve come to understand fro mine.

POWER EXCHANGE IS ABHORRENT?
I’ve written that I am finding passive submission is as equally rewarding as active.  As I am beginning to understand it better, the truth is, at least for now, it isn’t!    Passive submission is MORE rewarding to me.  I think the reason has to do with power, and as a submissive, I thrive in giving up power to my husband.

As humans, I think we are wired to derive joy from power.  It’s what makes wanting to be submissive so counter-culture (Post 27. Jenny’s Doctrine of Submission).   It doesn’t have to be overwhelming power, unless you are an egotistical, unstable, self-absorbed narcissist, but enough about Trump.  It can be as simple as the power of persuasion. Think of the little shot of joy we all get when someone “likes” a post.  It’s like, yeah, at a minimum, I persuaded them to consider what I had to say.   

Whatever it is, it is human nature to derive joy from power.   If you agree, then the antithesis of this is that there is sadness when power is diminished.  Thus, if we lose influence, lose certain controls, it is human nature to become sad.

Therefore — now stick with me — whatever increases our power makes us happy and we value those things as being “good.”  And whatever decreases our power make us sad and we value those things as being “bad.”   

Thus – a person who voluntarily gives up power must be sad, bad, and violating  human nature.   It is only natural to conclude that Domestic Discipline or a Dominant/submissive relationship is abhorrent.   

But for a submissive, there is no joy in retaining and demonstrating power.  It’s more clear said in the positive  — for a submissive, there is joy when power is given away. 

Clearly a submissive defies our natural instinct to enjoy power.   I find it odd that society looks down upon someone who gives up so much power, and looks up to someone who craves total power – even abusing that power along the way.   It is the power-hungry who destroy lives, oppress and harm people for inhumane reason simply because they can.  Far from submissives being “abhorrent,” there is something wrong with those who derive all their joy from power…and that goes for people who idolize (and vote) those that do so.  Deplorables indeed!  I digress. 

Like most things, this is not an absolute.  It is not a choice between “all powerful” and “completely powerless.”   I do not seek to be completely powerless.  I have a voice and I have influence over Mike.  But by evolving from my active submission to my passive submission, I have given up more power.  And that was the final step in reaching the level of submission I was looking for.   

IN CONCLUSION
I’ve been fulfilled each step of our DD journey.  And every step was critical to allowing me to reach this destination point in my journey.  I’ve stated before that when we started, I would have never accepted the level of submission I was at a year into our DD, or two years into it, or now, three-and-a-half years into it. 

I’ve been fortunate in that it seems like I have always had the level of submission that I needed at the time. I believe it is because I remained vulnerable to Mike, and he to me, and we’ve cherished being completely open and honest with each other and most importantly, with ourselves.  It’s about taking time to reflect and trying our best to understand our emotions and actions, and the emotions and actions of each other, rather than hate, ridicule, or ignore them.  

Here’s a quote I found that connects the importance of honesty in D/s.  It is from Byron Cane: 

D/s is a true partnership between equals who find things they both enjoy in a loving, respectful and most importantly, honest relationship with full knowledge, consent and trust.

Next: 278. Spanksome before you threesome

230. My Happiness Formula

230

Change of pace in topics.  (and yes, that’s a real formula, see the end of this post for more on that).

If you have read enough of my posts, you know I am a champion for vulnerability… being vulnerable to those around you fosters communication, trust, openness, oneness.   I have found tremendous happiness through vulnerability.    But there is more to my “happiness formula” than just vulnerability and I want to share what that is.

Indulge me as I take up a post to write about something other than my sexcapdes and spankplotations. 

MY HAPPINESS RECIPE
No, it’s not the above formula.  Mine has two ingredients.  Vulnerability (no surprise) is one.  And it shares space with another key ingredient of my core beliefs regarding happiness.  This ingredient, combined with vulnerability, creates a magical elixir.  Through it you can
see yourself clearly, you can be more confident, more creative, make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively.

Having this thing makes you less likely to lie, cheat, or steal.  You can be a better partner, better parent, better employee, better citizen a better version of yourself.

And what is this second ingredient to my magical elixir?  

SELF-AWARENESS
It seems simple.  Who should know us better than ourselves?  But – it’s actually not so easy because our ego often warps our views of ourselves. 
Ignoring our shortcomings is one thing, but we all have a tendency to justify them.  Self-awareness means not just being aware of our shortcomings, but actively working to change them.

Most of us have some degree of one or the other type of self-awareness (discussed below).  But studies have shown only about one-in-eight people fit the criteria of being fully “self-aware.”

WHAT IS SELF AWARENESS?
Definitions are tricky as words mean different things to different people.  Generally, we are talking about how one monitors their inner self.  I like to think of it as consistency between how WE see ourselves and how OTHERS see us.  For most people, those two views are grossly inconsistent. 

ARE WE TRULY WHO WE THINK WE ARE?  (Internally Self Aware)
Internal Self awareness is
not thinking of ourselves in the context of how we control or influence our lives.  Internal self-awareness is thinking of ourselves in the context of how we impact those around us.   

Internal self-awareness can be how we see our values, passions, and aspirations.  How we see our thoughts, our feelings, our behaviors, and how we evaluate our strengths and weakness — all in the context of how these things impact those around us.    There are many studies that show the more we truly understand how we impact the environment around us, the happier we are and the less anxious, stressful, or depressed we are.

ARE WE TRULY WHO OTHERS PERCEIVE US TO BE?  (Externally self-aware)
External self-awareness is not just understanding how others view you. External self-awareness is being open to allowing your understanding of how others view you to influence you.  

External self-awareness is understanding how others view us in terms of our values, passions, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses.  People who know how others see them are more skilled at feeling empathy and are better at taking other’s perspectives into account.  People who see themselves as their partners do (or family members, friends, etc., do), have better relationships with those people.

ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER?
You can have one type of awareness without the other. You can be clear on who you are (high internal self-awareness) but never challenge your own views or try to identify “blind spots” in your views (low on external awareness).

You know your shortcomings but don’t want to address them nor seek feedback from others regarding them.  I know people like this.  I was once very much like this.   The challenge is that your ego creates a false narrative of how others view you.  You are duped into thinking others either see you as you see yourself and if they don’t, they are the ones with a problem, not you.

You could be someone very focused on outward appearance…wanting to appear a certain way to please (high external self-awareness) but at the expense of what is important to you and fulfilling to you (low internal self-awareness).  I know people like this.  They are pleasers…pleasant to be around at times.  But in my experience they also display passive-aggressive tendencies because they are not truly happy and might just be downright depressed.

NEITHER?
The
n there are those that have neither.  They don’t have a good understanding of who they are, what they stand for, or how others see them.

And if they are completely devoid of these understandings, they become the “victim” of everything around them – overly sensitive to slights or insults and quick to assume everyone is “against them.”  They strive to perfect and dramatize a personal narrative of suffering.  And soon it becomes self-fulfilling as they become frustrated with themselves and their relationships. 

What’s worse is I find these types of people tend to seek out others like them, to form an alliance in their victim-identity.   They may even go so far as to seek out an offense in order to complain (Twitter trolls!).   They are crybullies!

VICTIM AS A VERB
I am differentiating being a victim of things that happen to you and becoming a victim.  Clearly, people are truly harmed by people, nature, and circumstances.  There are many injustices out there that negatively impact a lot of people.  I am not writing about that type of victim.  I am writing about a victim mentality. 
I am writing about victim as a verb, not a noun.

At one point in my life, I let too many people like this in my life.  They are emotional drainers and if you aren’t careful, you can become co-dependent in their victim-hood.

BECOMING SELF-AWARE
I am not going to try to give my how-to’s.  You can Google “how to become self-aware.”
It simplest terms, it requires self-reflection — that’s easy.
Oh, but wait… the trick is HONEST self-reflection — that’s hard.

That’s where vulnerability can help.  Being vulnerable with those around you makes you open to sharing your self-reflection and hearing and understanding their perceptions of you.

And self-awareness is not a destination, but an ongoing process.  Once achieved, it can be easy to slide out of it.  It’s that ego thing that can trick us into over-valuing the beliefs we are deeply invested in and devaluing things that are contrary to those beliefs.  It doesn’t take long for something nefarious to sneak in and before you know it, you are beholden to a false narrative about yourself and the world around you. 

And that is not a recipe for happiness.

Btw, that formula in my heading, that’s a real thing someone came up with.  While I think mine is so much easier, check out this article if you want to decipher that formula.

Okay, enough lecturing from Jenny.  I’ll get back to my typical tantalizing tales of steamy self discovery.  I guess that’s part of my happiness formula too! 

Next: 231. Some Fun, an Ending, the Future