July 19, 2014

Sabotaging Oneself Through Fear

"Only thing we have to fear is fear itself." -Franklin D. Roosevelt

This is one of the most famous lines ever uttered.  Most people around the world, in the Western Countries at least, have heard the immortal word of President Roosevelt in his inaugural address in the early 1930s.  When you consider what the United States (and the world for that matter) was suffering from, the Great Depression, this was a bold statement.  Basically he was telling everyone that, while conditions were undeniably bad, the fact that people were fearful was engaging in a belief system which would further compound the problem.  Fear is a powerful weapon and Roosevelt knew this.  


The problem with fear is that it does not exist.  What you say?  How can fear not exist?  It is something that we experience almost on a daily basis?  Sadly, this is what most people believe.  Fear is not something we experience but, rather, what we create.  It is an illusion of the mind.  Nothing concrete is present when we experience fear.  It is an irrational emotional creation meant to prohibit us from moving forward in some manner.  Ultimately, fear paralyzes and destroys.

Before going any further, I must explain some things about fear.  Fear is a natural occurrence in the body.  It is part of the defense mechanism designed to keep us safe.  This is evident in the "fight or flight" response when one is placed in a dangerous situation.  In this case, the physical manifestation is realized through the heightening of senses, increased adrenaline, and an overall feeling of power.  Naturally, this is useful if we are in a situation where physical danger exists.  Our ancestors used this in the primitive days when attacked by wild animals.  When encountering a bear, it is helpful to have all the assistance from within you can get.  In this instance, flight would most likely be the better option.  Either way, fear is a helpful and useful quality.

However, we need to compare this to what most of us conjure up in our minds.  We do not encounter circumstances like this on a daily basis.  Instead, we fear a host of things which might or might not come true.  Look at some of the common fears people experience: fear of failure, rejection, public speaking, commitment, loss, embarrassment, and death.  Notice I said might or might not happen.  We truly have no way of knowing what we fear is going to materialize (more on this in a second).  A truth about life is that we do not know what is going to happen in the future whether we are looking 10 minutes from now or 10 years.  We can project all we want, the fact remains it is nothing more than a creation of our imagination.  As Roosevelt was saying, ultimately there is nothing there.

The Past Moving Into The Future

We are a sum total of all our experiences.  Everything that occurred in your life up to this moment became a part of you.  It is present within you right now.  People have both conscious and subconscious memories.  The problem with this is that we tend not to forget.  Therefore, when we experience something we view as painful, we begin to look for ways to avoid that in the future.  Our minds starts to link up similarities in our present situation with something in the past and focuses upon the emotions realized that time.  Of course, simply because there are similarities does not mean this situation is the same.  In fact, it is impossible for any two situations in our lives to be identical.  One reason for this is because, over time, we change.  Another is that situations tend to involve different people and, as we know, no two people are alike.

Hence, what happens is people take their past and move it into the present thus affecting future decisions.  This might seem like a mouthful but when you see it in practice, clarity is easy to attain.  Take as an example online interaction.  We all know the game players, fakes, and con games that occur within the online BDSM world.  The antics of so many is legendary and well publicized.  I believe these people are very good at what they do and none of us is exempt from encountering (and falling for) their games.  In other words, we all were burnt by them in one way or another.  And, as we all know, getting burnt hurts us.  In this instance, the pain is emotional.

So what happens when after one gets torched by these individuals.  Suppose you have a sub who thought she found a real life dom and was establishing something concrete only to find out he misled her (maybe he disappears or is married or a host of other things)?  Obviously, after she gets past the pain of being crushed, she is going to be gun shy the next time she starts down a similar path with another dominant.  Her senses are going to be awakened and she will be looking for him to do things that are in alignment with a liar.  In other words, she is going to be closed off.

Before I go any further, I will say that I am by no means advocating that anyone go blindly or foolishly into any type of BDSM interaction.  Safety and caution are paramount.  There are a lot of dangerous individuals who are more than willing to harm someone emotionally and physically.  The BDSM world is full of abusers hiding under the guise of the lifestyle.  So prudence is always required.

Getting back to our sub, her past experience(s) with a BDSM interaction resulted in pain.  Now, when she is heading down the path again, her mind conjures up the previous situation and matches up the similarities.  Hence, since BDSM relationships, and the people in them, tend to mirror each other, the mind finds a great deal that is identical.  Therefore, it reaches the easy conclusion that pain is going to result.  Remember, it is taking the past and moving it into the present to affect future decisions.  In short, our subbie is going to be looking for all those areas which can cause pain.

 We Get What We Focus Upon

One of the things that I found true in life is that we get what we focus upon.  This is a belief that was passed down through the centuries.  Whether you believe in the law of attraction, the power of focus, or karma, the simple truth is where we concentrate our thoughts, results occur.  When we place emotional attention to an idea, it has a way of manifesting itself or becoming a reality.  The difficult part is that this applies equally if the idea is positive or negative.

How does this apply to what we are discussing?  As you can imagine, when one is in a state of fear, the emotional charge is high.  At the same time, the focus is not on something positive but, rather, what can go wrong.  In this state, we are simply looking for the proverbial shoe to drop.  We know it is only a matter of time.

Relating this back to our subbie, let us examine how she could behave.  Remember, she was torched in her last BDSM interaction so there is still some fresh pain there.  As she progresses with a new dominant, obviously a foundation component that is necessary is trust.  Well, let me ask you, do you think her level of trusting is going to be high?  Of course not.  Therefore, he is going to have to work extra hard to earn it.  So be it, that is par for the course.  However, what is also taking place is that she is looking for areas where he will "slip up".  What I mean by this is that her fear of dealing with a pretender or liar is going to cause her to focus upon those areas where he is lying.  Any difference between what is in her mind and what he says/does is instantly chalked up to the idea that he is fake.  But is this really the case?  In some instances it might be and that is why I caution everyone about entering into things blindly.  However, there are other realities that must always be considered.  Miscommunication occurs in every relationship no matter how deep two people go.  It simply is impossible to be clear with each other in every instance.  At the same time, we each have individual perceptions.  Often one person will say something that the other takes a particular way which is in direct opposite of what was meant.  Again, this ties into miscommunication.  People often are operating on different wave lengths.

So our subbie is looking for him to be a liar.  What do you think she will find with this mindset?  Obviously, she is going to focus upon everything that does not match up in her mind.  Hence, we see a self fulfilling prophecy.  A simple mistake or oversight becomes a lie.  Her level of trust diminishes which further complicates things.  Ultimately, the interaction ends and she posts a note on her profile about how all dominants are liars, fakes, and a**holes.  She created what she feared the most because her underlying fear led her to that conclusion.  She focused upon how this dominant she was dealing with was a fake and that is what she got (we are operating under the presumption that he is NOT a fake and has real intentions with her).  Our minds are very powerful and they can create what we fear most.

I write this based upon my experience.  As I noted earlier, everyone we encounter online, if they are around any length of time, has encountered the slime.  It is unavoidable.  Hence, if it is not dealt with, we all have "baggage" from those experiences.  Personally, I had subs tell me I was a fake, vanilla, married, and an assortment of other things (the vanilla made me laugh...if she only knew my track record with vanilla relationships).  Naturally, I am none of those things and, in terms of the fake, have a blog with 600 posts spelling out my views on this lifestyle.  Alas, the accusations came.  So why was that?  My conclusion is these people were burned and allowed their past interactions (and pain) to enter into their thinking.  Instead of being cautious they replaced it with their fear based conclusion.  Ergo, the interaction ended and they are probably still looking for a dominant.

Like A Puppet

Fear is a terrible master yet so many willingly give that power over.  They are like a puppet at the end of the strings being pulled in whatever direction the master desires.  If the puppet master says sit, they do.  Nothing is within their power.  Listening to fear is the same.  Fear makes us conclude things that might not be present.  When we do this, we make decisions that create results in our lives.  Sadly, these decisions, when caused by fear, are based upon mirages.  It is like an oasis in the desert, there is nothing there.  It is the same with us.  We conclude something and react, following the puppet masters (fear) orders to a tee.

I want you to take a second and consider how this applies in your life.  How many times did you start interacting with someone online (or in real life) and insert fear into it?  Naturally, there are times we get intuitive warnings and these are good to heed.  I want you to look past them and see the number of instances that you sabotaged something because of your fear.  On a daily basis, we see people who are afraid to lose their jobs end up losing their jobs.  We also see people who are so afraid of losing someone that they smother the person and, ultimately, run him or her off.  Perhaps you were one who is similar to the subbie I used as an example.  Have you ever concluded someone you were interacting with to be non-genuine based upon your fears only to wreck that interaction?  If so, you were a puppet run by fear.

One of the greatest fears we have is the fear of the unknown.  People like certainty in their lives.  At the same time, they want to do all they can to avoid pain.  This creates an interesting scenario because it enables the mind to shortcut conclusions in our defense.  However, it is crucial to remember that the mind's number one quest is for certainty thus it looks to maintain the status quo.  Change is something it abhors since that automatically means uncertainty.  Ergo, the mind will do whatever it can to stop you from taking action and moving into an state of uncertainty.  That is why you hesitate to contact that dominant or submissive who you are attracted to.  It is also why you resist opening yourself up (which could cause potential pain) and opting to keep another (others) out.  The aforementioned example happens on a daily basis sabotaging countless potential relationships.  Therefore, the mind paralyzes us from taking action by instilling fear in us.  This happens in all areas of our lives and BDSM is no different.

Therefore, it is up to you to understand what is going on and how to break it.  As Tony Robbins like to say, "the past does not equal the future".  It does not matter what happened in your past BDSM interactions.  Yes, I am sure you have horror stories as we all do.  Some are worse than others but the net result is the same...we felt pain.  However, just because your last one, two, or 50 BDSM relationships were crap, that does not mean the person you are presently interacting with will end the same.  Ultimately, there are plenty of good people out there (both dominant and submissive) who want something genuine.  It is just a matter of finding them.  I will admit they are not plentiful in number and that is why, if you have someone real, it is best not to sabotage it with your own fears.  This is a lesson you can apply to all areas of your life.

One final thought:  it is a fine line between being safe/cautious and allowing fear to sabotage what is transpiring.  The BDSM world is filled with people who are ill intentioned.  I would be remiss if I did not remind everyone to be careful.  However, taking caution is smart yet allowing fear, especially in those situations where physical danger is not present, to take over is a recipe for disaster.  The net result tends to lead to loneliness and not being fulfilled.

Always remember, it is a risk getting out of bed in the morning.


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