Monday, April 13, 2009

Assignments: Pride and Shame

A long, long time ago ─ okay, not super long ago, but back in October, Master had me post one of my writing assignments here. The assignments have not been as frequent, and they have been kept between us, but Master thought that this one should be shared here.

Recently, i've been struggling when Master and i leave the house. Call it a mild case of agoraphobia ─ uncomfortable around others who might not understand that i like my life and the choices that i've made. Unfortunately, this translates into a bit of an issue when i am wearing a discomfort becomes apparent. i know this is something i am going to have to move beyond, and it is why my Master assigned "Pride vs. Shame", which follows below.

Pride and shame are a component of the human condition, but should they be a component of (consensual) slavery? As we have been discussing lately, i have found myself with an over-abundance of shame. Shame in my appearance, in my behavior and even to an extent, my being as a whole. Yet, in those same moments, when i look at the core of my being ─ at the fact that i am my Master's property, His nothing ─ i am proud. The leap to be publicly proud of my status, however, is still elusive.

Why ─ and how ─ do i feel both pride and shame because of my slavery to my Master? Shouldn't a slave base her perceptions of self upon the Master's pride (or shame) in her status? Does a slave have any right to be ashamed of her status ─ the same status she has chosen ─ when the Master is not? Which matters more, the slave's perceptions of shame or pride related to her status, or the reflection of herself in her Master's eyes? Shouldn't one be confident in their own being, even if that is nothing more than as another's property? Heady questions, and all worth touching on, at least briefly, as i continue to evaluate my own perceptions of self and the pride and shame i have in myself and the role that i have chosen.

There are moments in which i struggle expressing my pride in my slavery, when i give Master reason to doubt my sincere need to be His. Most often, this is expressed simply as my struggle to wear a collar into any environment which might (or might not) be public. In those moments, shame overcomes all other emotions, and i am more ashamed of who i am, how i look and the fact that i prefer to live a “deviant” lifestyle by choosing to become my Master's property. i am ashamed because i am afraid of their criticisms and the potential ramifications my choice may have on my family.

More subtle, perhaps, are the moments in which i am proud of my place at my Master's feet. They are moments when i am content, happy to lay at or under His feet, content to be led by my wrist without attempting to pry my hand from His firm grip. They are moments when i cease to be sensitive to others and their static conceptions of relationships and reality. Of course, they are the moments i am most at peace with my image, my sense of self and, on the whole, most content.

Ideally, a slave gives herself over to her Master, to be molded and shaped as He desires, in essence, giving Him everything she is because she belongs completely to Him. In that, her own perceptions of pride and shame should be one with His. Ideally. This often applies inside our relationship. When i feel that Master is proud of me, i feel more confident in my being, i feel as if i am something of value, even as a slave. When He is not pleased with me, my self-worth plummets, and i am more sensitive to the shame and the negative perceptions that people in Master and slave relationships often face.

Quite simply, in the face of an ideal Master and slave relationship, the slave should endeavor to put aside all of her own reasons to feel pride and shame and judge herself on the Master's standard instead of her own.

Thus, the reflection of her identity given to her by her Master is far more important than her own perceptions of her successes or failures in her role as a slave. Indeed, as the slave has chosen to submit to another's will, to accept the pain for another's pleasure, should she not also accept their assessment of her qualities? If one finds fulfillment in their relationship, then how can the Master or the slave feel shame? There should be pride in the depth of submission and the strength of character that is required in Master and slave relationships. There should be pride in recognizing ones identity and living in harmony with that identity.

As my Master has repeatedly told me, “sexy is a mindset”. That applies here, too. Discomfort and shame with ones choices ─ despite the need and desire for them ─ will only draw attention to that. Being confident and proud of one's identity, even as a slave, results in a more relaxed being. When applied in a Master and slave relationship, if she is proud because her Master is proud of her, than she truly has no reason to feel shame, and should be free of irrational fears.

This necessary jump to being proud of my slavery, though still daunting, seems nearer. i realize that being ashamed of what i desire most in life is, at best, a paradigm that has never functioned. Allowing myself to be ashamed of my choice only adds to my own doubt of self worth, considering that i have given all my choices and my will to my Master, is foolish. There is great reason to be proud of my desire to serve, to be objectified in my Master's eyes, to be something that is worth nothing and everything to Him.

Shame is an acceptance of other's standards, but there are no others that i need to consider, for if i please my Master, than i am serving my purpose. Because i know that my Master desires the best for and from His slave, and thereby, His family, i realize that i need to trust that, and see only His perception, the reflection of His slave in His eyes.

i can (and should) be proud of everything that i am, because He has helped me to be those things.

Shame should never enter the picture, for i should never give my Master reason to be ashamed of me, or disappointed in me, and the standards that apply to others do not apply to me. The life that i have may not be right for some, but it is right for me, and i should be proud that i have chosen to be Master's slave, because i have accepted what is right for me. When i look at the core of my being, all of the talents, desires and humors that make up who i am, i am pleased and satisfied, for myself. This is something i desperately need to remember, because i am who i am for my Master and myself ─ not for anyone else.

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