I have a hard time straight-up asking for advice. Partly because I am afraid of people doing that whole â€œI’m worried about you!â€ thing when I do. It seems often when I do say â€œYeah, I’m struggling with this…can you help me?â€ a great deal of the time I get a response that pushes me into defensive mode. Some people start fretting about my state of mind, or offering me advice that fails to take into account I am not looking to uproot my issue from my internal landscape….just maybe prune it a bit. Thin it out, yanno?
The funny thing is, it is rare that I actually need advice. It isn’t because I am so awesomely flawless. It is more because I have a fully empaneled Internal Committee who do nothing 24 / 7 / 52 / 12 / 365 but run reports on best and worst case scenarios and, really, already know what we need to do. It is unusual that I have NO handle on what is going on with me. It is more likely I’m assiduously turning my face away from what needs to be done and I need someone I trust to pull off the blindfold I’ve resolutely put on and am using as a security blanket. Sometimes, though, I kinda can’t see the bigger picture because I am too deeply in it. The â€œforest for the treesâ€ syndrome is not one for which I’ve an immunity, though it is rare. And the risk for me in letting someone else advise me when I realize I’m stuck in my own story is that they will lay their own interpretation of my story on the reality of what I’m going through and come up with some wildly skewed shit. Or, even more risky: a story that is just skewed enough to nudge me towards doubting my own take on things. You probably know how that is: your concerned friend or family member or whomever sees you flailing, they voice their concerns and offer loving, genuine advice based on what they see and it doesn’t quite resonate but it resonates enough…maybe a half-tone outta whack…so that you wonder if maybe they are right and you are making a fundamental error in how you are doing things?
Yeah. That. Sometimes that’s their fear. You’re doing something that seems impossible or irrational to them. Sometimes it is that they DO see shit you don’t see coming and are trying to warn you. Sometimes they’re simply speculating on shit that might be coming and…well. That future-tripping is hubris, anyway, right?
My recent bout of wheel spinning has been creeping up on me in slowly increasing waves of…nothingness. Usually I’m pretty emotionally and mentally active. But in the past month or so, I’ve been finding myself on cruise control more often, in neutral, not feeling much of anything. This is interspersed with my usual ebb and flow, but the baseline has been oddly devoid of charge, either positive or negative. The funny part is? I still have my usual level of energy it is just…
â€œ…Idling. I just feel like I’m. Unplugged? I dunno. From like, everything. Not like I don’t care but like I don’t quite care as much..â€
â€œThat’s normal. Everyone feels like that sometimes.â€
â€œIts. Weird. I don’t like it.â€
â€œOK, Tell me about it again in a way I can understand.â€
I took a breath. The Dominant Guy had, in his way, called me just as I was ramping up some manic brainhamster action and was fizzling internally. He does this often. I think he does it on purpose, but I can’t prove it ;-) Sometimes, to my frustration, his advice is to â€œDeal with it.â€ and that grinds my gears. And sometimes he’ll insist that I explain my rambling-ass self…which has the same gear-grinding effect. But he knows I am highly obsessive when it comes to expressing myself clearly, and being understood. His admonition to redirect rebooted my process so that I could try to approach the emo hairball with a comb and brush and make it presentable.
â€œOK, its like I’m…idling. In neutral. I still have all of the potential energy that I’ve been expending for the past few years but it feels like I don’t necessarily have a place to put it so its just spinning. I don’t care as much about this or that thing, project, goal, in particular. Please understand, it isn’t that I don’t care about anything it is that I feel less engaged in everything. Unplugged and idling with this energy and I don’t know where to put it.â€
I tried to lay out what I was feeling, what it looked like, and where I was with it, and finally felt like I’d said all I could.
â€œI feel like if I’m not making specific progress, I’m ultimately falling backward…does that make more sense?â€
â€œAh. OK. Yes, it does.â€
â€œSo, you got any wisdom for me?â€
â€œYou want wisdom?â€
â€œNah, you know what? Forget it. YES I want wisdom! That’s why I fucking asked you. You have The Wisdom and shit, I need some right about now.â€
â€œAre you ready to hear it without judgment? To listen to what I have to say? To be truly open?â€
As the tone and texture of his speech shifted and focused my focus shifted and tuned in more acutely. Â The “Sit up straight and mind what is coming at you, girl.” voice.
Part of me wondered if this was the windup for a Zen Brick of Doom that was about to be launched at my head, and I kind of laughed about that and told him I was braced for one if he was about to smack me in the face with it.
â€œGood. So, listen carefully. It may be that you’re not allowing yourself to fully experience this process. You’re in a transitional place right now. You’ve spent the past year, year and a half, running on high, fully engaged, and that’s shifting. All that energy might not be needed, so disengaging is a good way to take that turn into the next chapter of your life. While this transition is happening, idling is good. When it is time to re-engage the engine, ease in the clutch, the forward momentum can continue.â€
He touched on the difference between waiting and idling. The former can be passive, the latter is still active and forward momentum alone isn’t always the indicator for progress and growth. Idling is, and kinda has to be, a part of this process.
I listened. It wasÂ deceptivelyÂ simple, like most wisdom related shit is. He made sense. I thought about it. He was done talking, and I continued to listen to his silence, standing in the hallway of the train car as we sat on the tracks on a very chilly March night in Eugene, Oregon. I let my head clear, feeling what he’d said settling in and bridging the troubled water. My heart sat, quieted now, as he listened to me thinking and processing, opening myself to the question of whether or not I could trust this growth-in-idling. I listened to him silent for a few slow-breathing minutes, going about his business. I enjoy our silences together, too.
There are plenty of hackneyed phrases I’ve heard flapping around the broader kink communities when it comes to S-Types waxing hyperbolically rhapsodic about the Awesome Wonder that is their master/mistress/owner/dominant/yadda. One that always left me cold was when S-Types burbled about how their D-Type had achieved a place where they â€œknow me better than I know myself!â€ This seemed, to me, like something someone said once and everybody glommed on and parroted it because it sounds fucking romantic and shit. And I never bought it. I mean, seriously. No one can know MORE about you than you know. Perhaps they are adept at predicting, perceiving or parsing your behaviour. It could be that they have an insight that permits you to open yourself up in new ways. I can see there being a power exchange where the owner is so adept at manipulating behaviors that their will becomes the will of the slave, and therefore they control you better than you control yourself. Possibly. But in general? That degree of hyperbole never sat right with me.
I think I have a slightly different slant on this now. Don’t get excited: I still think it the realm of excessive subswooniness to fully abdicate your top-level self-awareness to someone else’s purview. However. I do think that a dominant, owner or master who has done the work of observing and learning about the person they would control and or own may well have a superior capacity to run their business with a hand that is reliable, steady and compassionate.
Do I think there will come a time where someone knows me better than I do myself? I dunno: I don’t think that is a recipe for a power exchange. It sounds, to me, more like a coup d’Ã©tat. But I do believe that it is entirely possible for someone to know me as well as I know myself.
Because I have made it a priority to render myself transparent to them, that they might have this knowledge.
Because I have rendered my will to them, that they might guide me in a way that quietly disarms my defenses by demonstrating trustworthiness.
Because if I can turn to them and say â€œYou know, I trust you. I trust you to know me as I know myself, and I trust you to guide me better than I might guide myself, and to run me as you see fit.â€ then I can fulfill my need to be owned, to be a slave to a worthy owner.
It is quite a relief to feel someone else ease out the whirring clutch of my mind, and set the idle…maybe turn it down a few hundred RPM….and trust that the idling IS the process. And, when things are ready? They’ll engage and release that energy in a new and amazing way.