February 13, 2013

A Higher Standard: Emotional

In my last post we covered the physical aspect of oneself and how I believe we, as members of the BDSM community, are responsible for holding ourselves to a higher standard.  The starting point of this quest is with our physical body.  We are all aware of the weight epidemic that persists in western cultures.  However, this is a battle that can be one and we have the responsibility to take the lead.  Laziness and excuses are not tolerable.

The next step along this path is our emotional standards.  People, in general, are too dependent upon their emotional state.  They allow how they feel to dictate the decisions made.  This puts people in a reactionary mode resulting in clouded thinking and poorer judgment.  Nevertheless, this is the path which most people follow.


Children operate in the stimulus-react mode.  This is expected out of these creatures because they know no better.  It is part of immaturity and a phase which we are suppose to grow out of.  Sadly, judging by the behaviors of most, the greatest percentage of the population resides in this phase their entire lives.  How often do you see someone in a store screaming at the person behind the counter over an unresolved situation?  This is a person who is not capable of controlling his or her state.  The Western cultures seem to believe that anger is a technique which is to be esteemed.  To me, it signals a loss of control.  While that might be acceptable to the general population, I feel BDSM teaches us to move beyond them to a higher plane.

Unfortunately, in my travels throughout the web and some in person interactions, it seems that many are no better than the norm.  The BDSM world community is full of people who, quite frankly, are immature.  They seek to escape whatever ails them in the traditional world only to find this way of life no easier to navigate.  The basic problem always is that, no matter what life choice is made, unless one is capable of dealing with the emotional situations presented on a daily basis, unhappiness will result.

Growing up means being able to supersede our emotional state while behaving in a sound, rational manner.  Look at the greatest political leaders and notice how they operated during extreme times.  The ones we hold in the highest regard are those who were "cool under fire".  Leaders are sought for this characteristic because nobody is going to feel comfortable nor follow an emotional basket case.  It is ironic how so few within the BDSM community understand this.

Control Oneself

I am amazed how many profess to be dominant (and Masters) yet fail to have basic control over themselves.  This fact was mentioned in the previous post about weight.  Here again, we see a person proclaiming to be able to control and run another person's life fail to even be able to handle himself.   How can one ever make this assertion when he (she) is a puppet to his (her) emotions?  To me, this is misguiding because one is not being truthful.  Mastery starts with oneself first and then moves onto another person.

Submissives need to show the same ability.  While I will grant the fact that obedience tends to be the trait which she (he) is most judged upon, this does not mean personal responsibility is out the window.  In fact, controlling oneself in situations might even be more important because her behaviors are not only reflective upon her (him) but the dominant also.  Yet, we see so many acting like school girls and throw a public fit when she didnt get what is desired.  Again, the lack of personal control also reflects upon the owner which can put him in a diminished light.

The other aspect of this is the fact, as we are seeing, is that personal control applies to all aspects of one's life.  Failure to control one's eating habits also lend to the idea that one cannot control his/her emotional state.  A person of this ilk often cannot control the compulsion to spend.  The list will carry on with always the same cause at the core: a lack of personal control.

Feelings Are Not Facts

This is something that many take except to but it is indisputable.  Feelings are not facts.  They might feel real in the present moment yet they are not.  Feelings are nothing more than a response to programming based upon a thought process that is ingrained within one.  For example, in the west we are conditioned to believe that when one dies, we should feel sad.  If one went to a funeral and was having a gay ole time, everyone would think that person strange.  However, in many eastern cultures, they teach that death is a freeing of the physical limitations and that it is an experience which should be celebrated.  Crying at this event is inappropriate based upon their conditioning.

Now that you can see how feelings are often a result based upon things outside ourselves, does it make sense to allow them to control us to the degree they do?  The obvious answer is that it does not make sense yet most of the population does this.  This takes on a different meaning when you consider the fact that how we view the same situation changes over time.  What upsets us in the moment is not as important a few weeks (or even days) down the road.  Yet many people will fly off the deep end over something minor that means very little in the big picture.  However, the damage that a person can do when out of emotional control by whipping out that saber tooth tongue is enormous. 

The bottom line is we all can change how we feel.  I will not go into detail on this since there are thousands of sites which will help one with this.  My point is that it takes concentrated effort to grow up.  BDSM means that we are willing to engage in those things others are not willing to do.  Losing one's temper when something does not go his or her way is acting like the child in a sandbox.  It is ineffective and reflects very poorly upon the individual.  Many will spend hours in an effort to dress properly and present an image visually then completely destroy it by acting like an emotional fool.  There are images firmly imprinted upon my mind, even years later, of situations like this at munches which have influenced my impression of certain individuals.  My regard for them is low simply because I witnessed then behave like emotional morons in a public setting. 

In conclusion, part of the process of moving from vanilla to BDSM is growing up.  We live a lifestyle that is based upon choice which means that responsibility accompanies our every move.  While many still want to play the victim while blaming others for their plight, the bottom line is you signed up for this deal.  Consensual means that nobody if forced into anything.  Therefore, acting like a child when you do not get what you want is nobody's fault other than you own.  Certainly there are instances within a relationship where things are altered but the basic premise if that you consciously chose this way of life and the person you are with.  Look in the mirror instead of throwing a hissy fit.  This is what being an adult is all about.


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