As much to unlearn as to learn


!!4indigo-signature-bannerOr why we should pay more heed to Miss Nin than to Mr Gibson

The quotes scattered throughout this post are by Anaïs Nin..

“Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people’s.”

!!1I am learning my kings and queens. I have always wanted to know them from William The Conqueror 1066 right up until today. The thing is there is rather a lot of them and to remember you need to have a little context or all of the Richards, Henry’s, Edward’s and George’s get muddled up.

But before you learn the order of who went where and why you have to get rid of the myths that you thought you knew, the bits and bobs you got from half listened to history lessons, films and dubious historical novels.

Edward the first for example, was way cooler than I thought. He was the one who clashed with William Wallace (immortalised by Mr Gibson in the film Braveheart). He seemed like a terrible man for setting off happy go lucky farmer Mr Gibson (in the days when Mel’s rage was still a secret). The film shows Wallace as a peace loving farmer whose lover was raped and killed the evil English forcing Wallace to bring forth noble rage and duff up the English. That is almost totally true- except Wallace was arguably a descendent of a minor Welsh nobleman who had been given some land in Scotland in return for an oath of allegiance to the English king. What caused him to join or start an uprising was not the rape and murder of his wife was most likely was a dispute over something like logging rights or taxation- very valid disputes for a minor nobleman to engage in but not quite the romantic picture portrayed by MG. There are no records of him having a wife.

(To clarify, if there are any Scottish people reading, I totally agree that Scotland should have been self-governing and in charge of its own taxes and well done to Robert the Bruce- who is known as Braveheart, not William Wallace. And I think that in the film Robert was shown as taking sides with the English against Wallace, not true either. I am writing in favour of a good understanding of history rather than in favour of Scottish oppression.)

History is like that. You do your best to pick up details from here there and everywhere and before you know it your head is full of nonsense. It makes things very difficult to understand because all your false assertions get in the way of what may be true. Another example, Richard the Third may have done quite a long sighted and helpful thing by seizing the throne and mislaying the Princes bringing an increased chance of stability to a throne and kingdom that had been in dispute for generations. Tens or possibly hundreds of thousands had died in the disputes so far and handing the kingdom over to a 12-year-old may well have led to many more deaths.

We can’t understand history until we unlearn what we thought we knew before.

And all of life is like that, especially when you turn it on its head and try to live a life where one of you gets spanked and the other one does not.

There is an awful lot that has to be unlearned.

!!2For example, fairness needs to be re-understood. I had thought fairness was vital in a relationship and, although I knew it did not mean treating everyone the same, I had thought it meant things should be roughly equitable. I think it still does mean that but I am not sure I think it is that important anymore. If he does something I think is wrong or irritating I do get to tell him but that is it. If the situation is reversed he can spank me. That is not fair, not equitable and I am not sure I care. Or is it that it is unfair that he has to be in charge while I can dip into his arms and not worry about it?  I must review what fairness means.

I have to unlearn what I think I am. This is perhaps the hardest of all. We build up our own image from experience, from how family and friends treat us and the words they use. This is very deep learning that is ingrained into the core of us. It is hard to separate what is true from what we believe; it is as though we are all in our very own film set, a false history with a cast of writers and directors. I think many of us are harmed by this false history and held back from what we could be.

“What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.”

I have found in a relationship where I question everything and where I allow myself to be open to questioning. I discover that I am not who I thought I was. I can check DJ’s assessment of me and compare it to  my own conclusions by checking for evidence on both sides. I do so and am constantly surprised by what I learn. It is ironic that in my (attempts to follow a path of) submission I am finding myself to be a better person than I had previously thought.

This does emphasise the importance of finding a Top/ lover/whatever who is not only wise but also kind and selfless. I can see how a person could be terribly harmed by an unkind Top.

“It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.”

I think this confusion about who we are may be true of lots of us. I think people with a tendency to be submissive allow themselves to be very open to other people’s assertions and we can internalise even unintended messages about who we are and how important we are. We live in a film set that we have built from a million interactions, taking directions and cues from events long past.

Mr Gibson, he was an angry man who wrote an untruth for his own ends. The story he told was stirring and big – but believing it would not be helpful. These unhelpful and true stories are all around us and within us.

We have a lot to unlearn. And this history, your history can be begun now, today in the way that you wish it to be.

“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.”

Let us find our own meanings, and our own truth. We deserve nothing less.


10 Responses to “As much to unlearn as to learn”

  1. Oh FABULOUS post, Indigo…!!

    D/s did more to get to my core being than decades of therapy. Boy did I learn to differentiate my angry self when getting a spanking. I learned how not to take out the early hurts I suffered on the man I love. I learned to let go and be cherished (very painful and hard) and find out that, I, too, am a much lovelier person than anyone led me to believe.

    I was watching 3-day Nanny last night and there was a moment when a mother got through to her child that biting is wrong. Nanny said, “You can tell, because of the bowed head…” Crumbs!!


  2. 2 Mark

    Indigo as usual has wonderful insight and finds a key point.

    In my experience, from a very young age we all have a finely honed sense of injustice, and feel deeply about it. That is not the same as equal.

    Fairness seems more based on perceived legitimacy, and is learned early. A parent has a legitimate right to set rules. A young daughter does not have an equal right to set rules. A parent has a legitimate right to punish violations, and a young daughter has no equal right. This is learned with the word “no” and tantrums around age 2. Children are resentful of any violation of that by parents, and resentful of other children who “get away with” things. I was startled how resentful my kids were of my spoiled niece.

    However, to be seen as legitimate, even parent’s rules have limits, and those rules must be consistent. A deep resentment can be felt for going beyond limits, as harming the child, and for being inconsistent (but you said . . .).

    A top must respect limits. Those must be agreed, and will be different for different people. A top must be consistent. With those two things, it will be fair but not at all equal. If you want equal, you do not want a top, and you have very different personal limits.

    Personal boundaries, limits, are essential to a sane life. It is not at all essential that they be identical for both sides of a relationship, just known and agreed.

  3. I think this is the beginning of true maturity, when we begin to question beliefs we were taught and took for granted. Many of them do not make sense at all, particularly, for me, the ones that for years separated me from my true nature. I am happiest when playful and feminine, content and willing, and yet, for years I pretended to be harder and more ambitious than I am. I fooled a lot of people. Myself included. But it’s never too late to be who we want to be.

  4. 4 Ricleeherndon

    Braveheart a welshmen that makes a mush sense as being scotsh irish which my fathers father… Was i claim they settled these ozark hills fleeing opresion or hunger depending on who you beleive Another lost to facts thats the way life goes better truth than a lie

    • 5 DJ

      sorry your comment is not clear. Scots Irish is a name given to Scots settled in Ireland during the 16th century – much the same as the Welsh being settled in Scotland some centuries earlier- as you say?

  5. 6 MrJ

    Einstein once noted that “common sense is a set o prejudices, collected by (wo)man before maturity.” So I see scarlet’s point. In fact, I think there is a D counterpart.
    There has been a time, when I woud have felt utterly offended when someone would have descrived me a dominant to my beloved one. Now I know, accept, appreciate that I am, in a particular realm of our life together, that this is not at all juxtaposed to appreciaiting – needing- her being a very autonomous, gifted lady as well..

    Of – and I do apprecated your empathy to the Scottish. Love them as much as the English. 😉

  6. Why am I still being moderated? What was it I said….?


    • 8 DJ

      Hi Blackbird – no idea -nothing you said – it is just an automatic filter – sometimes too many links – sometimes it could be a trigger word – or just a long comment. Sometimes something gets held for no reason 😦

      I usually allow any comment by anyone who has commented before – shrugs – just bad luck when I am away and can’t release it.

  7. I agree with all three responses so far and love the pictures too.

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