Tag Archive for Training

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.