Thanks Giving

November 28th, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, readers!

I am having a week of feasting with family and friends. The usual dinner Monday night with the Poly-cule. Tuesday Thanksgiving dinner with the gaming family. Wednesday Thanksgiving dinner with him and his wife. Today with their pets (pet sitting, yay snuggly puppy). And tomorrow with my work family while we wade through the chaos of Black Friday. And leftovers all weekend long! 🙂

I am thankful for my life, and those that love me: my family and my friends. I am thankful for you, readers, and for e[lust] digest for bringing me many more. I am thankful for the freedom to live, love and play the way that makes me happy. I am thankful for the community I live in, locally, nationally and worldwide. I am thankful for having enough health to enjoy almost everything I wish to enjoy, and enough challenges to keep me strong in spirit, if not in body. (Okay, so some would say stubborn, but that can lead to strength… 😉 ) I am thankful for a job that has lasted eleven years, even though I have wanted a better one for half that time, it has kept me housed, clothed and fed, with a little help from my friends/family.

I am thankful to my parents for my education, past and present. I am thankful to all those who have kicked my ass or held up a mirror or dropped the hammer on my head, especially K and him, you have helped me become a stronger, healthier person. I am thankful for those who have enjoyed, encouraged and critiqued my writing, it keeps me going to know I’m reaching someone. I am thankful for all those teachers and presenters who have inspired, stimulated, or educated me throughout the years. I am thankful for every single relationship I have had, they all taught me a great deal about myself, and brought love and joy into my life.

Thank you and have a happy and safe holiday season.

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Little Requests

August 23rd, 2012

Stuff and things and more stuff. Car accident today. My brain is a bit scattered… well, even more scattered than usual, I guess. Got rear-ended. Her fault. Head and back ache, but not severe injuries of any kind. Car needs a new bumper. Supposed to be getting an estimate on the repairs soon. Well, technically, should already have gotten that estimate. Ah well. Posts have been a bit odd lately. Lists and things. Even less substance last week, but some good stuff in the digest this week. Added The Perverted Negress to my blogroll, too. Not sure why I didn’t have her there yet. She’s a pretty awesome lady.

This month has just been so busy, and it isn’t letting up any time soon. Anniversaries, birthdays, conventions, parties. The works, all the way through into October and then the holidays hit. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (and all the other December/winter celebrations), and New Year’s. And this past week, what do I tell my parents? That I spend my time working at the store. Twice, my mother asked why didn’t I take the rubber bands off my wrists. I told her they help me keep from scratching (he smacks my hand when I scratch). When she asked again, habit, was my only response.

I don’t like lying to my parents, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers the Engineer. I know that even if they could handle it, my brother wouldn’t, and his kids are far too young for me to be cut out of their lives already. They’re part of the reason we moved back here, and found this amazing community. Wouldn’t that just float his boat?

The rubber bands are important to me. A thing he asked me to do. Being able to do what he asks makes me happy. Having something to look at and think of him makes me happy. I wear two on each wrist now, he only asked for one. But when one breaks, I’d be left with nothing, and they used to break all the time. So, two became my habit, so that I would always have at least one. I hardly ever take them off anymore, except to bathe, or to switch them out for new ones. I feel slightly naked without them, missing something. It might be silly to be attached to something so flimsy and replaceable as rubber bands, but it’s not the bands themselves that I’m attached to. It is the fulfillment of his request that makes me smile.

The same goes with the skirts. I have negotiated away wearing pants in his presence unless I’m leaving the house to go to work, or he specifically gives permission for pants/shorts. Recently, on our theme park trips, he told me I could wear pants or shorts so the skirt wouldn’t get caught in things. I chose shorts, both for the heat, and because I just couldn’t fathom purposefully wearing full length pants around him anymore. Not to say pants haven’t happened, they did just the other day during a slightly panicked situation, and I apologized with a short short skirt a few days later.

My reasons have shifted over the last few years, along with our relationship. Initially, he requested skirts or shorts, for ease of access to whatever he wanted, as my boyfriend and Dom. Later, when we were discussing my partner in crime’s restriction to just skirts, it was decided that even shorts went against this ease of access rule and if she couldn’t have them, neither could I. Some of that has fallen by the wayside, though the theory is still sound. He may still have access to whatever he wants, and skirts facilitate that, and so I am happy to wear them for him.

But for me, the bigger part of it, is the confidence in my body that I have gained. Yes, I still wear long skirts, because they’re fun and flowing, or warm, but my legs are still visible, to varying degrees, depending on what I’m doing. In short skirts, my legs are definitely visible, as well as the shorts I wore to the parks. He enjoys legs, and he enjoys confidence. So, my wearing skirts, or short shorts, makes him smile. I balked, hard, when he first requested this of me. My legs were the biggest part of my body that I wanted to hide. Especially my thighs. But, in the last four years, he has helped me to stop being ashamed of my legs, and to be comfortable in my skin. I am quite grateful for this, though my favorite light skirts are wearing quite thin these days. Good thing we’re heading into fall soon.

It’s the little things. The simple requests. The things that bring a smile to the lips, and joy to the heart. Being able, when so many things are spinning out of control, to do the little things you can do. To give what help you are able. To have some stability and sameness to cling to. To grow and share, and show gratitude. We are busy, and time is so limited right now. But I look down at my wrists and think of him. When he does see me, I’m wearing a skirt, for him. These little things give me comfort, even when we cannot be together, and joy when we can.

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Day Twenty-Three – Changes

January 23rd, 2011

Since you first developed an interest in kink, have your interests/perspectives changed? How so?

One year after joining the local community I wrote this. I have grown in so many ways. When I first got into the community and people asked me what I was into, I’d respond with bondage, spanking and nipple pinching. Just look at the list I posted on Day Two. I have come so far, and am still moving forward. I have learned a lot about myself and what I can do, and what I like. When I first developed an interest, I thought I was weird and strange, and alone. But I have found acceptance, love and support. Those things have made all the difference.

My 30 Days of Kink

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Communication, Emotion & Insecurity

January 6th, 2011

I am woman, hear me roar?

So many things in that one little phrase and the way I typed it. I am woman – identity. Hear me – communication. Roar – emotions. Question mark – insecurity. I am secure in my identity, especially as a woman, but it is those other three things that trip me up. On a fairly consistent basis.

I am a writer, I communicate well through the written word. But that is almost always an impractical form of communication in the real world. I cannot write things down for my day job. I cannot sit with a notebook with my friends. I cannot use a whiteboard when I am talking to my loved ones. But, as I have posted over and over again on this blog, communication is of Utmost importance. In life, in poly and in kink. And in most of these cases, it needs be Verbal Communication.

Here is where the other two things come into play for me. Emotion and insecurity.

I am an emotional person and I am not entirely at peace with that. I cry when I’m upset or angry, and I am certainly not at peace with that. I have been working on both of these things. Accepting my emotional reactions, and letting them manifest through tears. I started to type there “when necessary” or “when appropriate,” but that is the trouble. I try to judge my emotions and bottle them if I think them too much. Now, it is a given that crying makes it harder for me to verbalize, and that is another reason I try to stifle it. However, that does nothing for communication. My emotional reaction, my tears, are part of communication. If I am upset, stifling the tears only stifles the communication of my reaction. If I hold it back, bottle it, and do not react, I am not honestly communicating how I feel.

This leads into insecurity. Sometimes, I feel like I am overreacting, or that my reactions are wrong. I let myself feel like my reactions, wants or even needs are not as important or are inappropriate and therefore do not deserve being communicated. I worry that my words won’t come out right and won’t communicate what I really mean or am thinking. I worry that I’ll say the wrong thing and offend someone. This also leads to me not asking questions when I am not clear. I feel like I should be clear, or I should work it out myself, or I’ll upset them by questioning them because I should understand what they said. It’s a vicious cycle that needs breaking.

So, where does this put me?

Thanks to a conversation with him this week, I was at a breaking point. This time, however, it’s a breaking point where I have found the leverage for positive change. This time, I’m taking the peak emotions and using them to move forward instead of curling in on myself. Through meditation, writing and discussion with him. I am able to see these problems more clearly than ever before and create a path to growth.

One, I need to ask questions. I need to trust that people do allow for my crazy. And if I need it to get the question out, I can always say, hey, this sounds crazy, but… because sounding crazy in the moment, and getting it solved, even if it is hard, is far better than holding onto it. Because that can lead to assumptions and false stories that only eat away at me.

Two, I need to allow myself to react. I need to not judge my reactions because that only leads to bottling and unclear communication. Tears are not bad, they simply are a reaction. Obviously, if I’m crying, then something needs to be talked about. Not allowing that reaction out simply allows the problem to continue, perhaps unnoticed.

So, let’s try that first sentence again, with feeling, confidence and sincerity.

I am woman, hear me roar!

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Lessons in Negotiation

December 30th, 2010

These last few weeks have provided many lessons in Negotiation. First as an observer and then as an active participant. I watched several new people learn their first lessons in trying to fence with him, and in trying to assist one of them, became part of the scene. Bear with me and I’ll tell you all about what I ended up agreeing to do. So, what have I learned?

No wishing for more wishes. This seems simple enough, most of us remember Robin Williams’ genie quoting this to Aladdin. But in the heat of the moment, when you don’t have any better ideas. A blank check, while dangerous, seems simple enough. You must, however, remember to stipulate, that it cannot be cashed in for more blank checks, otherwise, a single scene at his whim becomes many more.

Don’t forget your limits. Not that you might forget your limits such as they are, but always remember to include them in a negotiation. Whether it is telling a new partner what your limits are, or stipulating that the above blank check(s) cannot violate them. It is all well and good to push your limits when you want to, but make sure you want to.

Be specific. At all points of the negotiation, be clear and precise. What are you offering, what are you getting, what are the terms and the rules and the boundaries. “Test me!” might be a fun thing for an excited student to shout, but it behooves one to specify what they want to be tested on. “School girl outfit” can mean different things to different people. “Skirts” come in many different lengths and styles. “Tied together” sounds fun, but do you really want to leave the binding material up to his imagination? Stockings, hose, fishnets, knee-highs, socks all very important distinctions in how much leg is covered or uncovered.

Offer something of value. Different people value different things from different people. Some people value sex. Some people value service. Some people value suffering. Some value the passing of knowledge. Learn what it is that will be of value and find ways to offer it.

Be creative and then be even more creative. Don’t offer things you have already given or things he already has. Offer something new, offer something bigger, offer something more interesting. Start with new and interesting offers, and then push them one step further. And don’t be afraid to make them well rounded – paint the full picture, not just the center of it. Bootblacking is good, but bootblacking while naked and kneeling is better, and bootblacking while naked and kneeling followed by some boot worship is even more interesting.

Don’t let other people negotiate for you. Stay in control of your side of the negotiation. Keep your wits about you and keep your mouth moving. If you want to be happy with what is agreed to, stay actively engaged in the discussion. Stick up for yourself and stand your ground when you have to. You do not have to agree to everything they say, keep seeking compromises that work for both parties. Unless agreements to the contrary are already in place, you can always say no, and most times even then.

Be reasonable and trust the other people in the negotiation. If you have a real problem with something, explain it, trust that they care about you and will listen. (If you don’t trust them or they don’t care about you, well, that’s another entry entirely.) Then, negotiate to find a way to make it work for everyone. Try not to just say no, that is impossible. Look for solutions that benefit everyone. Most problems are only little bumps in the road.

Be flexible and open minded. Understand that everything is not going to go the way you want it to. Understand that your definitions may not be the same as his definitions. Accept that sometimes comfort zones are meant to be left behind, it is how you can grow. I am incredibly curious, sometimes I have to let the curiosity override the fear.

Relax and enjoy it. Negotiation is where you get to learn about the other person. You get to see how their mind works, what they like and don’t like, how they feel, what their state is. You get to know them, and get to share yourself with them. You are not going to get it all right, but you’re not going to get it all wrong,either. But if you’re both/all happy when it is over, then everyone wins. Keep talking until you’re happy.

So, I promised to let you know what I got myself into. A new friend was starting a negotiation with him, and I was offering some advice. When he was presented with that fact, he suggested that since I was trying to help out, perhaps I should join the negotiation. Her fate and mine became intertwined. We spent most of the rest of the night negotiating. When it was all said and done, we had quite the scene lined up:

Three of us, dressed as school girls (clothing was one of the largest parts of the negotiation) – Japanese, American and British, respectively (I hear there may be a chalkboard hung high up on the wall for sentence writing). We may not say no for the entire night (creativity will be flowing). The evening will start with bootblacking, and we will be available at any time for massage. At his leisure, he may put us in the dog cage (with a violet wand kit nearby), or bind us all together (quite possibly with saran wrap, followed by ice and then hot wax). And at some point during the evening, there will be a Japanese song and dance (whaddya mean I have to dance when I’m sober?) in front of an audience of undetermined size (our voluntary third musketeer is joyfully plotting choreography to the song chosen last night).

It shall be a Very interesting evening. I can hardly wait.

What are you thoughts on Negotiation? What traps have you fallen into?

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Communication, Goals and Separation

September 24th, 2010

A day late, but hopefully not a dollar short, my dear readers. Yesterday, life and a missing power cord got in the way of my posting. It has been quite the roller coaster ride for me lately, but what would life be without some ups and downs? Today I’m going to ramble about my partners, communication and decompartmentalization, we’ll just have to see where that takes me.

This past weekend was a big event that I did not go to. Two of my partners did, with their other partners, and everyone had a blast. The trouble came, in my own mind, when Lover played with someone I did not approve of. He told me that afternoon that he was going to, I expressed some hesitation at the idea, but did not fully express my concerns or feelings. He had no idea, therefore, that I had any concerns or negative feelings. When he came back to me two days later, he was caught flat-footed by my angry, incoherent emotional state. This, eventually, a few days after that, brought us around to a discussion of my needs around his play partners. Our agreement has always been that he will listen to what I have to say, but I do not have veto power over him, none of his partners do, nor visa versa. I asked to modify that agreement, so that not only will he listen, but he will be sure to ask in advance with enough time for discussion, how I feel about an upcoming play partner. I needed time to process, get clear and feel heard before he played with this person. It also probably would have helped to know why he had chosen to play with her. We agreed that we would try to do this going forward. Communication can prevent a lot of unnecessary upset.

My weekend was about simple goals. After last week’s discoveries, I needed a way forward. Having large goals of communication and self awareness are good, but he pointed out that they are not quantifiable or immediately achievable. He wanted me to come up with things I could point to and say, look, I met that goal. Simple things, one step at a time. Friday, I stayed with be of service, I was available to him for whatever he needed or asked of me that evening. Saturday, I had more specific goals. I wore my latex skirt for him. I kept it shiny for him. I pleased him, was a body pillow for him and slept by his side. These were both girlfriend goals and submissive goals and they were all achievable and rewarding.

I have often written of keeping my partners separate, especially around play. Occasionally more than one will be at a play party or at the club, but generally, I am able to focus on one at a time, and I have taken steps to guard that. However, this week, those steps created a situation that caused upset on several fronts and I was forced to rethink my position. One particular division I had created, was now creating a public division, and I needed to think long and hard about whether that was appropriate. After discussions with all of my partners, I decided that it was time for me to change and grow. I decided to let go of the control I was holding so tightly to, and trust that we could all do what was best for everyone, while still meeting all of our own needs and wants.

It has been a a week of learning, growing and better communication. Not everything is sorted out, but the future looks bright and I am lucky to have this life and these men, all of whom are willing to work hard to solve problems and communicate clearly. Everyone knows how hard that can be. Writers do not all make the best verbal communicators, and they are all willing to accept, understand and help me with that.

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Renegotiation

September 10th, 2010

When you’re going to play with someone new, you talk about the scene, you talk about limits, you talk about health. When you’re going to play with someone you’ve been with for awhile, sometimes you don’t talk at all. You just do what you’ve always done. Play in the boundaries you’ve always had, or push the boundaries you know you can push. So what happens when the rules change? What happens when the boundaries get drawn differently? How do you take a step back and say, okay, that place is off limits for now?

I was writing about renegotiation of my submission yesterday, and the comment came to mind that it was incomplete submission. That without giving up all control, I was holding back, keeping something from him. Over the last six months, I had been striving to not hold back, to give him all the control he would take. So, for me to say that I cannot do that right now, that I have to put a limit back on the table, was difficult. The dream of no-limits submission is seductive, but it is not always possible. Even in the way we were doing it – in short spaces of time, not 24/7.

I find myself struggling with my sense of self – self awareness, self confidence. There is a picture on a book about the female brain that is a large mass of tangled phone cord. In one of my favorite fantasy books, the city designed by the female deity is akin to a labyrinth. Sometimes I feel that way about my own mind, it takes me a while to navigate and process and distill what is really going on for me. A friend commented she thought I had been getting better at this over the last few months, or at least at articulating it. She gets to talk to me only after I have done a lot of processing, though. I want to be better at on the spot self awareness. As well as the confidence to trust in myself and my instincts and act on them in the moment.

What does all this mean? What am I on about? Some of our more rough mental play hit harder than expected, and I had trouble dealing with it appropriately. I broke and let things spin out of control. Now I have to heal and grow, and pick up the pieces. I aim to come out of this an even stronger person than before. I have a wonderful life, and so many amazing people in it, who support and love me and help me grow.

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Reflection

May 20th, 2010

These last few weeks, I have not done justice to myself, my partners, or to you, my readers. Last week’s post was the best of the bunch, a description of a wonderful scene. But what has been going on? What’s been happening along my journey? What were those cryptic and scattered posts about? And what ever happened to those needles? Let me begin by acknowledging my failures and then discussing them.

Firstly, when I brought him the needles, I did not beg for him to put them in me. I had been told to do this, and I had agreed to do this, but I did not. Since realizing that failure, I have only begged for the needles twice in person and once on IM. Other failures and issues have come up, and I do want the needles and we have talked about them here and there, but I find myself putting aside this want while I work on other things. It is important to me, but I continue to give other issues priority.

My second failure was letting fear and uncertainty keep me from going into object space. I was not initiating it and when he tried, I was putting him off with some form of ‘not yet’ and then not going back to it myself. Since acknowledging this failure, I had two evenings when I began initiating but did not follow through, one evening when I followed through and only slipped up once, and one evening when I followed through for a majority of the evening, but then let outside influences disrupt my focus.

I also had last week’s scene where he put me into object space for the majority of the scene. I felt very grateful that he was willing to take me there again. Within the scene, it was also a very helpful anchor for processing as he had taken away my anchors of sight and touch. The focus that it created put me in a mindset of being an object for his pleasure and his use and allowed me to not just endure, but enjoy the pain, the fear, the tears and the relinquishing of control.

My third failure involved acting like a spoiled little child. I did not just question his decisions, I flat out told him no. I whined that I was learning and and that I was doing what he asked, all the while, doing the exact opposite by the very objections and fight I was putting up. I let my initial confusion turn into fear and doubt instead of being clear and accepting and communicative. I was so far into myself that I could not even see what I was doing. He took the time, once again to hold up a mirror and shine a bright light on it until I could see. He gave me back the paragraphs I had copied for him about being looking beyond imperfection, being happy, working hard, doing without question, being intelligent, helpful, serving and not letting fear and doubt get in my way. I had failed to do any of these things, and I was to keep the papers until I could actually live up to them.

The previous day we had a scene which had me kneeling for forty-five minutes, fifteen longer than I had ever previously done. It began with begging for the needles, and ended with the only thought in my head being that I could not get up until he told me I could. I had given over all my wants and needs to that one single thought, that one want – to please him at the expense of all else, by staying on my knees. It was quite a delicious scene, to let go that fully – freeing, and cathartic as I cried for the last ten minutes of it. He ended it by lifting me off the ground and onto the couch, covering me with a blanket and bringing me water. Our time was limited that day, but he made the most of it, for us both.

The next day, he had concerns that I needed time to reflect on that scene. Walls were broken down and I needed time to reflect and heal stronger. He also had concern for the number of people installing programming in my head and the possible dangers in that. Conflicting programming could lead to hesitation and doubt. Two people pushing the same button could take things further than intended if they did not know what the other was doing or thinking. This led to more communication with all my partners about wants and needs. Defining boundaries more clearly for all involved.

My fourth failure was being presumptuous and selfish and in a hurry. I tried to give back the paragraphs. I tried to play the I’m learning card again, forgetting that what he was asking of me was not just learning, but doing – putting the learning into action. And putting it into action consistently, not just for a few days. Giving the papers back was not ‘the next step’ it was four or five steps further along my path. I had only just begun putting my lessons into action, and in fact, just two days before, I let others ruin my focus and keep me from doing what I wanted.

I spent this conversation on my knees, where I had gone to offer the papers. He kept me there until I answered his questions. I stayed there because I had put myself there, offered that submission to him, and it was his until he was done with it. I did ask to get up once and accepted his denial. At the end, he set a timer for five minutes and told me to think about how not to end up there again, not on my knees, but having failed in that way again. He would burn the papers the next time, if we both did not agree I had lived up to them. I do not know how long I was on my knees that time, over thirty minutes I know, but beyond that it did not matter. I focused on what I had done and why, and on putting learning into action. When the timer went off, he asked me if I needed to get up. I said yes, and he told me to stand. I forced myself up onto completely numb feet, using the table for support. Looking into his eyes, and using my drive to do ask he asked as motivation, I was able to stay upright while circulation returned. Determination and motivation are wonderful tools.

My fifth failure was lack of focus and attention. I had some trouble assisting with suspensions last weekend. I had not been keeping up my tying practice. I did not read situations as quickly and as well as I should have been able to. I did not keep my eyes moving between all the participants of the scene. I am grateful that he was able to communicate with me about these situations and explain to me more clearly his expectations. We had five good suspensions each night, and the patrons all enjoyed their flights and are eager for more. I have since practiced my ties, and have a clearer idea of my responsibilities in our scenes. I expect further insight on this topic once we have both had time to reflect and discuss.

So, where does all this put me now? I am learning and growing and doing. I am making mistakes, I am failing, but I am still moving forward, albeit sometimes with tiny steps. I am lucky to have him holding my hand and guiding me – showing me the path when I lose sight of it or get turned around. Our love and trust for each other keeps us together, and enables us to overcome challenges, failures and miscommunications. The image of a feudal system just came to mind: I serve him and he keeps me safe. Sometimes, he asks more of me than I think I can give, but his belief in me moves me to go beyond my own expectations and push harder and reach further than I thought possible. I have a wonderful life, wonderful partners and I am learning and growing and doing more than I ever imagined was possible.

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Lessons of a Schoolgirl

May 1st, 2010

On the way into the club, Iron Man played on the radio. This set me in a great head space for the night, not because of the words of the song, I really don’t know any besides I am Iron Man, but because it was a song I played a lot in High School Pep and Marching Band. I love music, but I am not a good musician, I played clarinet, but was almost always third part. And I loved it. I loved being a part of it, of sharing music with my friends and with other people. It was a place where I knew perfection was not attainable, and I was happy. I worked hard, and it was enough, even when I made mistakes, it was enough that I was doing the best I could.

A friend is an English teacher, and today he posted on that he would have given a student 100% if that were possible, but was giving her 99.9% instead. I commented, asking why 100% was not possible. He replied that perfection is impossible, and while her essay was so very good, especially in comparison to the rest of the class, there were still imperfections in it, and that there is always room for improvement.

My goal, is, when I’m feeling judgmental of myself or others, to remind myself that they are doing the best they can, and perfection is impossible.

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Failure and Perfection

April 22nd, 2010

Failure of perfection. Perfection of failure. Fail again. Fail better. Make mistakes with confidence. Reach for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

I grew up with the expectation of perfection. All A’s in school or there better be a good reason. High test scores, do well in academic competitions. Best behavior, don’t cause trouble. Be polite and kind to everyone. Do everything to the best of your ability.

So, what happens when failure is the expectation? When the object is to push and push until you fail? When failure is the road to growth? How do I reconcile this with my ingrained desire for perfection? Which, when it comes down to it, has become a fear of failure.

Well, it’s just one more fear to overcome, then, isn’t it? What am I truly afraid of? What does failure mean? Why is it scary? Failure equates to loss, for me. Loss of face, loss of respect, loss of pride, loss of love, loss of approval. I need to rewrite this equation. Failure is the road to success. Failure is the path to learning and growth. Great things have been accomplished in the history of man through even greater failures. If I allow myself to be paralyzed by the fear of failure, I will never even try. I will never grow. I will never know what I could accomplish.

I have allowed my fear to stop me these past two weeks. I have let uncertainty and hesitation keep me from growing. I have given fear the control instead of giving it to him. I have failed to try. To top it all off, I even failed to see what was happening and to communicate it to him. Fortunately, he saw it, and he did not fail me. He turned on the light and shined it in my eyes until I could see, and kept it there until I could understand and accept and admit it.

Now I take the next step. Eyes wide open, I accept failure. I will walk out on the wire and not look down for the net. If I slip and fall, I’ll make a beautiful dive on the way down. I will, as always, do my best, but I will not let fear hold me back. I will accept the risks, enjoy both failure and success, and learn from them, too. There are things I want to do, places I want to go, experiences I want to taste, fears to overcome, limits to break.

I am so lucky and grateful to have people around me who accept me for who I am, for what I can and cannot do(this list gets smaller every day), and who push me to be better than I ever thought possible. Who, when I fall down, reach out a hand and help me back to my feet. Who believe in me, even when I am at my worst and who rejoice with me when I am at my best.

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