For me submission is at once a deep desire and incredibly challenging. It’s something that I wish for constantly, and when the opportunity calls it’s a battle to get onto my knees. For someone who is tightly strung, a deep-seated perfectionist, a control freak, giving up control is both frustratingly difficult and tantalisingly attractive.
I’ve wanted to submit for as long as I can remember. As far as my memory stretches back, I’ve fantastised about being ordered around, being bound, being at the mercy of a Master. I thrive within limits, I relish rules. I find freedom in being confined in small ways. I’m also a people-pleaser who loves receiving praise from those I look up to. So the idea of operating within a set of guidelines to satisfy someone in charge is deeply appealing to me.
At the same time I am ferociously stubborn and strong-willed. My work ethic is strong and I have a tendency to try to do everything myself. I am capable and clever, and adept at keeping many, many balls in the air. For a good chunk of my adult life I’ve lived alone and draw pride from taking care of myself. I hate to ask for help, hate to admit when I’m out of my depth.
For me, submitting is a chance to hand the reins to someone else. It’s allowing my hands to loosen their stranglehold on control. It’s terrifying, because control is my security blanket, knowing what’s going to happen next is my safety net. It’s relinquishing my grip, allowing someone I trust to take over, just for a while, and knowing that I’ll be taken care of.
Submission is a chance to be vulnerable. To head into a place that feels uncertain, that opens up parts of myself that I’m anxious to face. To be raw and dirty and ugly and small. To be scared in a space that’s ultimately safe, but feels dangerous inside my head. To come out the other side awash with relief and accomplishment.
It’s an act of trust. It’s carefully negotiated, constructed and planned. Not just anybody is fit to hold my reins, to order me around. It’s a step that requires careful consideration for me. And each time I submit to someone, I draw a little closer to them, we know each other a little better.
Submission does not come easily to me. As much as I want it, it’s often a battle to allow my hands to loosen, to let my knees bend. Sometimes this struggle comes out as brattiness, as a refusal to play, as a teasing question. In this way I cling to the protective shell I’ve built around myself. It takes discipline and courage for me to finally just allow it to happen. To let myself trust, to believe that I’ll be taken care of, that I’ll be safe. That I won’t have to pick up my pieces when the game is over.
Submission is allowing myself to float, to be held up by the water, knowing that I won’t be allowed to slip below the surface. Submission is service, it’s showing my love and devotion by performing those acts so perfectly. It’s a dance of kneeling, offering, receiving and restraint. It keeps me grounded, allows me for just a while to be. To let my mind uncoil the worries and thoughts of the day and focus only on my task. It’s pinpoint concentration and limitless souring freedom in one.
These words are a beautiful way to describe submission.