Different Tasks

2 May

Some of the comments yesterday made me think about my stage in life, my personality, and what “tasks” a D/s relationship helps me carry out.

First, i guess i should say i think we all have life tasks that we work on.  Vanilla or kinky, i think we all have things to grow into on our life journey, or to wrestle with.  

And there are a zillion different ways to do it.  From Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz to Emily Dickinson, from Hugh Hefner to  Gandhi, right?

i know there are submissives who struggle with emotional control.  They may be overly expressive of their feelings, particularly anger, in ways that aren’t helpful.  They may be overwhelmed with depression and act in ways that are actually harmful and keep them from doing or having things they really want.

It seems to me that they look to their Doms for help gaining control.   That one of their Dom’s roles is to help them contain the feelings, without invalidating them.

Other submissives  are at the other end of that spectrum (yeah, this is me.} We may typically be a little over-controlled in our feeling expression.  We may push our feelings away, tamp them down, discount them, hold them at arm’s length.

When we “act out,” we don’t engage the other person.  We don’t call them and scream at them.  Instead, we disengage.  We go away.    

i do that really well, on all kinds of levels.  

I did that in my relationship with Sir D.  i’m not sorry i did, but in retrospect, it might have been more helpful for both of us if i could have talked through why i was done.  But  understand, the “going away,” the disconnecting, is not a rational, reasoned response.  It is every bit as emotionally driven as someone else’s tantrum.  It just looks different.

In the same way, i can shut down my feelings.  i am practically a professional at self-soothing and distracting.   i’ve worked while some really tough things were going on at home, finished graduate school in the midst of a chaos-driven, tumultuous family life. 

i know how to compartmentalize my feelings.  How to put them on hold, leave them on the back burner, not let them get in the way.  i can pretty much keep going if i need to, no matter what.

That’s a gift, a strength, a life task accomplished.  

And it’s not that i’m always stoic.  i know the value of falling apart emotionally in the right time and place.  Allowing myself to cry.  Giving in and spending a day or two just laying around being depressed.

i know that if the feelings don’t come out somewhere, they’ll turn into some inappropriate expression.  It could be a tantrum ~ some people do that.  Vacillate between sitting on their feelings and exploding with them.  Like a pot on the stove, they put a lid on their feelings and are surprised when the pot boils over.

For other people, under-expressing feelings comes out physically.  They get sick.  i can do that, have done that.  Stomach aches, neck aches, back and shoulder pain ~ for me, all those things may indicate unexpressed feelings.

So i think the task for me now is to let my feelings be what they are.  To feel them at that moment, to be aware of them without judging them, just noticing them.   Not to push them away, or to hold on to them.  Just to let them be.

It is not as easy as it sounds.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” 
― Thich Nhat HanhStepping into Freedom: Rules of Monastic Practice for Novices

11 Responses to “Different Tasks”

  1. Mick May 2, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    compartmentalizing is one thing. suppression is different, and probably not so good.

    Mick

    • aisha May 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

      @Mick,

      Yeah, i agree. The problem {for me} with compartmentalizing is that i tend to keep going and the feelings stay stashed away, and i keep adding to the stash and it may take something pretty dramatic for me to realize i need to stop and deal with the feelings.

      aisha

  2. joyce May 2, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    You summed up nicely the differences in the way submissives express their emotional turmoil (behavior). I like your last paragraph best…acknowledge feelings, be aware of them and let them be.

    Live in the present! Not in the feelings of past ‘things’ or worry about future feelings. The present is the only true time we are ‘alive’, the past is gone and can’t be reclaimed and the future is not yet upon us. I strive to do this but like you am not always successful, but happiest when I can.

    Joyce

    • aisha May 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      Hi, Joyce,

      Yep. Clearly, we’re both part of the mindfulness movement. 🙂

      Thanks!

      aisha

  3. faerie May 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Great post aisha, I needed to hear this today 🙂 Thank you.

    • aisha May 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      Thank you, faerie. Getting ready to run over and see what you’re up to today…

      aisha

  4. jade May 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Love this. Great value to be found in these words. 😀

    • aisha May 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      JADE!!

      You’re back from the great weekend of fabulous kink at Beyond Leather. Gosh, i wish i could have been there. Can’t wait to hear all about it!

      O, and thanks for the kind words.

      hugs,

      aisha

  5. yesthankyousir May 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    Catching up on your blog. Yeesh I feel like I’m there all the time OVER analyzing the distance, the time between communication.

    Trying to look constructively at my emotional responses. I reach this strange place right before falling apart. Where for me every decision is clear and focused. I’m cold and it seems heartless. Then I’m a jigsaw in a

    million pieces

    • aisha May 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

      Hey, Andi,

      It’s really easy to do, isn’t it? All that weighing and judging and trying to figure out.

      Interesting the way you describe your falling apart. i don’t know if i can “get it” in my head, but i can feel it in my body.

      Thanks.

      aisha

  6. mouse May 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    You expressed perfectly a lot of goes on in mouse’s mind.

    Hugs and love,
    mouse

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