We all owe ourselves the unfettered pursuit of our potential, and if you don’t push yourself, and seek out people who hold you to higher standards, then you’ll never get there.
All of this introspection as it leads to discovery has been wonderfully energising and elucidating. With every stone turned over there is something new, and the better I know myself the more comfortable I become, the happier, the calmer, the more settled.
But when I share any of this with my wife she just rolls her eyes. She doesn’t truck with introspection. So much navel-gazing. When I told her about reading the book “The 5 Love Languages” her response was, “I know why I love you; you know why you love me; we both know how you love me; who needs a book for that?!”
When I told her about reading Gabor Maté’s book on ADD, “Scattered Minds” and suggested that she read it (not just for me but for one of our children) her response was, “you’ve read it; that’s enough for both of us.”
My wife is uncompromising. As with all the women in my life, starting with my mother, they have all been strong, outspoken women. Women who know what they want, not just for themselves, but for the world around them. I am attracted to that, and feeding that strength is a big part of what gives my life meaning in relationships.
The consequence? Tough love. No woman I have ever been with did not show me tough love. Indeed, everyone in my life that is a success in my life, has shown tough love to me and to others, and practices this as a philosophy. Tough love is born from a strong sense of self, of personal boundaries, of dreams and goals, and acceptance of self—that we are ultimately responsible for our own lives, our own successes and failures, and at best, someone to challenge us out of their desire to help us grow and develop. To me this is the essence of love.
Now, I might love the journey, I might love the navel-gazing, but more than anything what I love is the sober influence of my wife in my life—as if to say, “don’t tell me, show me. Not just once, but consistently, day in and day out, for life.” When someone holds you to those kinds of standards, you can wear them, they become a comfort of their own, and are indeed truly strength giving. Someone who loves you softly, who doesn’t push you in this way, is doing you a disservice, and ultimately themselves as well. And while she doesn’t accept my submission in a D/s sense, I am totally and utterly submissive to her in the sense that I will always invest in and expect of myself a level of growth commensurate with her expectation if not more.
One of my dearest and deepest friends reminded me the other day of how beautiful the people I have dated have been, culminating in my gorgeous wife. But physical beauty was pale in all cases relative to their interior world with two exceptions—the only two that I ever left. A strong woman who believes in herself, who is strong and confident, who dreams and goes and gets her success, is intoxicating. She is also a self-reinforcing entity. When I am with someone like that I am not only drawn to her strength, but also feel a deep-seated desire to reinforce it, to build it, to encourage it. The flipside of this is tough love. The more I am drawn to a woman and her power, the more I ask her to expect of me.
No strong woman wants a weak man. In fact, none of us should ever want a weak anything. Surrounding myself with tough love has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. Taking it on the chin from someone who means well and “hurts you” to heal you, is a gift. Recently, Mistress gave me some feedback she felt might sting. It did not, if anything it was a salve. Because when someone is honest with you, when they tell you what they really think, and they do it not to protect your feelings but to help you grow, it makes everything else they say and do with you that much more real. Everything becomes more solid and believable.
One of my D/s mentors has been instrumental in helping me see that the normal rules of relationship dynamics are not at all any different in D/s. She has seen me through the predominant narrative that is portrayed online to what lies beneath. That has been very helpful to me in that it allowed me to be really clear in my mind about why I wanted to meet a Domme in the first place. My desire for tough love is just as real there–and my desire to submit to someone strong and who I can respect is completely informed by this worldview, my weltanschauung (good boy!). Without growth comes stagnation…and who wants to die wondering what they were capable of? No regrets please.
And I will say this, my wife is relentless in her application of tough love. And I love her the more for it. Because by doing this, she is setting the highest standards for me…and in doing so, she allows me to grow not just for me, but for her. And the more I grow for her, the deeper our love grows. And the deeper our love grows, the more amazing I want our lives to be, the more motivated I am to produce, and the happier I am—not just with life, but with myself.
So when my wife pooh-poohs all this “silly” introspection, I know she does it because she takes it for given that I will continually grow, will continually change, and will continually strive to meet her. That is love. I know it. She knows it. We live it. Who could ask for more?
A thousand years ago one of my forbears rode out on a quest with this motto emblazoned on his shield: “Craignez honte, aimez loyauté”. That is old French and translates as “Fear shame; love loyalty.”
I talk a lot about three things:
- Is faith and belief genetic? Yes. It is driven by our ability to feel the energy around us.
- Nothing happens by accident. We live and interact in ways that are meant to be; there are things we are meant to do. Finding them and doing them is the path to fulfilment.
- Our measure as humans are the memories of those who love us and the good works we leave behind.
Therein lies my truth.