Praise weighs heavy on my pride. Praise, compliments, acknowledgments. Like stones and arrows, hurled and thrown, they batter and pierce my frail armour.
I did not grow up with such trivialities. Survival was adequate acknowledgement.
Why is praise so difficult? Why can’t I say thank you, feel the appreciation and move on? Why the self deprecating internal rant? It’s not true. You’re never good enough. If only you were better, prettier, stronger, more competitive, faster… if only… Oh I know why.
Praise. I revel in praise of my submission, my service, my skill and adoration of bottoming. It’s prideful, really. I rock this arena. Submission is as natural as my breath. My service skills I hone finely and I am acutely aware of every move of my body when in this realm. My instinct is to please and be pleasing. The reactions of the One I serve tell all and fill me with warmth. I’m a badass bottom. I take care of my body and I know myself. I have searched my soul for my desires and limits and my boundaries of pushing those limits. I am a fierce communicator and thrive on feedback and learning opportunities. I crave the secrets within my top and don my cap of each of his whim and fantasy. Here I can accept this praise because of the devotion and effort I put forth. Hard work, trials and tribulations, passion, light and strength have pushed me here and I bask in its praise. Good girl? Damn straight.
Where else can I accept praise? This is a short list. Raising kind and accepting children, caring for aging parents, care of my community, fierce loyalty and protection of my besties. These I am passionate about and devote my heart. Deserved praise.
And my job. I am so very good at what I do. And I crave and receive praise in this arena. It’s addictive, euphoric. Superiors, peers, staff, praise fuels my passion which leads to more hard work and creativity which leads to… you guessed it, praise.
So why do I struggle stilI? I thought I had this area covered with confidence until the time came to write a letter credentialing myself. Crickets chirped. Not a single adequate skill or attribute came to mind. I scribbled in pencil like I do, ‘responsible, reliable, *yawn* team player…’ and blushed to myself. I know what I am and who I am here. But I cannot bring myself to put it to paper, could not say these things out loud. And broke into a sweat. Procrastination. It’s been weeks since my VP asked… ASKED ME to write her this letter. THE golden opportunity of my career and I’m caving. Twice she’s said to me ‘Dear, your letter has not crossed my desk’, once in an embrace and whispered in my ear. Unheard of. You’d think this motivating. But instead the me inside my brain ran frantically in circles three times screaming and straight to my blanket fort where I buried myself under a protective layer of battered stuffies and cowered.
Perhaps I’m a poser. Perhaps I’m not as good as I thought, not as strong… maybe I don’t know my business like I thought, maybe my staff and peers don’t respect me like I thought, maybe my margin is not the highest in western Canada, my payroll not leveredged with finesse, my relationships with buyers not respected, maybe the others are better than me, maybe the numbers lie…
And the mocking. Oh the mocking. I can see them now, back in Ottawa, laughing at me, at my audacity… *she* thought she was qualified? Does she not know? What makes her think…?
But there’s more…
My body. Compliments on my body stab me in that tender place under my rib cage. And I fight the internal struggle… it needs work here and there, it’s just a good bra, I should not have licked the icing off that cake… and… it’s pretty good for my age, it holds rope nicely, bruises beautifully, pleases my partner… and… I’m not just a body! Look at ME… the me inside the body, stop objectifying me (please don’t stop… put your feet up), I am more than my body… and yet…. look at me in this pretty dress…
Writing… for those who read me and follow my blog you’ll know the childhood struggle here. You’ve seen the Truth. It carried forth into my adult life and is layered in shame. Therapy for me is perseverance. Writing fuels my life and makes my brain actually tingle … no lie… like the slow build of a lazy orgasm. Adrenaline. Pencil to paper old school writing. I’ll never stop no matter the criticism or the pain. I cannot. Some gets posted, some blogged, some savoured and stashed just for me. But praise? *shudder* Just words from my brain. Nothing eloquent nor creative… diarrhea typed out as my brain generates. Part sentences, deliberate spelling errors and double entendres. Annoying alliteration and punctuation… and the shame. Some pieces I don’t reread for weeks after posting as they send me into tremors of fear, embarrassment. Mortification. But still I write.
Accepting praise with grace and poise, hearing the intentions and sucking them dry, manipulating the energy and twisting it to serve in my acceptance, these are my goals. I want to be whole. What does that mean?
I am messy and weak and little and prideful and strong, irritating, nurturing…I am broken in all the right places, healed beautifully crooked and scarred, genuine and manipulative, empowering and loving, cunning and creative, terrifyingly toxic and nourishing.
Some days. In some ways. This is me.
And I Love me. And I’m getting better at seeing that.