I sent this prompt out in the middle of June to a few friends of mine-and Amy, Penelope took up my challenge.Then, as a result of Amy's post, Ella - and never published my own. I initially discovered this quote months ago and have had it rolling around in my head for a long time. I have written this post several times in my head, on paper and even in blogger, yet it never came to express what I wanted to.
It always amazing me, yet it really shouldn't, how people tend to get their defenses up when it comes to certain words- in this case I am thinking of obey or obedience. I say it shouldn't surprise me as 8 years ago the word 'sub' rubbed me the wrong way. As we evolved in our dynamic ( evolved in reference to B and myself- I do not mean to imply that those who started out in Dd and don't identify with the Dom/sub dynamic have not evolved) I began to have a greater understanding how using the word 'sub' did not have negative connotations. As a friend of mine recently said to me, words DO matter and they ARE important. The words we choice have a universal meaning, if I balk at certain word, I now tend to examine the deeper meaning as to why I do so.
Obedience or obey is not something I have ever balked at. The definition is clear and at no point in the definition does it say it is prerequisite to be mindless to obey or be obedient in nature. I have always been obedient for the most part. I am not a rule breaker. Well, not in any great way. I do drive over the speed limit at times- marginally. I did drink before I was of age. But as a whole, I have always followed rules. The one exception would really be 'conventional norms' or rules of society. But let's face it those are grey areas- left up to interpretation.
Which brings me to submission and obedience and how I interpret the difference or their symbiotic relationship within our D/s dynamic. When I brought Dd to Barney, I had it in my mind that he would set those rules and I would obey them- or face physical consequences. I can't honestly say I am a spanko, but the idea of his authority over me did and does have a great, positive effect. Well, it didn't really turn out that way in the beginning. And as frustrating as that was at the time, I am now so grateful it didn't.
While B was trying to figure out this entire Dd- D/s thing, I figured out myself ( sort of, let's be honest that will always be an ongoing process). I learned what it meant to submit without being obedient. Not that I wasn't obedient, but there was not a great deal of things I was required to obey for the first few years. He would imply things he prefered and I would 'jump' on the opportunity to submit to it. If I did not there would be no consequence- other than my disappointment in passing it by. During that time however, I rarely did miss the opportunity.
I would be out and out lying if I told you I wasn't disappointed that the obey or else aspect was lacking in our dynamic. Or at least the tone of that. Let's face it there is an erotic vibe that comes from knowing deep down that there will be a consequence to our action or in action - if you are a submissive wife by choice that is. At least in theory - the reality can be quite different when it is time to 'pay'.
The required obedience in our case is where the power exchange comes into play. To me it is that very exchange that has the erotic charge. Knowing I will be held accountable for his rules, and expectations is what brings me to him. The observation and maintaining of my obedience by B is key to my submission. For me it brings authenticity to our dynamic. It is what sets our dynamic a part from play. It allows me the freedom to know that my submission is paramount to B. It proves to me that B wants me to be submissive and in turn wants me to be ME.
My submission is second nature to me. In fact for the most part I talk myself OUT of being submissive when I feel we are 'off' ( yeah, I know makes absolutely NO sense). When I feel my obedience to his rules and expectations are expected but he is not willing to fortify that thought through action, I tend to close up. I tend to let my submissive heartset be gagged. I tell myself, ' it doesn't matter'. Yet it does. If not to B at the time, to me.
When I chose to not be submissive, anticipate his needs and act upon my instincts I create my own barrier between us. I shut down my authentic self, often telling myself it is safer to do so. When I do we return to parallel lives. I continue to obey what I should but I do not allow that to permeate my inner core and this does not allow me to live my life to the fullest. By not living my life to the fullest in this aspect we cannot connect the way we should.
Obedience to me is an outward action- much like the quote states. I can go through the motions and to the naked eye all is well in our dynamic. To the experienced eye, the heart, it is hollow. Sure things do get done, words are respectful but the deep connection to self and each other tends to be lacking. Often it takes B a while to pick up on this. Another cannot always see what is in your heart. And to me that is the difference between submission and obedience, submission is from the heart. I can be told to clean the toilet (lame example) and obey, or I can be told and submit. The action is not important. I could be told to service my husband and obey - detached, holding a part of me back, unwilling to feel what I know is there- or I could submit and give to him heart and soul while 'servicing'. The act regardless of what it is, becomes pleasurable to the heart because it is an opportunity to submit and exchange power by doing so, as opposed to just going through the motions. The act becomes about what HE wants and fulfilling that as opposed to truly being about me, which in all honesty ends up fulfilling me because of that fact.
Confusing isn't it? LOL. For me his required obedience now maintains a level of my submission that is at its core most basic and perhaps primal. It isn't what drives me forward, I do that. I own my submission. It does however help cultivate my submission. His required obedience of me proves to me that ttwd and the exchange of power within it is important. From there I can be free to bask and grow in my submission, knowing it is accepted by him and therefore removing all fear and barriers I create in my head/heart to be me.
"As an individual submits to authority or power, there exists a particular bond between the one who submits and the one in power. This brings to focus that submission comes from within unlike obedience"
I have discovered, our relationship works best when my obedience and submission are working together. It works best when it is symbiotic. When they don't, well the obedience is generally key to get me back to where I need to be. There is a lot to be said for going through the motions (at times) until I am back on track. As for B, I have observed, when we are not on track my submission is required not long after my obedience to get him where he needs to be. He is no longer 'the untrained' eye, and obedience can only get him so far without him feeling my heart is in it too.
On a more personal, potentially self involved level, I have felt most free, when my submission is strongest regardless of demanded obedience- this happened about 3 or 4 years into our dynamic. Once B started to demand more of me ( yet didn't always follow through if I messed up) , my submission took off in ways I didn't believe it could. Or perhaps to the outside world in ways they always saw, but it meant so much more to me internally.
So all this blah, blah, blah to really say: To me, the difference between obeying and submitting within the context of our dynamic is -
*and then some