One of the most basic tenets is the process of letting go. To achieve anything in the BDSM world, actually in life, we need to let go of things. What does this mean? Basically, we are looking at the process of clearing out the old so the new can penetrate.
What I am going to discuss in this post applies to everyone from the first time they set foot in the BDSM world. This is not reserved for those with years of experience under their belts. In fact, it is best for the new person to be aware of this process as he or she begins the BDSM journey while applying it on a regular basis.
We all enter this world with "baggage". This is the leftover remnants from all of our experiences previously. Some of this can be physical while other "baggage" is mental and emotional. Either way, it is best to start the cleansing process at once.
One of the first things we notice is that we all have a belief system which, in large part, is not our own. We are taught what to believe throughout our entire upbringing. Of course, this does not end once we reach adulthood. Everyday we encounter entities which are molding and shaping our thinking. Advertisers, employers, religious institutions, philosophers, and even our friends and family all have ideas they are putting into our minds which we absorb like sponges. Now, I am not going to say all that they teach us is wrong or bad. The central point I am making is to be aware of the fact that your beliefs are not your own.
Ricard Dawkins once said that religious identification is 90% based upon your parents and geographic location. This is a telling sign of how powerful indoctrination is. Faith is an important matter to many people yet most did not freely choose what to believe or practice. Instead, they followed the practice of their parents or one of the acceptable disciplines of their region. The majority do not take the time to research all that is out there before drawing their own conclusions. What is completely absurd is that these same people will defend this belief while arguing it at length without realizing they did not choose it.
This same concept applies to social norms. Our culture basically views the romantic/sexual relationship as a one-on-one situation between a man and a woman. This is what is considered normal and what society strives to instill in all of us. It is also a situation where equality is shared among the partners. Anything to the contrary (which BDSM is) is ostracized and look down upon. People who opt for power exchange relationships, the single life, poly structure or anything else that does not fit this model are views with distaste. Again, society wants everyone to follow the edicts it sets down. Unfortunately, this only leads to slavery (and not the kind we discuss in BDSM).
Therefore, the first step is to realize that much of what you are entering the BDSM world believing is not of your choosing. This inclination should also lead you to question how absurd it is to defend a belief that you did not freely embrace. Understand the power of conditioning so that you can begin the process of letting go of some of these old ideas.
Every year, millions of people do their annual Spring cleaning. This is where people, usually in colder areas, start the process of opening up the house with the arrival of warmer weather. During this process, much of the old stuff acquired over previous years is cleaned out and discarded. In essence, it is a new beginning. After months of locked up in the house, one is able to get into the garage to clean it out. Winter clothing is sifted through with some eliminated while the rest is packed away for the next winter. It is a physical cleansing process which is practical.
This is a process that those of us who are in BDSM go through on a regular basis also. While the above example deals with the physical, I am referring more to the mental and emotional. Sure, there are times a dominant will go through his box of tools and clean them out. Over time, we acquire or create accessories for play that no longer serve a purpose. It is helpful to eliminate them for no other reason than to make room in the toy box for more.
We start the process with our beliefs. It is time to let go of some of your long held beliefs. Open-mindedness is paramount in the BDSM world. So many enter it believing how they see things is right. It is amazing to watch people who are involved in a lifestyle where they are regularly judged by others doing the same thing. The "my kink is okay but yours is not" view is alive and well. Remember this as you travel around and see things which stun you. While it might not be your cup of tea, today, it is for someone else. Respect that with the realization that, someday, as you evolve, you just might find yourself embracing that same practice. Approached correctly, you will not be the same person 5 years from now as you are today. Be mindful of this before judging.
Letting go of old ideas is extremely difficult. We grew up in a world where we were taught that hitting another is wrong. When this is done in a relationship, they term this "abuse". People who are abusive face arrest and counseling. Yet, upon entering the BDSM world, one finds that this behavior is commonplace and it is not abuse. There are people who opt for this behavior willingly and want to be treated in this manner. You can see how the old conditioning can conflict with what is presently being encountered. The same is true for what many term "gross". Again, while it might not be for you, somebody else does not think that it is that way. It is something they want to do and receive some pleasure or benefit out of it. Your judgment is based upon your prior conditioning. This is something that we all need to let go of.
In addition to thoughts and beliefs, the other major area which often requires cleansing is with people. Now, I will admit, this gets to be a touchy subject with many. It is difficult to discard or move away from relationships (not necessarily romantic/sexual) that are not conducive to what we are seeking. But the simple fact is there are many people who do not fit into our lives as we evolve.
Over the years, I heard the term "psychic" or "energy" vampire applied to describe people who simply suck the life right out of you. These are those individuals who consistently leave you drained after interacting with them. They tend to be self absorbed to the nth degree which means all conversations focus upon them. They like to tell of all their woes to share their burden with you. Naturally, if you are a considerate person, you will ultimately take on their "baggage", at least emotionally. In many instances, it is hard not to feel bad for these people and empathize with them. Unfortunately, that is exactly what they want. This only serves to lessen your ability to deal with what is going on in your life. So, I suggest you take a hard look at those people who might fit into this category and eliminate them. The simple fact is this is a one-sided relationship when it should be a two-way street. It is unhealthy and serves to add little to your life. Letting go of it might be painful but is required. It is one step towards freedom
At the same time, there are a host of relationships we have which no longer serve our purpose. Again, it is difficult to break away from long established people who were at the center of our lives. Family, spouses, and close friends all fit into this category. One problem few people realize is that life is not static. We are ever changing especially as we begin our journey into BDSM. This is a process where we see radical changes in our viewpoints and desires. Unfortunately, those who are around us are not always supportive of our choices. To start, they do not understand in most instances. Secondly, if one exercising personal power and makes a choice, that hinders the power their conditioning has. Finally, some simply did not opt for this way of life and it is not for them. Holding onto these people, closely, can prove to be extremely draining emotionally. One finds him or herself in continual conflict. As more of the ideas of BDSM penetrate, less of those from the traditional world apply. Hence, we are placed in the position of having to decide which way to go. Sadly, most put off this decision until the point of critical mass when an explosion takes place.
From my experience, I noticed that family is the toughest to do this with. This is especially true if one has a close relationship with his or her relatives. However, the disappointing truth is that no matter how open-minded most claim to be, few are able to accept the decisions we make for ourselves. Again, they have the societal ideas about BDSM which prejudices there views. Going home and telling your parents or sister that you are a slave and just submitted to a Master who can do whatever he wants to you is going to raise some concern. While family members proclaim to be acting in our best interest, often they are acting in their own. It is at this time we need to step back from those relationships to a certain degree. Certainly, eliminating them from your life might not be needed but that closeness of openly sharing that existed before might not be present any longer. This is a simple fact of the choice to enter BDSM. We realize that few understand and trying to explain it is a fruitless proposition..
One final thought, this concept also applies to your path and the people within BDSM. There are times that a particular relationship is not working for whatever reason. When you are aware of this, if you conclude it cannot be altered, it is a good idea to let this go also. Again, people change over time. Perhaps the dominant you fell for 10 years ago is not the same. Or that slave decides she wants something different. Whatever the reason, and there are hundreds of them, the simple fact that things change means that it might be best to let go or alter that interaction. This also takes place among "friends" within the lifestyle. Some grow while other do not. At times, it can be prudent to step back from an individual who you were close to. Ultimately, we all have our own journey to walk. Some are on the path with use for a long time, others for only a short time. Nevertheless, when all is said and done, it is our journey.
In my next post, I will discuss this matter in greater detail, but for now I will just mention there is a lot of fear that goes along with letting go. Holding onto something, even potentially damaging, is certain. When we let go of something, that creates the state of the unknown. This instills fear in many people. Simply understand that it is part of the process and should be embraced. Everyone experiences fear and letting go is not easy. However, when we do cleanse out that which is not working, we create the opportunity for more to enter. I once read that the universe abhors a vacuum. What this means is that once a space is created, it will soon be filled. If you want to test this, go create an open space in your closet by getting rid of some things and you see how quickly it takes to fill. You will see the accuracy of this idea within a couple of weeks. My point is that new experiences await us if we are open to them. However, sometimes, before they can occur, we need to let go of something that is standing in the way. Fear is part of the process and needs to be overcome. Simple walk through it trusting that more is out there for you.
Until next time, have an orgasmic day.
Click here for your version of An Owned Life.
Click here Be sure to check out our new FREE social networking site An Owned Life Community.