Submission and Sunflowers

08Apr15

submission1indigo-signature-bannerI am telling this because I think maybe some other girls are on a similar path, maybe they will read this and see their own journey and we can keep each other company on the way.

*

I got told off the other day, not really told off but that is how it feels for a girl like me.

I am learning a new career in which I deal with a lot of people and some of them are very difficult and I find it hard to learn the skills of calm assertiveness.  My boss told me I have started to curl up when I am challenged by some of these people and that I visibly retreat. I am not resolute and unfazed in the face of attack- I used to be in my previous career. I am not now.  I feel like a beginner.

He is right about how I have changed and I loathe that he is. He was very kind and said he would do whatever he can to help me get back my ability to look aggression in the eye. I love the company I work for and feel great loyalty to my boss; I can’t bear to let him down.

That he still trusts me tells me a lot.submission4

But the idea of that trust and what I must do makes me shake. I have to not shake any more. I have to be fearless, not just in front of some people but in front of all the people. I have to understand why some people are so hard to stand up to.

This is what I realised- I submit to the wrong people. I submit to the wrong situations.

For example, when I am attacked I open my heart and focus everything on the person that attacks me. I listen to every word and every possible aspect of the ways I may have failed and let all the guilt and pain soak in to me.

I try to defend myself and explain why they are wrong. I also think very hard about if I have done anything to deserve such criticism. I am not talking about the valid and constructive criticism of my boss, just about the times when someone attacks me for their own reasons and delectation.

Girls like us (maybe all people) should be drawn to people like my boss and people like DJ because they tell us off in a caring, thoughtful and constructive manner. We should be drawn to people who want to build us up and not those who tear us down.

submission3Despite this, when I am told off by DJ I shut my eyes and my ears and I will not yield. I resolve to fight him utterly. I lose the words he says so that he has to repeat himself two minutes later and two days later. I cannot remember what he says.

I compare this to a totally invalid and untrue accusation from a horrid person I received a few months ago and I can remember every word of that.

When my boss gives me a project that is vital for everyone I work with I ignore his trust in me and open my consciousness to the possibility of failure.

When I read some bit of bile on the internet, hatred, unkindness or untruth I let the words echo in my brain like ball bearings in a pin ball machine. It is never about me but about a group I identify with; women, girls that get spanked, and the like.  I take it as much to heart as if my own mother said it.

When I walk in the mountains with DJ so the sun is on our backs and below us the lake stretches out so far that its toes and fingertips reach a hundred little shores.  I let the moment pass me and instead allow my head to fill with worry about where I should be and what tasks I should be doing.

I continue to soak up the views and comments of those ignorant and rude people who neither care for me nor know me, and I cast aside the constructive support of the wise and kind people.

Why do I do this? Do you ever do this? I know am not alone.

How often have you found your attention grasped by unkind people? How many peaceful moments have you sacrificed to abstract worries about your imagined duties or responsibilities?

I think this is something some submissive people are more likely to do. I think we are outwardly motivated and the skill of being selective about our motivators is highly important to us more than most.

The events and people who hurt you are likely to continue to do so.  These situations will not alter. These situations and people are rarely caused by us and cannot be altered by us. They will not change. If you and I wish to protect ourselves the change must be internal rather than external.

Sunflowers turn towards the sun as it offers the nutrients to sustain the plant. We must learn to have at least the same capacity for sensible decisions as this plant. We must turn away from that which does not sustain us and towards that which does.

If we open our hearts and minds to the people who care for us, support us then we shall be transformed and enriched, just as the sunflower is by the sun.

This sounds easy and beautiful – like a greetings card that I might put up on my fridge.

But – how does one actually go about making this change? Because although I can see how logical the idea is of ‘turn towards that which sustains you and away from that which harms you’ is – I don’t think I know how to do it on a daily basis.

I do not know how women like me learn to submit in the right way.

I find myself over his lap with my fists in a tight little ball, my heart clenched even tighter. I ask myself to relax and let this be. I cannot. I love him, I trust him and I know that he has improved every element of my life. But I am stubborn, more thorn than sunflower.

If possible I would like to be as open to DJ, whom I love dearly as I am to the internet stranger or the work colleague who I see once a month.

I think some of us may have the same issue. So I will suggest two ideas here for you to try if you wish.

This is what I am trying.

  • I journal. I answer questions chosen by DJ (from a selection I have written). I answer these by writing the answers as that gives me time to reflect and this makes me more honest. After I have written my answers DJ reads them. We talk about what I have written, sometimes he spanks me but it always ends up with me in his arms feeling wonderful about the world and myself. I will write about journaling – I send all these writings to DJ so I do not know when he will put up my piece about journaling.
  • I speak to DJ about things I have read or people that have spoken to me that made me feel bad. I tell him what my concerns are and I listen to his views. This is simple and it helps us both. He is the kind of person who thrives on guiding others, on mentoring the woman he loves. I listen to his heart beat as he talks. I do this almost every day. It does not take long. It reasserts our roles every day. It clears my mind and my day. It reminds me that DJ’s views are more important to me than anyone else’s.
  • I have key sites that I look at every day. These places are the first and last sites I go to every day. I love to explore all kinds of sites but some of them jar with my view of life and make me feel inadequate or dirty. So I find places that enrich me and reassure me that my choice to be as I am is a good choice. The sites that help you may not be the same as mine. But mine include:  Scarlets Real MagicMiss Harpers World and Sub-girly-girl.

submission2

If any of you have ideas that help you please add them in comments. I will read them and other people will read them. We can be like a field of sunflowers, or a group of happy submissive people with happy, fulfilled lives. Either way, I can’t think of a more beautiful way to be.

 



30 Responses to “Submission and Sunflowers”

  1. 1 Cindy

    Why is it so much easier to believe the bad things people say to or about you, but refuse to believe it’s true when people say good things about you? I’ve struggled with this all my life, as I believe a lot of women do. If someone says something complimentary, my mouth says ‘thank you’, but my brain says, ‘if you only knew the truth, you wouldn’t think that!”

    The journal is a good idea.

    • 2 DJ

      the journal is very good idea

    • 3 DJ

      This is Indigo – I think we do all share this. As though our greatest skill is mind reading others and being able to call them wrong when they are kind.
      X

  2. 4 MrJ

    I can but say that, indeed, you are not alone. In my home, introducing TTWD coincided with overcoming a period when these things were present in a deeply problematic way. I am not sure what triggered what. But I do know that, indeed, the combination of loving caring attention and frequent communication (here: daily dimmer talk’ over the day’) helps a lot. As well as explicitly focusing TTWD on relaxation / just to break vicious cycles. Creating a sense of being strong,, good and competent AND knowing so.

    .

    • 5 DJ

      This is Indigo

      That is perfectly put. Breaking those cycles is always worth it and love and communication is always the answer.
      X

  3. 6 Mark

    I’ve given this a lot of thought in my work as a lawyer. This does not happen only to submissives, or only to women. It’s not just you, it is many people. So far, this is how I’ve come to see it:

    This happens to many who are only attempting to listen in good faith, to understand and deal with a problem. It happens to lawyers who listen to ill-minded opponents with the openness and intensity needed to come up with a response that is truly responsive to the details. “OMG is that right” flashes by before the killer response comes, just from careful listening. It happens to witnesses exactly because they are sincere about trying to get things right, being confronted by insincere attacks meant to shake them.

    By contrast, we have defenses against those close to us. We create those walls to avoid hurt from those so close that accidental hurt would be easy, or to maintain a sense of independence and self from those who are strong even though we love and respect them. Children tune out their parents this way to assert independence even when they love and trust their parents. Spouses do it to each other.

    We are more vulnerable to those against whom we do not have pre-set defenses.

    It doesn’t work to tune out everybody, defenses all around. Instead, there does need to be a selective evaluation of those to whom we listen, to be prepared to set up a wall of defense.

    Of course, it is risky but worth it to let down the walls to those we love, even if they do mess up sometimes — nobody is perfect, but these we love.

    • Mark, that is lovely. And I think true.

    • 8 DJ

      This is Indigo,
      What an interesting insight! I had not thought about others who need to keep themselves open to potential truth.
      These comments are so beautiful – I feel humbled by the wisdom you share with us.

  4. I am not an expert, but I think at times we fight those we love and trust the most. Maybe we act this way because we know in our hearts they will catch us. We turn the ugliness and doubts we feel about ourselves out for them to help us sort it all out. We need them to clarify our fears and negativity…..

    • 10 DJ

      This is Indigo,
      None of us are experts (except maybe we all are!) – we do hope that they will catch us and fear that they will or they won’t. Sometimes I am amazed any of us have the courage to love or be loved at all.

  5. 11 Kia

    Indigo, you have given me much to think on, as always. I so look forward to Wednesdays, knowing that I’ll have something new on which to reflect. This week’s topic is particularly poignant though, as I see myself struggling with this issue frequently. I like to pretend I don’t, and being shocked out of that denial is healthy, if somewhat painful (a combination of feelings we seem to appreciate).

    I think it is important to remember that we don’t always become obsessed with hurtful criticism nor do we ignore all loving suggestions. As tempting as that type of thinking may be, we’re not that perfectly consistent. It is important to remember when we do things right. Remember the loving moments that we’ve savoured, moments we can call up in times of darkness when we need to reflect and hope. Remember the times we laughed at unfounded proclamations and went about whatever it was we were doing before, as cheerful as if nothing had happened. We need to recognise when these things work as they should, to remember how we felt and to look for changes to do the same again.

    • 12 DJ

      thank you for a thoughtful response – she is good at this 🙂

    • 13 DJ

      This is Indigo,
      You are so kind. 🙂
      I look forward to Wednesday’s too- I hope that is ok to admit.
      You are a beautiful writer. We do keep loving moments in our hearts too – and good friends.
      X

  6. Your writing is as always, impeccable !
    Lots of Peace and Love to You and DJ

  7. 17 Paisley

    Sometimes when I feel this way it helps to think of how I talk to those I care about. My words of love, respect and encouragement aren’t said simply to appease them or appear nice. They are genuine and deserved, and my loved ones are completely worthy of them. This reminds me that the love and encouragement that I receive is true as well, and helps me accept that I’m worthy of such support.

    • 18 DJ

      This is Indigo.
      You are right, of course. We speak the truth to those we love and we should expect that they are no less noble than we are.
      The truth is so vital in a relationship that to suspect one’s beloved of a lie is a troubling thought in itself.
      X

  8. Ah Indigo…..Sigh indeed!!! I have spent a life-time being in the place you describe. I LOVE the comments above. They are above all KIND. A very underrated attitude in our times. I am deep in therapy at the moment, and with a lovely man, yet I struggle and struggle to be rid of the narcissist who brought me up. Not a kind father. He inhabits my soul. I feel less “parented” than “colonised”.

    You are indeed, not alone. We need to not be alone with this. The trauma of your upbringing, which you wrote so beautifully about the other week, left you isolated from love. So was I. I find it’s not a simple matter at all to become a sunflower….

    But we keep trying…. and holding hands as we do.

    Thank you so much for your sincerity. Your sensitivity. For sharing. It’s so much more than the bullies have.

    BB xx

    • 20 DJ

      This is Indigo,
      Aren’t the comments wonderful! I have to admit I felt overwhelmed and hid away. Childish and rude of me – ironic that after this post I should kindness so hard to respond to.
      We have a lot more than the bullies, friendship built on truth is no small thing. It is more than many people have.
      X

  9. Indigo, I will always be a sunflower with you. It is you who often turns me to the sun again.

    • 22 DJ

      Indigo here
      And you do the same for me, all through my long winter you were and remain, a consistent light.
      Xx

  10. 23 Harper

    What a beautiful writing and your words resonate with me so strongly. Thank you for listing me as a go to blog – I am truly humbled by your words.

    I too struggle with remembering all the bad things someone says to me or all the harsh things I see and the good just slips on by. These struggles you mention are all very familiar to me and I relate to them 100%.

    Thank you for writing this so eloquently.

    • 24 DJ

      This is Indigo,
      I got very shy when I saw you responded and ran away! How silly of me.
      Thank you so much for coming here to say hello and forgive me my late response.

  11. When a stranger says something nice to you, believe. A stranger has no reason not to tell you the truth in such a situation. When a stranger says something cruel, let it go. The stranger does is just using you as an outlet for his rage.

    You CAN decide who to listen to, though it takes practice, just take one step at a time.

    I don’t know what your job entails, but on mine, I sometimes had to deal with angry, aggressive people. The anger usually did not have anything to do with me. What often helped was asking, “What is it you think I should be doing for you that I am not?” Saying that would put the focus on the problem and took it off of me. Sometimes I could do what the person wanted. And if not, I could least explain why it was not within my power to do so.

    Want to know a secret? You really don’t have to BE fearless, you just have to appear that way. Yep, sometimes faking it is a good thing. HTH

    • 26 DJ

      I am Indigo,
      That is good advice. I have thought of it often over the past week. I have been faking fearless and trying to find empathy for those whose own pain causes them to lash out. I am doing better with the first bit. 😉
      X

  12. 27 Danielle♡

    I love your sunflower analogy, as they are my favorite (as well as tulips, but that is a sidenote). Your relationship with DJ is so beautiful, and I love reading everything you both write. Anyway, it’s funny how easily we succumb to negative commentary and take it as fact. Too often we have a skewed perception of ourselves because we feed into self-doubt based upon the opinions of others. I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter what other people think…it matters what you think. Even though it’s difficult to stay consistent in that way of thinking because I do care and I have a tendency to take it all very personally, I have to be conscious of who I choose to listen to and take what they say with a grain of salt. I struggle with receiving compliments and believing them, even if they are sincere or true. My upbringing has a significant impact in why I think that way. If you hear something over and over again, especially if it’s negative, you tend to believe it. Then you eventually realize that you aren’t any of those things at all, and you have to remind yourself of all that is positive. I also keep in mind that the harsh words people articulate say more about them than they do about you. Whenever someone I care about happens to make a brutally honest statement (that probably comes out harsher than they meant it), it usually isn’t anything I haven’t said to myself. I just make a point to stay positive and try not to be so hard on myself. The opinion that matters the to me the most though, is that of my best friend. She can be blunt and upfront, but she knows my nature and how to go about sharing her opinion. It’s reciprocated, of course. We talk about what others say and how it makes us feel. Kind of in the same way that you talk to DJ about things that make you feel bad, we also share what makes us feel good…if someone said something to us that made our day or if something exponentially exciting happened. It’s kind of like watching a horror movie and then putting on a comedy afterwards. We confront the bad stuff and then go on about the good stuff, usually ending in laughter and smiles. Something in particular that someone said to me that has always stood out is that the house could be flooding and my reaction would be, “At least our feet are clean.”

    • 28 DJ

      This is Indigo who hijacks!
      It is odd writing alongside DJ, sometimes I think we lay ourselves out like pieces of a puzzle.
      I really want not to care at all what others think but I cannot imagine ever reaching that goal.
      I have friends like yours – they let me ask them what the truth is and will tell me when I am being silly so I can trust them to tell me I am ok.
      Your positive outlook is one I aspire to.
      Xx

      • 29 Danielle♡

        You’re wonderful! It’s good to know that I’m not alone…Not that any of us ever truly are, but it’s nice to be reminded of the company.

  13. 30 DJ

    Wow thanks everyone – almost too much here to process 🙂

    I know Indigo is impressed and who knows she may hijack my logging again to answer herself.

    Thank you.


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