Psychology is the study of human behaviours, at least that is how I have always viewed it. I can not recall a time when I have not studied those around me, observing the everyday ‘normal’ activities, pondering over the why behind the what to our actions and trying to understand the motives to every action we make. My eagerness to quietly communicate through voyeuristic mannerisms has continued throughout my lifetime and has guided me to enter a professional world which mirrors my hobbies. One would think then, after spending years helping others to understand his/her desires, fears, motives and goals that I could, in turn, discover my own.
Apparently not. Do not misunderstand, I have, through reflection learned a great deal about myself but it took a patient Master to show me what I was unable to see. This realisation came suddenly, without expectation and was stirred due to an addition to my Mantra. The first part of my Mantra is: Obedience is Pleasure. Pleasure is Obedience. I have connected to this stanza of my Mantra quite quickly and I find it helps me to balance my inner battles. Today I had asked Master if I could add, ‘powerlessness is pleasure’ and Master was thrilled to know I wish to help create my chant. Master pondered this new addition and asked me what powerlessness means to me. Without hesitation I replied, ‘helplessness’. Master remained quiet once more and asked me what being helpless means to me. Once more I stated it means unable to do anything – to have to ask. With a chuckle to his tone Master stated, “puppet, do you ask? No. No you do not ask, you beg. You always beg”. In that one moment Master had created the second part to my Mantra: Begging is Pleasure. Pleasure means to beg.
The instant I heard the addition I became angry. I did not like hearing the truth, it made me feel helpless, which, ironically, is the essence of how I want to feel. This contradiction disturbed me and in following mine and Masters new rules of communication I disclosed to Master just that. Master asked if I could explain my feelings and I stated I could not. Master then asked me to place a colour to it; I described my emotions as red; blood red. Master, in his infinite wisdom then instructed me to close my eyes and slowly push that red portrait into a tiny dot eventually blowing it away. But it did not disappear quickly, rather, it slowly diminished through conversation.
Almost all my irrational reactions stem from fear and Master knew this instantly. Master asked me why I was afraid to relinquish control. This is where my light bulb flickered. I was not even aware of the why until he spoke those words and then, like a flashback from a cheesy television show, I saw my fear, felt it, breathed it in, allowing its ugly tentacles to curl around my neck, strangling any composure I still retained. With tears trickling I explained to Master that how could I possibly give up all control, how could I possibly allow another human being to own me completely, to surrender my very existence to another person because what would be left of me should he leave. Not leave me by his own virtue but should he be taken, should he die.
This exchange between Master and myself brought knowledge to a wall that I have been building for a very long time. So long in fact that I was not even aware I had stacked the bricks; that I had created an unpenetrable border which kept me from truly letting Master in. Slowly, Master dissected me, tenderly exposing my grief – grief which I have tried to avoid, bury, negate. Grief that first infected my being when I was thirteen and has only layered with life’s losses. I was not aware that when my friend died when I was thirteen it had affected me at this age and truth be told I do not truly believe it is that loss that has inspired my fear. Truth be told I believe it is an accumulation of monumental experiences which have, without my knowledge instilled an unknowing protective shield so that I do not rely on anyone or give myself to anyone so completely that should he/she disappear I would be hurt.
After sharing my thoughts with Master I became aware just how deeply ingrained my behaviours are and I recalled all moments when I pushed people away, kept friendships at a distance, kept my resolve, unwilling to ask for help or support from friends and loved ones. I revisited experiences with previous lovers, how I created conflict or was flippant with emotions when all I wanted was to connect and I was stunned at just how stubborn my resolve to avoid love was; how aggressive my determination to remain powerful, strong and independent I was. But was it strength?
This fear – the fear of being weak – for if I am weak how will I ever be able to protect myself? And should I be helpless and depend on another how will I be able to take care of myself should I one day only have myself to rely on? Interestingly Master believes it is my ability to be weak which only proves I am strong. That surrendering control, having to depend on another to guide, mold, nurture, transform me shows a strength he himself does not exude. And if only minutely, I have come to agree. I have also come to terms with the knowledge that grief will always exist but it does not mean I have to stop exposing myself to a world of experiences that will provide me with a range of emotions and sensations.
This experience with Master has allowed me insight to what challenges me and has brought an awareness to why I withhold and I am grateful for this but I know it will not be the last time I pull back. “Old habits die hard” I once read and this habit has been forming for a long long time. Still, understanding my behaviours is a start and although today was awkward I did come from it with a liberated idea and a mantra to match.
Obedience is Pleasure.
Pleasure is Obedience.
Begging is Pleasure.
Pleasure means to beg.
Pain is Pleasure.
Pleasure is Pain.
Many people may compare this mantra to a silly little play with words but for me it is a relinquishing of not only control but also my fears and for that I am eternally grateful.
Thank You Master.