Respect for yourself and the other
My Darling C,
Recently, the theme of respect has been at the forefront. I would like to elaborate on this theme. Through this blog, I will be changing the course of our LDD practices slightly as well as addressing two major stumbling blocks you have had to respecting yourself and me. LovingDD’s recent article has helped place into context many things that have been going on for us recently and it has helped me understand what your next most important lesson needs to be, namely to learn how to respect yourself and others. Almost all of the things I have either disciplined you for or expressed dissatisfaction about have their roots in your lack of respect for yourself and others. These range from your most serious problem to the apparently trivial action such as missing out on a small chore or duty. So far, we have overlooked the cause and emphasised the symptom. I have previously attempted to ignore small symptoms and focus on the large ones. While it may be reasonable from a practical aspect, this approach has not sent a clear message about what needs to be corrected. So, for example, you get a clear message from me that dealing with one serious problem is important (and you are making very good progress) but you are not having this reinforced when other smaller behaviours go uncorrected or even undiagnosed as part of the same problem. This is about to change!
On the whole, you have low self esteem. You are not able to function well, even in an environment that you are extremely familiar with. Changing that environment as we are about to do, will raise opportunities as well as threats. I know this daunts you and I also know why. You lack confidence and this stems from a lack of respect for yourself.
Therefore, until I am happy that you have lifted yourself out of this destructive phase in your life, I am going to frame all of your punishments and disciplines in terms of respect, especially self respect. I hope you agree with me that my diagnosis of your behaviour as being rooted in a lack of self respect is a valid one. I am no psychoanalyst or counsellor so I am prepared to admit that I may be mistaken but most of the greatest breakthroughs in the world are borne from a simple hypothesis and this one is certainly simple. It also appears to be valid. You really do seem to have such low self esteem that you are not able to function as well as I know you are capable of. I have experienced this myself and it took life changes to make me realise how silly I had been. I am living proof of my own hypothesis about your need for more self respect in order to respect others.
So what do I really mean and how are we going to achieve this state of respect? Well, like love, the capacity for respect is infinite as well as spiritual. Apologies to the non religious readers but that is my belief and I hope you will respect that our relationship is a spiritual one. That means that you cannot have too much and also that no display of disrespect is too small to be ignored. However, respect is an internalised thing – an emotion - and you cannot truly measure that but you can measure the outward expression of that emotion – the behaviour. So we are going to measure respectful and disrespectful behaviour and correct the disrespectful behaviour through Loving Domestic Discipline. That’s it! That’s all that is necessary! So, I would like you to change your journaling methods. Instead of disobedience, disrespect and dishonesty, I want you to explain ALL of your misdemeanours in terms of disrespect, either to yourself or to the other. So, for example, you said in one journal that you were disobedient because of a “bitchy conversation with Z”. It is true that you were disobedient to me because I had warned you about that behaviour before but that was merely a symptom. If you need to journal the same kind of thing again, I expect you to describe how you were disrespectful. In this case it would be to yourself for allowing yourself to repeat a destructive behaviour, even after you had recognised that it was destructive and had the benefit of my guidance. It was also disrespectful of Z, who is a good and loving (albeit spirited) young woman. Finally, it was disrespectful to me. Disobedience shows disrespect for me and the discipline you have asked me to give to you. It is a waste of my efforts.
In another journal, you have said that you were disobedient by being lazy and not doing any chores. Again this was disrespectful to me for failing to accept the discipline that you asked for but mostly it is disrespectful of yourself. You have such little self esteem that you choose to express that outwardly as laziness. What harm is it doing to you inwardly sweetheart? I cannot answer that but I am pretty certain that the short term gratification of “chilling out” is quickly superseded by a more ominous feeling of guilt and a lack of pride. It doesn’t take much imagination for me to guess that you might also wish that you were not in that position. Well you are the author of your own destiny and have most definitely chosen to be in this situation. The alternative to avoiding chores is to be positive, do your chores promptly and move on with a sense of pride in a job well done and the anticipation of my pleasure in seeing you progress. Remember that I care more about you and your wellbeing than I do about the chores themselves. If all I wanted was a tidy house, I would employ a cleaner! We can apply a similar argument to Z and her temporary glitch in her studies.
So now we move onto the big issues. As far as I see it there are two. One is the lack of respect I showed you when I was unfaithful to you. Another is my particularly strong held belief as a pacifist and the fact that you don’t share that belief. How can you respect me with a track record like that?
I was hugely disrespectful to you and myself (as well as others involved) when I had that affair. This is a fact that I cannot change but I can look forward rather than backwards. However, I can be the author of my own destiny and I can help you author yours. Remember the life changes I referred to earlier that helped me find some self esteem? Well I didn’t have any then and I expressed that in a particularly destructive way. Yet I have managed to grow from that position. My faith grew more after my affair than at any other time in my life. Your strength at that time was the guiding light towards that faith. It was as if your actions were instincts that were God given and a direct lesson for me. You were acting to keep us together at a time when I was not. You carried me. I learnt about respect from you and God at that time. I have learnt that lesson now so you need have no fear that I will ever repeat such a stupid thing or that I am weak in character. I was but I am not now. Your strength of character supported me then. Mine can support you now. That is a true marriage!
And now let’s move onto my pacifism. I need to give even more apologies to the non religious reader here. I respect the reader’s right to their own opinions and ask only that the same respect is given to the views I am about to express, which for me are a matter of deeply held religious conscience. There are a few relevant issues here. The one I want to emphasise is that it stems from my belief that God is within us all and all of creation. It is an expression of my belief in God that leads to pacifism. It is impossible to rise up against another person with physical violence any more than it is possible for me to rise up against God. I believe that it is mankind’s ultimate destiny to learn peace not war but it is a slow lesson. So what about your family and my respect for them or your respect for them? Am I being disrespectful to people with military careers? Am I asking you to turn your back on them? Absolutely not! The same argument applies. These people that we both love are part of God’s creation and may well have fought in the name of the same God that I refer to. How can I fail to respect that belief? I am not their superior but part of the same creation. My beliefs lead me in one direction, theirs (and yours) in another. That is beyond my control and I would not want the kind of power that such control over other people’s beliefs implies. That rightly belongs to God alone. Nor am I asking you to become a pacifist. I am asking you to respect my beliefs, however. I understand that this may be difficult and I am willing and able to help you with this. I offer this analogy that happens to be very close to us right now. It is an act of physical violence to administer physical discipline to you. If it was outside of the consenting relationship we have, it would be an illegal act of assault. However, it is a true act of love. That is the only way I could possibly offer you this service and remain true to my pacifism. I searched my soul deeply before I agreed to enter into our LDD relationship in full. In many ways it was harder for me than for you. There are similarities here with the justifications made for so called “just” wars. It may turn out that I was right or wrong to enter into LDD or that the wars were either “just” or not. I cannot answer either question as I do not have any knowledge of absolute truth but I can spend my life seeking such a truth and allowing my decisions to be guided by my experiences. This is what I try to do. Of course, I respect those that do the same and find that their decisions turn out to be different.
Well my darling, I love you and hope that this blog is useful to you.
With all of my heart