There was crying but no yelling

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Phew. Well. It’s been a very learning-intensive weekend over here. Saturday night I finally had what felt like a productive conversation with someone very important to me. Near the end he remarked, “There was crying but no yelling.”

I’ve been thinking about what throughlines exist between conversations that are more productive and less productive. One factor is curiosity. When I come to a conversation genuinely curious I’m much more able to learn and grow than when I come in already convinced I know everything I need to know.

Another is vulnerability. In that conversation I was able to think about what I was afraid of without judging myself too harshly. I could say, “I am not afraid you won’t be able to do the things I want you to do. I am afraid you don’t want the same things I want. Ultimately, I am afraid I will feel rejected by you and stupid for trying to get you to feel the same way about me as I feel about you.”

Before, I was raising my voice when we’d talk about things because I was already judging myself so harshly for being needy and wasting my time and not valuing myself enough and yada yada. His seeming ambivalence felt like an indictment of my own choices. Of who I am.

It felt wonderful to be able to try to describe how I felt without so much self-judgment. It felt wonderful to be able to try to describe how I felt without so much fear that I’d push him further away. I didn’t need him to approve of me. I finally had enough self-approval to be honest with myself about how I felt and what I wanted.

Learning to better love, accept, and approve of myself hasn’t made me any less interested in being loved, accepted, and approved of by others. It’s enabled me to ask for love, acceptance, and approval without being destroyed by rejection. It’s enabled me to better recognize and accept love, acceptance, and approval when I see it.

I didn’t yell this time because I wasn’t very frustrated. I was at times afraid, sad, hopeful, joyful, engaged, and interested. I looked in my heart and felt like what was in there was okay. I shared it. I saw a little inside his heart too. I understood myself better in trying to make myself legible to him. I understood myself better in trying to understand him.

I don’t know how I’ll feel later. I’m sure at times I’ll feel stupid and rejected. But I’m excited to continue because I am in love with him and in love with this process. I’m in love with the feelings he stirs up in me. I’m in love with making friends with those feelings, the pleasant and unpleasant ones alike. I’m in love with getting friendly enough with them to share them with him. I’m in love with becoming a safe place for him to share himself. I’m in love with getting to know him and myself through this process. I’m in love with the way this process is making me a more complex and interesting person, at least in my own estimation.

I have to go carve pumpkins with Maeve now. But soon I want to tell you about my first Domme class.

<3