In my last post, I covered the topic of insecurity. While certainly not exclusive to the BDSM world, this is an issue that many have. We see this clearly in the profiles that some post and in how they behave in all their different interactions.
To start, I will say that we have to be honest about the BDSM these days. In spite of the great benefits the Internet has given our community, the online BDSM world is akin to swimming with alligators. It is wrought with danger. There is not a single individual among us who has not engaged in the online world, via some of the BDSM "dating" sites, that came out of it unscathed. Each of us experienced the joys of the misfits, pretenders, and overall dregs of society. We all know about the lies, disappearing, and abusive tones/behavior that is so common with this medium. It is very easy for one to get frustrated and take much of this personal.
As hard as this might be to believe, the reality of the situation is that often what takes place online is not personal. That sounds like a far-fetched idea until you consider what actually takes place. Those who seek to harm, whether it is physically or emotionally, do not care particularly about the individual they are affecting. Ultimately, predators feel little for their prey. It often boils down to convenience. That is where one is open to getting harmed. He or she simply was available...the wrong place at the wrong time concept.
The bottom line is it is best to be as careful as you can. Nevertheless, do not believe that anything we suggest about protecting yourself is 100% guaranteed. The liars, con artists, and manipulators are skilled at their craft. Their art of deception can border on legendary. They prey upon those individuals they can manipulate emotionally, often with the most sadistic of intentions. Therefore, we are all apt to get taken for a ride by these individuals and to feel the pain that they offer. This is why I say, do not take it personally. If an individual is skilled and set out to hurt someone, the odds are he or she will succeed. We need to be very mindful of the fact that a percentage, perhaps a great percentage of the online crowd has ill-intentions.
At this point we need to embrace the concept "shit happens". The reason I mention this is because you cannot enter this arena without getting a bit bloodied. It simply is part of the game we are in. It is sad to write this but if I am honest, it is the reality of our community (I believe the online world in general...Match.com has the same antics taking place). My regular readers know I am all for personal responsibility and one admitting where he or she screwed up. However, this is much different than internalizing negatively a situation that occurred which is common place within this lifestyle. The analogy that i use is akin to baseball. Strikeouts are a part of baseball and the best hitters in the world get struck out. How would they perform if they allowed the strikeout (failure) to affect their security and confidence? I would presume very poorly. It is the same thing within the BDSM world. If you beat yourself up for getting involved with some of the nitwits, you are going to destroy your confidence and success rate. Take this point to heart, it is all part of this lifestyle. Just like the strikeout in baseball, we all have to deal with the freaks of nature who occupy the BDSM world.
Another thing I need to cover when dealing with the topic of insecurity is how closely tied this is to expectations. Referring to the liars and cheats, it is easy to see why an individual will tend to be leery when interacting with someone new after going through 2 or 3 experiences with the morons. It gets very difficult to trust when one experiences the same behavior repeatedly. Over time, it becomes very easy to expect the same outcome to arise. The problem with this is we end up actually manifesting what we do not want. Without getting to esoteric, I will simply state that people create what they continually focus upon. We see this when we notice that a person's fears tend to all come true. The reason this happens is simply because the individual is focusing extensively upon his or her fears. Hence, when we are interacting with another and we are expecting something bad to happen, that is what we seek out. Sure this might not be conscious but it does hinder our ability to properly interact. For example, perhaps the fear will cause one to not trust or share openly with the other person. This is something that can adversely affect the connection of two people. Or maybe the person hides something that should be revealed to the other individual because he or she was judged on that in the past. Simply put, we expect something bad to happen thus our behavior emerges in a way that validates this expectation. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
As you can see, it all starts in the mind. Going back to the professional baseball player, where do you think his confidence comes from? It is nothing more than a mental exercise. He believes himself to be a success hence his actions mirror that. He does not go to the plate thinking he will strike out but, rather, that he will get a hit. The question is why do you enter into situations with others expecting things to turn out poorly. Sure you have a bunch of evidence in your life to prove that circumstances often end up in pain. However, doesnt the baseball player have hundreds, if not thousands of strikeouts to prove he cannot hit the ball? The difference is the baseball player lets go of the pain associated with past failure while we hold onto it and actually add intensity to it. This is where we go wrong.
At this point I must interject something into the discussion. I am not talking about adopting a Pollyanna attitude towards things and turning a blind eye to the reality of what we are covering. The truth is there are a lot of scumbags out there with bad intentions. We know the BDSM world is wrought with abusers. It is crucial that one take all the precautions possible to protect him or herself against these people. To stick our heads in the sand about this reality is dangerous. However, once we take those necessary steps, it is to our benefit to see things working out as we desire. It is just as easy to think about a positive outcome as it is a negative one. Nevertheless, it seems that mankind is cursed with the default mindset to automatically go to the worst case scenario. We do not just see things not working out, we see things unfolding in a manner that is totally destructive to our lives. In our minds, this is going to end horribly when, in reality, we honestly have no idea how things will turn out. Do you see how this truly is a mental game?
In closing, I am going to state that you are worthy. This is something that many seem to have issue with. The truth is none of us enter the BDSM world an expert in anything. I see many subs/slaves beating themselves up for making mistakes. This is part of the learning curve. No matter what your situation in life, you are worthy of happiness and fulfillment. Sure, at present, there might be some issues to work on. Nobody is perfect and we all have things we can improve upon. However, life is a process that unfolds moment by moment. If we are mindful and learn from each situation, we grow. Experience is a wonderful teacher. Sometimes those lessons are difficult in the moment but we can often see the value down the road. Another point that I want to make is that if you are alive, and I will presume you are if you are reading these words, then you survived every situation that you encountered in life. This is true from the time you were born until this moment. Every situation, no matter how painful or horrific, you survived. In other words, you got through it and are here now. Sure there are things in your life now that are not rosy but, rest assured, as long as you do not die, you will get past them. Know that you are worthy and have the ability to get through whatever you are presently dealing with. It might not feel comfortable at the moment yet there will come a time when you do not have the same emotional attachment to whatever is going on.
At risk of sounding like a personal development blog, I will finish with this: believe in yourself.
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14 hours ago