Monday, October 15, 2012

An Epic Battle

So often we say or hear others say the importance of Communication, Honor, Integrity, Respect, and Transparency. Some cling to these tightly, some loosely, and some might barely have a grip, but most of us talk about it. It is a common theme within the Community. Truth be told, these principles are common across all humanity. However, the importance of these within our Community is paramount because of the nature of power exchange and because risk awareness cannot succeed without these values. Additionally, walking our talk, or living this within our Community builds us up individually and collectively.

A benchmark of growth and maturity is the development of Communication, Honor, Integrity, Respect, and Transparency. How we, as individuals, deal with conflict is an indicator of the measure of our growth and development. It is also a very revealing gauge of our character, keeping in mind that there are many layers in the human psyche and we all bear our own ‘issues’ and are all somewhere along the learning curve. We are all evolving even if it sometimes seems we are devolving. Heh.

We are human beings made up of a ball of instincts, intellect, emotions, senses, and perceptions. Let’s face it: resentment is a reality and quite normal. Resentment is the experience of a negative emotion felt as the result of a real or imagined wrong doing. Resentment can include fear, anger, hatred, and numerous other negative emotions. However, resentment has no clear sign as do the other emotions. Resentment can be subtle or seething. How we experience it and cope with it determines our emotional health and maturity.

So what is all this about resentment? How does it relate to the principles of Communication, Honor, Integrity, Respect, and Transparency?

It’s quite simple in my mind. It is critical as individuals and as a Community that we tie it all together so we can be our best and thrive together, remembering the paramount importance to us, individually and corporately, because of the nature of power exchange and because risk awareness cannot succeed without these values.

Lately I have been paying particular attention to how we interact. Often times we are in a discussion, speaking about some relevant topic and seemingly unintentional (remember how subtle resentment can be) one person’s discussion turns into a sort of bashing against an individual or group or even just against a lifestyle choice or how someone defines something (typically semantics). Sometimes we might couch our statements under the guise of ‘concern’, and I admit I am guilty of this. Our commentary while in discussions or just sitting around casually in conversation is usually greatly influenced by unresolved resentment.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to talk. I am pretty good at the whole Communication, Honor, Integrity, Respect, and Transparency thing. Most who know me, know where I stand. But sometimes in the process, during conversations I do acquire resentments, hurts real or imagined, resulting from my hearing information that might stem from another person’s resentment. I feel fortunate that I learned long ago, how to cope with resentment, how to be thoughtful and process it through. How to be patient, tolerant, compassionate, and to be open minded. And when I do those things along with Communication, Honor, Integrity, Respect, and Transparency the resentments disappear like vapor and I am truly free. It strengthens my sense of community.

I am thinking of all this lately because of some recent disappointments. I engaged in conversations which indulged in ‘concerns’ similar in nature to gossip, some of the information was blatantly untrue and it affected me a lot. Instead of careening off onto the resentment roller coaster and undermining my own sense of principles, my connectedness, and my trust, I worked through it and resolved any resentment that might have bloomed, and I made amends for my part and corrected the situations where this occurred.

One great rule I made for myself which helps prevent me from betraying my own values is that when participating in those discussions, whether in a group or casual conversation, I generally won’t say anything that I wouldn't say freely in front of any involved. It’s one thing to disclose my own personal difficulties from my part of it, quite another thing to disclose someone else’s part in a situation. My rule is that if I am going to talk about something, say for instance, “My Dom isn't taking control the way I need”…you better believe it will be a conversation that I have already had with said Dominant and it will be understood that it could become a topic of conversation if it is productive in bringing resolution and in building upon those principles we live by.

I am recovering from the sting of “concerns” which were in truth hurtful gossip from others, and from the embarrassment that I slipped up by allowing it to happen at all. Part of my amends was actually employing the principles which I believe: I communicated, honorably, with respect and transparency, maintaining my integrity and the integrity of the sense of community I share with those involved. Part of my amends includes addressing it here in this blog. Hope that I’m not too over-the-top and that my dialogue will be enlightening and fruitful for the readers.

 With Love and Respect, Azuri