Recently my Disciplinarian asked me to review and articulate to him about what discipline meant to me and I thought I would share some of it here.
It is a curious thing having been someone that had been resistant to, and almost disregarding of rules through the earlier part of my life. I was rather naughty at school, not in a fighting and bratty way, but in a very quietly strong-willed way. I was described in my school report at age 11 as " having a problem with authority " !
Rules meant nothing to me if they were being imposed by someone I didn't respect, or if they were rules that made little sense. Rules were something that I could exert my individuality against or lash out at when I was feeling hurt. Pushing them away or nudging them over with no consequences made me feel better, for a little while anyway, and then I'd feel rather empty. Like an attempt at self-expression but I wasn't really expressing myself very well at all. I think around that age I didn't really recognise that rules were there to look after me and others. Later on I think I really did start to notice rules but continued to not TAKE notice of them as a way of being quite self-destructive.
I have found that for me to acknowledge and want rules I need to feel that I deserve to have them. I have grown from being very ambivalent towards them, to recognising them and seeing value in them at a distance but still rejecting them personally, to now, finally accepting them into my personal life. They have come to represent me wanting to look after myself better, acknowledging that I deserve that and therefore deserve discipline, but most importantly now when I might push up against them, there is someone there to hold them up, and that gives rules a whole other quality.
Now I adore having rules. They are rules that I know are helpful to me and to moving my life in the direction that I want it to go. They help me to be a better person and they give a clear way of getting feedback on when I have done things well or need to do things better. I do sometimes still push against them of course! ( my naughty streak is still bubbling away! ) but having someone stand so lovingly and firm when I push against them makes me feel much safer and more considerate. Knowing that my Disciplinarian is there raises the bar and expectation I have of myself and want for myself and it gives me clearly defined ways to make myself and him proud.
Maybe life feels more complex now as an adult too, which is not a complaint because I love the variation of my working life, but having rules gives me a very solid structure, familiarity and security which allows me be free and exploratory and adventurous from its platform.
What has been most amazing for me about embracing rules is that I have found someone to set rules with me, for me, and that someone is a person I love and respect, which in turn makes me feel very loved and cared for.
Of course, having the consequence of a good smacked bottom should I break them is also what makes this work!
back from Berlin...
2 weeks ago