Tag Archive for elizabeth

On Werewolves, Slaves, and Other Fantasy Creatures

The classic question too often posed to slaves: What if your Master told you to [insert random crazy ass no one in their right mind would do action] would you do it?

You can fill in that blank with any of a myriad of things each more nutty that the last.

Jump off a bridge: The classic homage to your mother’s line of, “If your friends jumped off a bridge would you?”

Commit suicide: This one has many variations, my favorite was “disembowel yourself,” but any self termination fits here.

Kill someone: Again variations on this with descriptions of the victim the slave is called to kill including the slave’s children, the Master, strangers, or political figures.

Commit some other crime: Rob a bank, steal a car, mug someone, jaywalking, etc.  You are really only limited by your imagination here.

Ok so why are folks so fascinated by these imagined quandaries?  More often than not, these types of questions are posed by someone who is not in a 24/7 M/s relationship.  They are trying to understand what the heck being a slave really means. They feel that slavery is somehow totally unrealistic and the notion of being owned by someone in our modern society seems pretty crazy.

They do not see how or even why a person in a Western culture would sign over the deed to their entire life to another person. For many folks, M/s looks a whole lot like a false pretense of insisting your fantasy is somehow real. Imagine some who insists that they really do have invisible wings that no one else can see, or that they are not just into puppy play but are a fully fledged werewolf who literally can mutate into a wolf anytime they want. Most folks, upon hearing these sorts of claims, would cry “Shenanigans!” and who can blame them?

That last one about the werewolf I have actually encountered.  With great seriousness a young man explained to me that this was his reality. That he could at will transform into a wolf. I decided to avoid any sort of detailed discussion of said “werewolf” ability but my first thought was, “Ok, show me.” Being somewhat familiar with how upsetting reality testing can be for someone with a delusion, I decided to just nod and say, “Ah ok cool,” and wander off to visit with different less lupine people.

Is my statement that I am a slave really all that different?  Granted it is different in that I am not claiming to shape-shift which would seem to violate all sorts of physical and biological laws, but in some ways it seems equally fanciful.  In a country where legalized slavery does not exist, in a society where individual responsibility is an expectation, in a culture where women and minorities have sacrificed their lives to attain freedom, I, a middle class white American woman, claim to be ‘a slave’ to my Master.

What does that mean?  I can’t blame a reasonable person for asking the reality testing rational questions I mentioned above. Moreover, I can’t blame anyone for questioning lots of other less extreme things, for example:

What if your Master decided to cheat on you?

What if your Master became an alcoholic?

What if your Master abused you? Is that even possible?

What if your Master violates your consent?

What if you are going through a difficult time and just don’t feel like doing what your Master demands of you?

What if you have a bad moment, hour, or day and talk back to your Master?

What if your Master really pisses you off?

These are not the first questions folks pose, but they are questions that are reasonable to wonder about. What does 24/7 slavery look like in the everyday world of going through life? Here is really where the heart of the “Shenanigans” cry comes from.  How can you claim to be something that is so contrary to being a free willed individual?

Being a slave in an M/s dynamic is a voluntary choice.  It is my free will decision. There is not a bill of sale or legally binding contract that requires me to be a slave.  There is no societal requirement that I be a slave. There is no familial obligation that I am a slave.  I simply choose to be enslaved. I can try to express in words why I personally feel that my slavery is now permanent, why I know in my core that I am not ever going to reject my position as slave or change my mind about belonging to my Master, but the words will fall short of ‘proof.’ For me, it is similar to my self-identity as a mother, an American, or a woman.  I could no more change those things than I could change that I am my Master’s slave but I came to this identity of my own free will.

Have I convinced anyone that I am a slave any better than my good friend the werewolf convinced me he could shape-shift? Probably not.  Did I answer all those nagging questions about what if? Not at all. Am I a slave? Yes.

Still you may find yourself calling “Shenanigans” and to that all I can say is let me show you. If my werewolf friend had been able to transform into a wolf man before my very eyes, I would believe he was indeed a werewolf.  The evidence in front of my eyes would be indisputable. I am living as my Master’s slave. Watch me, see me, get to know me, and I think you will see that I am not imagining a fantasy but I am living my identity.

The Gift of Death

One of the earliest memories I have is from when I was 4 years old.  I remember my mother being very upset and then leaving for several days.  I remember her explaining to me that my great grandmother had died and that she was going to go back home to go to her funeral.  I can still remember my mother’s face; her puffy tear filled eyes looking searchingly at me.  I remember feeling like it was all okay and that I understood that she needed to go. I felt that death was important. After all, I knew what death was since I had had several pet frogs and a cat die. As much as a 4 year old can, I understood that death must be attended to and honored.

By the time I was 10, I was living with my father and his second wife hundreds of miles away from my mother.  My mother called my father in a panic and explained that her father had just died and he needed to send me back to Indiana to attend the funeral. He refused and they had a huge fight about it. I remember he told me my grandfather died as part of explaining to me why it was so unreasonable that my crazy mother would expect him to foot the bill for an airline ticket. That is how at 10 years old I learned that death causes anger and frustration.

When I was 15 my father took our family on a sailing trip for several weeks.  When we returned to our home dock, the harbor attendant was waiting for us anxiously with a note.  My father called his sister from the club house at the marina and found out my 17 year old cousin had died in a shooting accident.  Dad left for the airport without changing clothes and went to be with our extended family. It turned out that my cousin had been playing Rambo style roughhousing with several of my other cousins and thought it would be funny to get out my uncle’s service revolver as a prop.  Somehow he managed to trip down a flight of stairs and shot himself in the head.  He died in my cousin’s arms within moments. The family was devastated.  I was confused by the whole tale.  How was this a ‘shooting accident?’ Who thinks an actual gun is roughhousing fun?  I was dismayed that my father seemed to carry on with this ‘shooting accident’ explanation of the events leading to my cousin’s death and so at 15 I learned that death is often shrouded with false history for the conveniences of those still living.

At 18 I gave birth to my first child.  He was born after a long drawn out dramatic process that ended in an emergency C-section late in the evening.  In the morning, as I fumbled to figure out what exactly a new mom was supposed to be doing to care for a newborn my stepmother arrived at my hospital room. I asked where my father was and she did not offer an explanation. This was striking because through the entire trials and tribulations of the prior day, my father had been present and more than accounted for.  He was constantly asking doctors and nurses ten questions and stressfully hovering over me and eventually my newborn. So where the Hell had he gone?  I couldn’t imagine why he would be absent.  He called me a few hours later and broke the news that my 16 year old cousin, the youngest brother of the aforementioned now deceased cousin, had committed suicide in the night as I delivered my son. Several weeks later my aunt, mother of three sons, two of them now dead, came to see me and my new baby.  I thought it odd that she would be up to traveling so soon after burying her youngest child until it became painfully obvious why coming to see my baby was so pressing.  She had decided that her son had committed suicide so that he could be re-born as my son.  Wow, talk about creeping out a too young mother who was already pretty freaked out by the totality of the situation. This time at the ripe old age of 18 I learned that death can make you crazy with grief.

When I was 24 I got a call one morning from my mother’s brother.  In a ragged voice he told me, “She’s gone, she died, your mother, she died in her sleep, she’s gone.”  I remember falling to the floor and wailing, collapsed from the weight of the shock and loss. I was undone in that moment like never before. I had just had my second child, a daughter, and my mother was scheduled to come and visit her for the first time just two days from then.  I was grief stricken and suddenly understood that phrase was more than a poetic term. That was when I learn that death strips you naked and has its way with you. Death is overwhelming.

At age 32 I had just entered into my final semester of undergraduate school.  I had four children by this point and was working my ass off to finally get my act together and be a responsible member of society as my father would have put it. Dad called me one evening and explained that he had stage four lung cancer.  The doctors had decided they could not operate and Dad was going to try an experimental chemo. I once again felt Death the Great Overwhelmer clawing at my sanity. I pulled myself together and offered to come to help.  He declined and said he would be fine. He was unable to attend my graduation. I sent him photographs. By that summer he was admitted to hospice care and finally asked me to come and help him.  I spent the last weeks of his life with him as he died.  I watched the care and service that the hospice team provided to our family.  When he died, I was devastated but not broken.  Dying can be done well. Love can transcend death. That is when I learned death can be comforted.

After my father died, I changed my graduate school plans from research to clinical and went into hospice work.  Death and I had spent a good bit of time in each other’s company and I felt it was the right place for me. As I have worked with the deaths of others and their families these lessons have come in handy.  I have been able to comfort and empathize with others.  More importantly I have served as witness to their grief because I have learned that death can be so very lonely for those enmeshed in it.

So what does all of that mean?  Well for me it has meant that I have learned to accept the gift of death.  The gift is the knowledge of how precious life is.  I have learned that no matter how old you are when you die, you are still too young. I have learned that you can do nothing to extend your days beyond what you are given. Fate stands ready with her scissors at some unknowable point in your personal timeline and nothing you can do or say will stay her hand from cutting you off. This is the gift that lights up each day for me.  This is why I live an authentic passionate life.  This knowledge resides in my thoughts constantly.

People often question my decision to live as a slave in a full-time lifestyle. For me, this life, the life of empowered service and loving devotion, is the life that I will never regret. We only get so much time on this planet and I know in my core that I will never wish I had one more day of being a vanilla wife.  I will never long for an extra hour of a standard American pastime. I will never long for one more moment of selfish motivation.  When I am attending my own death, I will only long for more time to serve him, to sit at his feet, to be fucked by him, to be undone by his pain and lust.  The gift of death is that I know I too will die and so I choose to live each day fully surrendered to my beloved Master with no regrets.

On Joy, Lies, and Inkless Tattoos

I am a terrible liar. When I try, I always get this red cheeked goofy expression on my face and stammer and pretty much give up.  I can play poker ok. I can tell a white lie to spare someone’s feelings by giving a compliment that is based in truth.  I can cover my internal emotional responses when in a professional situation. Generally, I am a functional liar in all the ways that are socially expected of humans but when it comes to just flat out lying, I suck.

For example, there was this wonderful scene Master and I had where he did a cutting on my back of geometric shapes on my shoulder blades. A day or so after the scene, I forgot all about the cutting and wore a tank top.  My teenage son walked into the kitchen and said, “What’s that on your back?”  He was about 18 but Master had determined that we did not speak openly about our sexual habits so I knew I was caught in a moment requiring a lie. I stammered, “It is an inkless tattoo.”

I thought that I had done very well indeed coming up with a sort of true vanilla-ish reply until my son responded with, “Who did it?” He, being the curious type, wanted to know where such a thing as an inkless tattoo parlor was so it seemed to him a fair question.  At that point I panicked, unable to come up with a follow up to the half truth, pointed and Master and said, “He did.” Master then had to come up with suitable deflections as I had just completely thrown him under the bus.

Today at work this problem arose once again but for a little different reason.  First it should be noted that Master and I are traveling a good bit during the next several months.  Taking a little extra time off of work is part and parcel of attending and presenting at various conferences across the country. In my office, there is a calendar on my wall that shows what I am up to at work and when I am out on leave.  There are three days this week marked with ‘on leave’ because Master is taking us to attend Northwest Leather Celebration in San Jose, CA. I have been giddy with excitement as I cross off days till we head out on our adventure.

My coworkers, being curious sorts, often ask me where I am going or why I am taking leave. I have no good vanilla explanations for traveling all over and when I return to work, I rarely have clear tales of my vacation time to share.  This frustrates them but I am able to come up with inkless tattoo level responses and manage to be friendly without being direct.

Today one of my coworkers asked me, “When are you leaving on your big trip?”  I was caught off guard and said, “Which one?”  She looked at me as though I was crazy and said, “Alaska, of course.”  Well at that point I was in a socially awkward bind because I clearly was planning another trip aside from the fabulous adventure that is going to Alaska.  The idea that I hadn’t mentioned a whole other trip just weeks before leaving for Alaska clearly upset her. I managed to say, “Oh…uhm… we are going to San Jose this weekend, I wasn’t sure which one you meant.”

This is when the conversation got really hard. She looked at me and in an instant I knew that she was not questioning why I would go to San Jose or why I was going to Alaska.  She was simply jealous that I was going anywhere at all.  It was no longer the kinky part of my travel that was a social problem to be covered up, it was the embarrassment of riches in getting to travel so much that was lighting up the angry fold between her eyebrows.

How could I lie away my joy?  How could I make up a tale to allay the fact that I was living a life filled with happy adventures with a husband that, strange to the vanilla world, I always spoke highly of?  How could I apologize that my life is one I adore while 99% of the people I work with wander through a life they feel saddled by, doing work they don’t find fulfillment in, and living with long since estranged partners that they feel obligated to stay with? As I mentioned, I am a terrible liar and faced with this level of social awkward I did the best I could do and simply said, “I am really looking forward to it,” and walked away.

There is no way to justify when you are unacceptably happy to those around you.  BDSM and M/s are not proselytizing religions. I am not called by a higher power to lead them to the ‘truth’ of better living through authenticity or submission. There is nothing I can do to make that real and possible for them because I have no way of knowing if it would even give them joy.  All I could do is walk away and continue to be happy. Though I felt bad that she was jealous, what I felt afterward was not guilt but appreciation for all that my Master has provided for me.  He works diligently to find ways to give me pleasure, joy, and fulfillment of all that my heart desires before I even am aware I desire it. No amount of service or surrender seems worthy of all he does for me.  I wish with all my heart that the grumpy coworkers around me could feel joyful too.

Self-Inflicted Melt Down

“That’s it!  I’ve had it.  I am sick and tired of being a fetcher, cleaner, packer, carrier, washer, folder, organizer, etc!  Done…over it…arrrrg”. Rant, rant, rant inside my head, bursting forth in a random diatribe.  “I am sick and tired of you being lazy!  You expect me to do everything. There you sit on your ass while I am rushing around doing shit for you.”  Stomp, stomp, stomp. Rant some more.  More of the same though the words and are switched around and ever more colorful metaphors spring to life.  “You are a lump of lifeless stone while I am a grunting mindless drone working my ass off…for what?? Nothing!” Rawr! Rant, rant, rant.

Likely five minutes long felt like an hour.  I was pissed off and making no polite deferring kind respectful bones about it. There sat Master looking a bit dazed.  He had that sort of “WTF” expression.

Without giving him time to take a breath I blazed on, “You aren’t even going to respond?  You don’t give a shit about what I as saying…why would you?  This is all great for you.  You get all your stuff done. You don’t have to lift a finger.”

More blank stare.

STOMP. “I am not a sla…”  The rest of the word ‘slave’ left unspoken, I corrected to, “…servant!” Then I stopped short and said nothing.

There was the rub.  Servant versus slave. During the week, he had been stressed out. He had checked out for a few hours that afternoon. Off I went going about doing all the things I normally do for him while he was just floating by.  I had no clue what was wrong but was getting more and more pissed off with each passing moment.  Finally I broke into a million ranting shards of myself.  I was lost and clueless as to how to recover from the emotional swan dive.

Master sat and looked more confused now that I had stopped ranting.

I suddenly stumbled over my words. Still anger in my voice but also terrified and confused. “I hate being a maid. I wouldn’t take the job for a million dollars. I don’t like it one bit. I am just a worthless servant without meaning. I am supposed to be your slave!  This is all wrong.  You left me on my own, and now I am angry and want to tell you to shove it.”

He chuckled slightly. “Ok, I get that now. Calm down…it will be alright.”  That last said as he grabbed a hold of me by my hair and pulled me down close to his chest. “I am sorry I left you alone. I’m here now and you are fine. Now, go and finish packing.”

At once I was feeling shaky and crying a little and very much relieved.

He had not actually left me physically alone.  Instead he was emotionally disconnected. Long work weeks for both of us and too many responsibilities to vanilla life had distracted us without us even knowing it. He had left the building as surely as Elvis; I kept right on doing things he normally would have told me to do.

I did not wait. I did not get still before my Master and wait for his will.  I assumed. I made myself into a worker bee instead of an owned beloved slave. Rush, rush all about I went.  Doing, doing, doing…never realizing I was paddling my little canoe farther and farther away from the safety of my shore.  By the time I noticed I was drowning, I was a mess.

Master towed me back into shore.  He never pointed out that I was the one who had gotten me into trouble.  Like a father lovingly drying off his half-drowned little girl he simply made sure I was alright and knew already the lesson was taught plainly enough by the experience.

I do so love him. He is the steady ground. Thank you Master.

Master

You are the King of all land I walk in,

I carry your banner in my soul

with each step and breath.

My adoration knows no bounds.

Nothing about you is unloved by me.

You are fully accepted into me,

cherished by me.

Your kiss sustains me,

your glance empowers me,

your scent bewitches me.

I follow you as a flower does the sun

now and for all my days.

Life and Time

This week I will have another birthday. Click off another year of living. I love my life. I know it will go by much too quickly.  In my professional life I have worked with death and dying a good bit. In my personal life, I have buried several cousins, all of my grandparents, my mother, and my father. Life is always shorter than we imagine it will be and I keep this consciously in mind every day. I make choices based on this reality.  This is in many ways the greatest gift that working with grief has given me, the power to live with that knowledge. I do not see it as morbid and it does not depress me, but it does change me.

This week is I will have another birthday, my 40th to be precise.  That sounds old to my mind. I count the years that have gone by since high school and am amazed to note that it has been 23 years. That is more years than I was old when I graduated. I can remember talking with friends about “the year 2000” and how old we would be by then. It seemed a million years away.

This week my youngest daughter had her last elementary school musical. In preparation for the musical we had to make a trip to the store to get her ‘girl clothes.’ Tomboy that she has always been, she had nothing that would suit the dress requirements. I discovered that she no longer can shop in the girl’s section. Her body has started to change, she is filling out, and she has gotten so tall. Now she has to wear clothes from the junior’s section. She fussed about not wanting a dress, then fell in love with a cute little pair of boots and transformed into a teeny little pre-teen clamoring for very girly things.

This week my middle daughter got her hair cut and figured out how to make her eyes even more stunning with makeup than I had ever thought they could be. During the fore mentioned shopping trip, she found a great little shirt she wanted to try on.  It was low cut and form fitted around woman sized breasts. I told her it wouldn’t fit and she bet me it would. It did fit. She has suddenly got woman sized breast.

This week my oldest daughter put on her formal concert gown for band and magically transformed into a beautiful woman.  Stunning. Simply stunning. Hips, boobs, hair a model would kill for. She has a woman’s face now. Her cheeks are narrow, her chin delicate.

I held my Master’s hand tightly during the musical. Sitting on the cafeteria benches at the same elementary that my older daughters went to.  Listening to the same songs they sang during their own fifth grade performances. Tears came to my eyes and I gripped tighter.  I could see in my mind’s eye my 50th birthday year. All of them grown. All of them outside of my grasp. Beyond my womb, my embrace, my home. Off into their lives. I clung to his hand knowing his hand would still be there holding mine in that not so distant future.

I love my life. I know it will go by much too quickly.

On Scissors and Hypocrisy

After a long work day, I picked up one of my teenagers from school and took her with me to the grocery store to grab odds and ends for dinner. We got home and began unpacking everything and came across a messy kitchen counter.  This is nothing new or exciting.  In fact, when you live in a house full of children you find that counter tops and bathroom floors simply spontaneously produce messes. Don’t believe me?  Just ask them who made the mess and they will all assure you no one did.

As I began to clean up the counter, I came across a pair of scissors. In my frustration with the miraculous messiness of the house and the general mayhem that surrounds coming home, I cursed the scissors and muttered, “If I could just put you in the dishwasher you wouldn’t be such a pain in my ass.” My Master has a rule that scissors are not to be washed in the dishwasher.  Not sure why, but somehow he has determined they are only to be hand-washed.  Thus the offending scissors would require a special trip to the sink and several seconds of my attention, which at that moment was a bit taxed. My daughter heard my grumblings and piped in with, “Well, you know if you broke his rules on things sometimes, we would have a shot at breaking rules about scissors!”  She smirked at me and went on about putting away groceries.

Her comment surprised me so much that it pulled me out of my dinner making grind. I simply paused and thought about all that statement meant. We do not express our relationship choice to the kids.  We don’t call ourselves “Master and slave” to them.  They are kids after all and Master feels that this is a private matter.

It should not have surprised me now that I am reflecting on it. Just because we don’t label it for them does not mean that they are not aware of the nature of our relationship.  It is tough to imagine living 24/7 and having the people who live in your home not notice there are differences in how you act.  I live always in submission to him and so they see me following rules and deferring to his wisdom.  They may not know what we call it, but there is no doubt in their minds what the power structure of our home is.

As I had this moment of insight and awareness of their awareness it occurred to me that I was nearly giddy inside. I realized that without intending to ‘be’ a slave in front of them, with no airs or performance, I still was known by them for what I am. It makes me joyful to know that I am true to his ownership of me always.  Hypocrisy is always the enemy and this reassurance of my sense of self made me feel whole.

May I?

Often someone will ask “Can I…?” and get the obvious correction of, “You can, but you may not” in reply. Few enjoy this.  Children are maddened by it.  Adults are even more annoyed. Grammatical dogma it would seem is an unpopular stand to take. As my father used to say, “No one likes a smart-ass.”  When my Master says, “smart-ass” to me I quip, “You want to be with a dumbass?” Words are fun but can grate the nerves at times; correcting a ‘can’ to a ‘may’ may indeed seem smart-ass.

Each night as Master and I end our day, I ask his permission to get into his bed.  I often say, “Can I get into your bed?”  Then I generally correct myself to “I mean, may I get into your bed, Sir?”  I honestly can’t remember a time when he corrected me.  I doubt he ever said the classic, “Can but may not” retort. Generally I try to use good grammar, but in the evening as I hustle to his bed, these days rushing to get my naked body under the warm covers, I forget myself and use ‘can’ where ‘may’ ought to be.

My Master is very well spoken the ‘can’ versus ‘may’ swap is among the many and sundry common errors he finds annoying. Send him an email that uses “your” when “you’re” is what is meant and be assured he is likely to decide that if whatever you are writing about isn’t important to you, it certainly is not important to him. I love this about him.  I love his quick intellect, attention to detail, and unwillingness to accept behaviors that he views as wrong simply because they are commonly practiced.

Despite this preference for speaking correctly, he does not correct me as I ask to enter his bed. His expectation is that I will always do my best. He has related his expectation for proper grammar often enough. He leads by his example of being well spoken. The act of correcting me, when he trusts that I will correct myself, it seems to me is unappealing to him.

At night when I mistakenly ask “can I” it trips a little light bulb in my head.  I hear the words come from my mouth and recognize that he has said many times that this is not proper usage. I correct myself and restate the question with ‘may.’ There is a humility that this correction creates in my mind. Not shame, fear, or embarrassment, but a humbling sense of submission.

In that moment I feel aware of him, his ownership of me, and his expectations for me. For me, saying the words “May I get into your bed” is centering. I remember that the question is not simply a habit or empty ritual.  I remember that I am his, he has the power to refuse, and he has control and authority over everything that I am and will be. The act of asking, and correcting myself to ask properly if necessary, is one of the daily actions that bring me into focus. I am just as much in service to him before I ask that question as I am after, but there is an attentiveness that is renewed as I approach him with humble thoughts.

Often people ask how a 24/7 M/s relationship can stay vibrant. People wonder if the daily grind of life will water down the dynamic. I have heard talks on the absolute need to have multiple complex rituals each day so that you don’t “slip into vanilla.” I cannot see the future; no one can. But I do know this, no one ‘slips’ into vanilla like a clown slipping on a banana peel. If you count on rituals to bulwark against vanilla invaders, you will be distressed by the results. The bastion is in Master. What shelters me from the storm of slipping away into egalitarian misery is his quick intellect, attention to detail, and unwillingness to accept behavior he sees as wrong. His grammar is as all else, there is a standard and there are no poetic licenses issued in his domain.

11-11-11

This afternoon I got sucked in to the TV in the break room showing The View. They had Glynis McCants as a guest on the show. She is a self proclaimed expert in numerology and recent author of a book, “Love by the Numbers.” She was lauding the import of tomorrow’s date, 11/11/11.  Apparently, according to her 11 is a very powerful number which indicates opportunity to enter a new direction in life. She noted that the ‘11’ “looks like a door.” This made me wonder if in Roman numeral numerology the “XI” was taken to be a barn door or some such.

I must admit I am not a numerology follower, but it did sort of peak my interest in the notion of numbers.  The lady on the show explained how to sort out what ‘number’ you are.  According to her, my Master and I both are life path 1 sorts.  This is supposed to make us both natural leaders. This seems sort of a pain in the ass as it relates to our Master and slave lifestyle.  After all, if we are both trying to lead this could be an issue. The good news here is that the descriptions I found of a One Type are like fortune cookies in that you can read into them pretty much anything you want. This allows that as a One I can still follow but will tend to be a leader to some.

Well, life path aside tomorrow is a big day. Apparently according to the Spirit Voyage blog, it is the COSMIC PORTAL TRANSIT DATE. Wow, that does sound pretty much like a big deal. The date aligns the universe somehow to allow us each a chance to change our destiny, our direction in life, or make leaps in personal growth. Fancy.

To me, this is really no different than any other day. Each day we are given we can choose how to spend it. Every day is filled with choices, opportunities, free will, and growth. Instead of hoping the numbers on a calendar will alter my life course, I have decided to live each day to the fullest. Sliding into my Master’s bed at night I hope I am always exhausted and pleased with how I spent my day. My mom used to say, “Fair trade.” I tried to find her reference source but had no luck.  I know she had a plaque on her wall in her kitchen that had a poem about hoping each day was a fair trade. The idea was that we only have a limited number of days to spend, we exchange that limited resource for whatever it is we do during that particular 24 hours, and the goal is to make sure each day was a fair trade. I summarize that as when the time comes that I lay dying, would I trade one more day for whatever I just spent today doing?

Just some food for thought as you embark on your own 11/11/11. Make it, and every other day, a fair trade.

Opposite Action

On an average day, during an average time, I am often pretty average. I don’t live at the level of excellence at all times. I am faced with a task that my Master has set before me. I am supposed to keep laundry done. That includes sorting in a particular way, washing, drying, folding or hanging, and putting away. It seems like such a big task.  It grows in my mind. The laundry seems like a living breathing beast that is trying to smother me. I don’t feel much like doing laundry. I don’t feel like much of a slave. I just feel average.

Inside my little head, I consider the possibilities. I think about avoiding the task, simply not doing it.  I imagine Daddy asking me about the laundry.  He might not ask. He often simply assumes I haven’t gotten to it because I had something else to do that was higher priority.  If he does ask about it, I could avoid the question with a cute little girl smile and a kiss. He is usually distracted by that. I could get away with not doing the laundry.  I imagine myself leaving the laundry and doing something more appealing like watching a tv show. I think about how nice it would feel to sit down and relax. Then I think about Daddy again. I think about how he trusts me and how he respects me.  I remember times he has praised me. I think about how it feels when he smiles at me and looks full of pride in his slave. I remember the tension in him when his home is not in order.  I remember the times he has explained his desires for how things ought to be. I sigh. I decide it is opposite action time.

In counseling, opposite action is a great little short intervention used to help clients change behavior. It seems fairly simple but can be a challenge to do.  Basically, a person commits to actually following through with a behavior that is the opposite of what they typically would do. For example, if someone is depressed and sleeping all day, you challenge them to commit to setting an alarm for ten in the morning each day for three days. When that alarm goes off, they commit to getting out of bed no matter how their mind and body try to convince them not to. Then you ask them to discuss how that felt, what the consequences of their opposite action were, and then discuss moving ahead with a bigger commitment.

So, I decide to start the laundry despite what my mind and body want to do. Inertia moves me through the process.  I end up finishing the laundry before I even realize it. Daddy walks in and has that smile I love to see. He says, “You are such a good girl.”

In that task, I was excellent.  In my thoughts, I was not. Most of the time, I don’t fantasize about being disobedient. Most of the time, I truck along and follow the routines that are expected from me. But like every other person, I am not perfect.  No matter how much I wish it were not so, there is always a flaw, failure, or weakness that is not yet evicted from me.

The excellence isn’t in me, it is in him. The things he placed into me prior to that moment of behavioral choice are what led me to choose to obey. His praise, his displeasure, his rules, and his consistency have grown in me a pattern of serving him well.