No Other Option
Total commitment means that you are willing to eliminate all other options other than the one you desire. Again, this is a basic tenet that is used by the most successful people in life. It is also a state that is rarely attained by the average person. Half-hearted efforts are the norm for those who live a substandard life. Instead of plugging ahead in the quest for success, they settle.
This idea ties in beautifully to the BDSM world. Many enter this lifestyle with the outlook as one does when walking onto a car showroom. Instead of being committed to the lifestyle, a person is actually just "tire kicking". Perhaps, after a bit of time, this individual might advance to taking a test drive. However, at this point the person is still not committed to buying anything. The door remains open to leave.
In my book, An Owned Life, I mentioned what I termed the Submission Process. This idea resulted from watching people enter this lifestyle and leave it almost as quickly. Over time, I noticed that most were operating in a reverse pattern. Instead of committing to the lifestyle, a person entered into a BDSM relationship using that as a tool to assist in the decision. To me, that is like taking a test drive in a car before being committed to driving. The vehicle is going to be the barometer to choose between driving or taking the bus. If the car is acceptable, driving is the choice; if not, renew the annual bus pass.
As insane as that sounds, this is exactly what people do in the BDSM world. Before being committed to a power exchange structure, a person enters into a relationship hoping that person will work out. Of course, since we know the success rate of relationships in general is abysmal, we know exactly what happens. The person is emotionally hurt which mirrors the results achieved in the traditional world thus causing the person to give up. This is where a lack of commitment enters the picture. The door to the showroom swings both ways and exit is an option.
Naturally, one who is uncertain about this lifestyle cannot take the step and make a total commitment to it. This is logical. A person in this position needs to commit to study and research to learn as much as possible about what this life is all about. He or she is not best served by entering into a relationship until the point is reached where commitment to the lifestyle can occur. For some, this is upon finding the lifestyle while others will take a bit more time. It is up to the individual to determine precisely how the process will unfold. However, the order of things cannot change if success is likely to take place.
Once one is committed to living a "BDSM life", then he or she can commit to achieving success in this realm. When people proclaim themselves to be a part of this lifestyle (and mean it), then the chances of finding what he or she is seeking will occur. Now, I will admit it might take some time and effort. However, that is where the commitment enters the picture. We find that failure is a part of the process no matter how experienced we are. I guess we can presume that is par for the course with relationships. In others words, sometimes one will need to kiss a lot of frogs before finding that Prince or Princess.
Persistence is required to delve through the hodgepodge of people, especially online. We know how common the trollers and game players are. However, there is another area where commitment enters: our own personal abilities. Whether submissive or dominant, the fact is that entering BDSM means that one is undertaking a lifelong study of living that differs greatly from how most of us were raised. This means that simple "being dominant" is not enough. Once needs to commit to the study of control, personal development, psychology, and an assortment of other areas that come with dominating and taking over the life of another. Again, without the commitment, people will take the easiest route which is usually to do nothing. This will only lead to problems down the road and one of the many reasons why relationships end.
Growth is a natural part of the human experience. If we are not growing, we are dying. BDSM is a microcosm of life at large. Those who fail to continually enhance their abilities will find themselves falling behind. Again, no matter how long someone is in this lifestyle, there is always something more to learn. Nobody has all the answers or every achieved the state of perfection. Instead, we all enlarge our "toolbox" by learning more about the life we chose. It is important to remember, unlike the traditional world where a lot of the beliefs are given to us through our upbringing, almost everyone in BDSM consciously chose this way of life. Since it is your decision, it is also your responsibility to be as committed to that decision as possible, especially if you are going to be involved with other people. Sadly, few seem to take this approach.
Ponder this idea for a while and let me know what you think about it.
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