Active Listening, Positive Reinforcement, Perception, and Growth

16 07 2012

I know, that’s a lot for a title….LOL  But it is all things I want to talk about.  Hopefully my thoughts are clear, if not, ask.

I will include no disclaimers about my words…

Several thoughts on this subject have been popping around in my head.

I found this really good article on “Active Listening” from Wikipedia.  Type it in a search engine and take a look.

Most people, when they practice “active listening” tend to parrot back to the speaker what was said in order to move towards clarification of something from the speaker to the listener.  This is a useful skill in parenting, relationships, teaching, and working.  This helps with cutting down on misunderstandings of interpretations due to a number of reasons.  It can also help both parties take a step back from a volatile situation due to emotions popping up, triggers (look it up) being set off, old memories and other hindrances to listening to each other.

One of the things, I find, that is not practiced in learning “active listening” is the ability for people to not internalize, even after clarification, what they think the other person might have said due to their own personal, internal blocks.

Meaning, the problem will continue when the listener’s internal filters says:  “I heard what you said and I understand what you said but I know that’s not what you really meant.”

In this instance it is up to the listener to internally work towards understanding their problem because it is their problem.

I used to feel such guilt and responsibility that someone might possibly misunderstand even one word of what I said that I would use many clarifiers to insure that what they heard was pleasant and pleasing and wouldn’t leave them with any negative emotions.  My words became watered down and my convictions became not so convicted.  I had no stand on anything because of my perceptions on how the other person would be affected.

My responsibility…take ownership of what are my problems.  I am all about self-growth and exploration.  I love to learn about myself.  I take full responsibility for my growth and I know when something is not right due to my own internal issues.  I become more me when I become more authentic.  I accept my flaws and know when they are just that, my flaws.  I was out talking with hubby, having an impromptu date night, all of a sudden I started hearing us speak to each other.  It was like one of those out of body for clarity type moments.  I heard us both making disclaimers to each other while we were talking.  I don’t even know when we started doing this.  It just struck me so hard that I stopped talking and I said to him I don’t know when conversations with us became so hard.  When did we have to start apologizing to each other in order to make the other feel good?  I said, “I am not doing that anymore.”  In my mind, at that moment, we became the adults that we both are.  My responsibility in that moment became to treat him as an adult that does not need to be spoon fed anything and also releasing him from whatever feelings he might have of needing to do that to me.  I am not going to assume anymore that he misunderstood my words because trying to clarify something that you think the other person misunderstood or might accept the wrong way will lead to both of you doing this:

Person 1:  I’m sorry, I only meant by my words (insert explanation here)

Person 2:  I understood what you said.  I wanted to let you know that (insert explanation here)

Person 1:  Oh yeah, I got that.  I just wanted to make sure you heard (insert explanation here)

And this can go on and on before you both realize that you don’t even remember what you are clarifying, you don’t remember what you were talking about, and you are both left with this sort of WTF just happened sort of feeling.

In that moment you disconnect from each other.  You stop becoming “one” in the sense of being together in the relationship and start becoming two people in a relationship.

This is not a killer in relationships because with realization of the problem(s) comes growth.  Growth has to happen.  No relationship is static and no two people in a relationship can be static.  Static relationships lead to two people in a dead relationship.

So we move and we ebb and flow as people do. I love and I hate this relationship sometimes.  But it’s always worth the price of admission or submission, so to speak.





50/50, 75/25, 60/40, 100/0….

2 07 2012

My post tonight will be a short one.

Something I have come to realize in relationships is that when things start to go bad people start to look at how much each has contributed to the relationship.  We start to become consumed with the percentages we give in relation to the other party.

We start making lists of things that we do and they don’t do.  The percentage of promises kept that we keep that they don’t keep. We start looking at how much more we give to the relationship than the other person.  How many times we tried to talk and had to say the same thing over and over due to he or she not listening.  How much more we sacrifice, change, give up than the other person?

For me love is as it says in 1 Corinthians 13: 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

For me this means that love does not keep bringing up the things that the other person has done to the point that it is used as a weapon and a hindrance.  When you start to keep a record of things that the other person has done wrong you are putting your energies into helping you end the relationship.

This relationship has taught me many things both good and bad about myself.  When things are going bad with us I start going over in my head how I serve better than he Master’s.  How I have given up more than he has given up.  How I have adjusted more than he has had to adjust.  Whatever the case may be.  I realized that for myself if I am truly operating from a point of not leaving this relationship then I need to not do that anymore.

I can’t hold onto these “records of wrongs” and leave room for my heart to continue to be open.  These wrongs (perceived or otherwise) close my heart and makes me incapable of seeing when things do change.  I fail to see these changes because holding on to these things makes me doubtful and causes me to be afraid to be open again.

“If you don’t accept responsibility for your own actions, then you are forever chained to a position of defense.”

Holly LisleFire In The Mist, 1992

This is just my revelation and everyone has to make the decision for themselves what is and is not good for their relationship. I am all about accepting personal responsibility and for me despite my Master or what’s happening in our relationship this is my personal responsibility to ensure that I am giving me to this relationship.  That is my vow to him.





Trusting Again

30 04 2012

To me trust is like seeing a flower bloom.  Little by little the flower blooms.  The tight flower releases becoming softer and softer.  You open yourself up and let down your guard.  No protective coverings, soft and yielding.

pink roses Royalty Free Stock Photo

In some ways you connect and intertwine yourself with someone else.    It is not something that most people give lightly.  Deep trust in M/s relationships is a must.  Both parties have to be willing to let go and bloom.

Trust is not lost all at once it happens in stages, it is like a death.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

“If we fall, we don’t need self-recrimination or blame or anger – we need a reawakening of our intention and a willingness to recommit, to be whole-hearted once again.”

~Sharon SalzbergO Magazine, The Power of Intention, January 2004

Once the decision is made to rebuild trust in someone, the decision must also made to be open again.  It is not an easy thing, basically you are starting over again with different information and reversing the stages of grief.

This is a hard thing and everyone needs to really access themselves to see if it can be done.  Sometimes holding onto  the hurt of putting themselves out there again makes people want to not bloom with that person anymore.

Blooming rose Royalty Free Stock Photo

If you do decide to stay beating yourself up and bringing up the past will not move you forward and will not help the relationship grow or change.  Time must be given to heal but healing must be done.  Self healing, relationship healing, regaining trust.





Topping from the Bottom: What Does It Mean?

18 04 2012

My slave wrote about this a while back. But I have been reading others posts on FetLife, and I realized a lot of people are misinformed about what “Topping from the bottom” really is. I have seen far too many tops try to manipulate their partners by telling them inappropriately that they were trying to take control from the dominant by expressing themselves.  Frankly, that isn’t exactly what this means.

A dominant should not do this. Topping from the bottom can be a serious issue. But for some people, it is how their relationship is structured. Topping from the bottom is when the bottom directs how the scene or relationship goes. In a more traditional BDSM relationship (if there is such a thing), the dominant is in the one providing direction and control of the subs activities. In this situation a sub is “topping from the bottom” when they try to manipulate a dominant’s feeling to provide what that want. That is the issue here. Manipulation. typically we call this passive aggressive behavior. That is what makes it wrong.

A sub is well within their rights to let the dominant know what they need.  What they require in the relationship. A dominant needs to listen to this. They need to hear what the sub is saying.  And that isn’t topping from the bottom.

But sometimes Dominants try to manipulate their submissives too. This is equally bad. Subs, don’t fall for this trap. Doms, don’t pull it.

MV

Update: This writing applies to all types of relationships. M/s, D/s, t/b. It doesn’t matter.





Power Exchange

12 03 2012

I have heard many times that slaves get their pleasure out of serving their Master.  They want nothing for themselves except to serve their Masters.   LOL

Okay maybe I shouldn’t laugh but I find that funny sometimes.  When taken out of context this seems like the slave is the Madonna in the relationship.  She is such a self sacrificing person.  Always thinking of others.  Such a saint.

Okay enough sarcasm.

I am of the mind that slaves do get something out of being in a Power Exchange relationship.  (My opinion is solely from the standpoint of a slave being in a relationship where she is collared by a Master).

I believe the slave gets satisfaction from more than serving the Master.  I believe the slaves true pleasure and satisfaction comes from the Power exchange in the relationship.  In particular the Master’s control.

Serving, obeying, etc. is a by product of this relationship.

What do you think?





Intimacy

30 01 2012

Lying together our  bodies are pressed together.

We meld…two become one after a long day of separation.

The time apart only enhances these times together

Our bodies fit together without any awkwardness

In and out, In and out

One breath, one heartbeat





Centered Through Meditation

20 09 2010

One of the tools that I use to help keep me centered is meditation.

I meditate 3 days out of the week for 20 minutes.   I usually meditate with soothing music playing and in a dark room.  This helps me relax my mind after such a busy day which usually starts at 6:30am.  Admittedly it is hard sometimes and it takes bit longer for me to relax into it.  When those times happen I spend the first few moments just focusing on my breathing.  I take deliberate breaths in and out until I feel my body relaxing and my mind opening up.

Master’s constant teaching for me is to learn how to just be.  Be where I am at the moment and nothing more.  I have the tendency to be all over the place and many days in the future.  It has taken me sometime to really appreciate the times that I have for meditation because I kept thinking that my time could be better spent doing many of the hundred other things that I had to do.

What I realized though was that meditation actually helped me be more focused.  Instead of running around doing many thing all at once I do one thing at a time giving my full time and attention to the task as needed.

Importantly when I meditate it reminds that I am doing this at my Master’s command.  Each time I kneel in position I am submitting my will to my Master’s will.

For me, my submission to Master is one step at a time.  I become my Master’s slave always and in all ways.

“Some people think it’s holding on that makes one strong- sometimes it’s letting go.” anonymous

Thoughts, comments…please feel free to share.

MV’s esclave








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