Today I am going to cover one of the quickest ways to sabotage yourself in any endeavor. This principle not only applies to BDSM but to all of life. But then, again, we know BDSM is a reflection of life in general.
Many philosophical and religious traditions teach the concept of the "here and now" while emphasizing the importance of it. Meditation and other forms of "centering" are encouraged to develop the discipline to control the mind. The tendency seems for people, as they age, to allow their mind to wander. It seems we are always either looking forward to something or reflecting backwards upon an event(s) in the past. While reflection can be a wonderful way to learn, most tend to engage in guilt ridden activities which do not teach but, rather, attack oneself. At the same time, forward projection is done with the same negativity, with fear being the overriding emotion. We look ahead to some event that is going to take place and automatically go to the worst case scenario. That meeting with the boss is not going to go well. She is going to say no when I ask her out. I will have car trouble on the trip. Instead of seeing everything working out for our benefit, we, instead, project things going the exact opposite way.
Positive expectations are crucial to our personal success. We all know how draining it is to deal with a negative person, one who always casts doubt upon everything. If you do not understand what I mean, simply go to any sports team blog and read the comment section. There is a subset of the fan base who simply will be negative no matter what is going on with the team. Or, try and go to one of the major network news sites. There you will see the same negativity from the populace usually based upon some political outlook. Regardless of the reasoning, people will regularly post how bad everything is and how politician/group is only going to make it worse. This negativity has a way of infecting our mindset completely.
I will state that many people simply love to worry. To them, it is a national pastime. In fact, I am convinced some are not happy unless they are absolutely driving themselves nuts over something. If the pond is calm, they need to toss a giant rock into it. Life without ripples (or tidal waves) is unacceptable to them. Some are chaos junkies while others are always jumping to the "impending doom" mindset. These are the people who believe that nothing ever works out positively. On the occasion that something does benefit them, the response is this will change. Ultimately, they lack the ability to see the good things that are occurring around them.
Books have been written about what causes people to be like this so I am not going to delve into it here. The bottom line is these people are insecure to the point they sabotage themselves. They lack the ability to just let things be. We see this manifest in many different forms. One of the major approaches by an individual of this nature is to want to get in and "fix" everything. Instead of sitting back and watching things play out, the individual must confront whatever is going on. While action is a wonderful thing, part of the problem is the person tends to be in an emotionally charged state. This causes one to be reaction and over the top in his/her approach. Mix in a fair bit of negative thinking and you have a recipe for disaster.
It takes great strength to allow things to be. Now, please understand I am not referring to the absolving ourselves of responsibility nor tending to those areas of life which do require legitimate action. A person of strength knows that he or she has responsibilities which necessitate action. However, this same person is also optimistic in the approach believing that everything will work out.
This topic takes on more meaning when we view it in the context of relationships. Whether it is the relationship with the capital R or the non-sexual, primary ones, we see the same results. People with insecure outlooks end up sabotaging themselves throughout their life. Few who are healthy want to engage with someone who is continually negative and always looking for something bad to happen. This is not an enjoyable person to be around. Think about your own life. We all have encountered individuals of this sort. They are terrible to work with since they tend to pull the entire outlook of the team down. Quite simply, it gets tiring dealing with someone of this ilk. They tend to always be on the attack with their insecure based thinking which puts others on the defensive. Sit back and think about your experience with individuals I describe herein. How did they make you feel? Was is a comforting interaction or were you continually on edge? Did you find it draining emotionally or were you energized? If your experience is like mine, you will determine that the negative aspects were common. People of this sort simply are not uplifting.
Now here comes the million dollar challenge....are you one of those people? Honest self appraisal is the most difficult thing for us to engage upon. We tend to be tilted in our view of ourselves. People will either over inflate themselves (accentuating the positive while overlooking the negative) or deflate themselves (accentuating the negative while overlooking the position). The truth is none of us are remotely close to perfect. We all have flaws. At the same time, none of us are total pieces of garbage. We all have wonderful things about us that others can cherish (or we ourselves can cherish). The egomaniac who is constantly telling everyone how great he is suffers from the same insecurity as the one who is always stating what a loser he is. Neither outlook is true yet the insecurity within the individuals is causing the same skewed view. Both are unrealistic while causing problems in one's life.
We all know the BDSM world is wide and varied. This lifestyle enables us to engage in some pretty extreme activities. One of the things people often are aroused by is degradation. It is something that many enjoy because it really emphasizes the difference in power and "lowers" oneself to help her embrace her place. Without going into the details, I will say that only those who are secure and have good esteem should engage in this practice. Humiliation can be a very stimulating approach to interaction if one is able to handle it in a healthy way. Too many feel themselves garbage, hence deserving of being degraded. This is an unhealthy approach to me. Those who have low self worth are not coming from a place of strength. Much like it takes a strong man to walk from a fist fight, it takes inner power to embrace degradation in a healthy manner. Keeping things in the proper perspective is paramount. Sadly, too many believe they "deserve" this treatment using it to reinforce an unhealthy view of oneself. To me, this is where a line is crossed.
Adult interaction is a very difficult task to accomplish. It appears that most people, no matter what the age, tend to interact like children. We see this in every walk of life where people are trying to harm others. In the world force, everyone is trying to one up another. Friends gather and assassinate the character of another friend who is not present in an effort to make themselves feel better. People get into relationships with poor self esteem only to end up being hurt either by some predator who preys upon the weak or because they force someone away. Many stay in abusive relationships because they thing they "deserve" it. They cannot imagine being alone (again they project to leaving the relationship and jump to worst case outcomes) thus they remain where they are. Something is better than nothing in their mind. Their insecurity has imprisoned them.
If you step back for a moment, I think you will see how this concept applies to all areas of our lives. It is easy to realize that these techniques and way of thinking are imparted upon our children. As mentioned, it affects our careers since our outlook as a major impact upon the success in the workplace. Our relationships/friendships are all affected. Few want to hang out with a psychic vampire who drains the energy from everyone he or she comes in contact with. Our health is obviously affected by all the worry and strains we put upon ourselves mentally and emotionally. Finally, our happiness is eliminated since fear and worry are our constant outlook.
Before ending this post, I will state that I will next post the solution (or at least some techniques) that will help with this situation. However, I am going to offer an example that illustrates what I am referring to. I do not know this individual personally but the way she is was mentioned to me in detail.
We have a woman who is in her late 30s. She in not into this lifestyle but, rather, leads a vanilla life. The major problem she has in life is she is run by fear...scratch that...terror. She is continually sabotaging all aspects of her life because she cannot get past this hurdle. One of her major desires is to marry and have kids. Naturally, to do this, she needs to date and establish some long term relationship with a guy. This is where she runs into a problem. From the start of the interaction with someone knew, this woman's approach is one of fear. I was told one of her favorite things to do is to repeatedly go to the guy's page on a dating site and see who else he is interacting with. This is done before she ever met the guy. In short, she stalks the guy. Why does she do this? Her biggest fear is that, since she was cheated upon in the past, that some guy will cheat on her. While one could say this is legitimate concern, especially if one desire monogamy, stalking someone virtually before even meeting or talking to them on the phone is a bit excessive. Of course, more than one man latched onto what she was doing and said told her to get lost.
The question is, do you engage in similar behavior? Do you fire of an email if one does not reply to your initial email within 5 minutes of reading it? Do you turn around and "block" them because they did not respond in a timely manner (in your mind anyway)? Did you even consider that possibly they were involved in something that precluded answering right now? And if they are not interested, why do you feel the need to degrade them...does that make you feel like more of a man?
Just food for though.
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20 hours ago