Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Need to Serve

"…I would like to beg you…as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Rainier Maria Rilke

As my relationship to Daddy continues to deepen, I find myself plagued with questions about who I am and what I truly desire out of life.

My desire to serve runs very, very deep. Serving the desires and needs of others brings me the deepest satisfaction I've known in my life. I've channeled that desire in many directions - starting a home for teen mothers when I was 19, volunteering for the HSU women's center, tutoring at risk teens, creating The Yoni Endeavor (an art/writing project towards women's empowerment), directing a Welfare-to-Work job training center, devoting my career to service organizations, The Conspiracy of Blessings (an art project in which I sent art blessings to those in need of a bit of kindness), co-chairing the Board of Directors of our local Pride organization, and being a Hostess for the Imps. No matter what is going on in my own life - no matter how crazy or depressed I was, no matter that I worked full time to support my family and was single parenting two children, no matter what relationships I was involved in - I have always needed a place to channel my desire to serve in order to feel any sense of satisfaction in my life.

While I understand that my Servant archetype is a fundamental aspect of who I am, I have struggled with how I feel about where I channel my service and what I receive in return. There is no such thing as true altruism. We always get something from giving, even if it's just pleasure from the act of giving. When we give to a person or an organization or a cause over the long term, it is vital that our needs for pleasure and reward are met, otherwise we experience burn out. I have found that I often reach a point of burn out with the places I've channeled my service because I'm not getting all of my personal needs for pleasure and reward met, whatever they are. For instance, I often serve by meeting the administrative needs of an organization because I'm really good and efficient at administrative tasks, even though I am extremely under-stimulated intellectually, creatively and emotionally by administration. I get the reward of service, but it's shadowed by lack of fulfillment in expressing my other gifts and interests, especially my intelligence and creativity.

I am so very good at meeting the needs and desires of others. As a single mother most of my life, I've always focused on meeting the needs of my children first. I also naturally put the needs of my romantic partners first, not because I believed I had to, but because I truly wanted to. I've always wanted to give as big and deep as I can. I just failed to realize that I have needs to be met, too, and that I would have even more to give if they are met. I have never, ever been good at identifying many of my own needs that can be fulfilled by others (I know how to self care), let alone getting them met. The shadow in my service has been giving all I have until I'm drained and not always knowing how, or feeling I deserve, to get my reserves filled back up with things from others that feed joy to my heart.

Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Howard Thurman

I've seen this quote often and I keep asking myself what makes me come alive. While service itself makes me come alive, it's often shadowed by the lack of reciprocity in meeting other needs and desires.

I've started questioning my lifelong belief that I need to serve the world in the biggest (from the world's point of view) way that I'm capable. My entire life has been committed to service in a belief that I am here to help facilitate the revolution of consciousness in humanity. And my desire to serve is so big that I've wanted to figure out where I can have the maximum impact. And yet I wonder if I have been partially driven by ego and partially by the actuality that I've not found truly rewarding containers for my service.

I have always desired to serve through building others up - empowering women who've been abused, supporting teen moms in becoming self sufficient, inspiring welfare-to-work single mothers to dream for themselves and their children, facilitating sexual confidence in my community - and have always tried to build up the person I am in intimate relationship to as well. I tried so hard to build up my ex-husband to pursue his bliss. I tried to build him up so that he'd have the confidence to develop friendship and community. I tried to be emotionally and spiritually supportive by offering insights, ideas and resources for healing and growth. But he didn't want those things. He wanted to remain a bakery driver and spend all his free time in video games because he was afraid to try to be more.

I've had other relationships in which my energy and love towards building up my partner didn't really go anywhere. Either they couldn't accept it or they weren't interested in it.

I realize that I need a much different kind of man than I have fallen for in the past. I need a man who is not afraid to be all of who he is, and who desires a woman who will build him up and support him in his power.

Daddy is such a man. Daddy does big world changing sorts of things in his work. He claims his power in the world, uses that power to make the world better, and then He comes home and claims his power as a Man who deserves all the devotion and worship that His bitch has to give. Daddy is big enough to hold what I have to give and He desires it.

Here's the truth of the matter:

Serving Daddy makes me come alive. Being a source of joy, pleasure, rejuvenation and building up for a man who shines his light so bright and earns my devotion makes me come alive.

The emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical stimulation and intensity of the Master/slave relationship makes me come alive.

The immense opportunities for growth and self improvement make me come alive. Under Daddy's guidance I am improving myself physically (i have an exercise program now), psychologically/emotionally (i am working through insecurities and fear as i claim my erotic power), and spiritually (i am experiencing the Divine Spark in us both).

The conscious use of my erotic power to fuel my day-to-day joy makes me come alive. Daddy calls it pussy power. Being in touch with my erotic power and being turned on all the time gives me confidence and energy, keeps me smiling and makes me joyful in all my interactions, and inspires me to creativity.

I am not saying that I should give my life to Daddy and stop striving to serve my fellow humans in some way. I am not seeking to completely give my self up to a man like that. I know I have all sorts of things to contribute to the world as an artist, healer and community builder. And Daddy knows and appreciates that, too.

What I am doing is recognizing what makes me come alive and what brings me fulfillment in relationship, because relationship and intimacy make me come alive more than anything else. I'm recognizing what feels like a healthy and immensely rewarding way of channeling my need to serve into a container that allows me to express my service in ways that meet my needs as well as His. I am getting so many needs and desires met through this relationship. However things do or don't unfold with Daddy specifically, I now have a much better idea of the kind of man I truly desire to be in relationship to, and perhaps the specific shape I'd like that relationship to take. No matter how long our connection lasts, the rest of my relationship life will be positively impacted by what I'm learning with Him.

I've been telling myself for quite awhile now how unhealthy relationship immersion is and that it's healthier to focus on the work of my heart rather than who I'm in relationship to. But now I'm doubting the truth in those beliefs. I think it's a matter of being conscious of why I desire to immerse in a relationship like this. I'm not in relationship to Daddy because I have poor self esteem (I wouldn't have lasted this long with Him if I did). I'm not giving up any aspect of myself for Him (in fact He encourages me to be healthy by maintaining a sense of self and shine my light brighter). I'm not in this relationship because I'm playing out an old pattern (this relationship is different than any I've ever had). I'm in this relationship because Daddy and i make amazing magic together, magic that builds us both up in the rest of our lives, magic that brings us pleasure and joy every day. I'm in this relationship - that's also been rather awkward and odd some of the time - because it makes me come alive.

I have to admit that I've been looking really hard for how this is unhealthy, but I can't find it. He and I will have shadow patterns play out, as all relationships do. But my heart tells me this relationship is based on a sharing of light (paradoxically through darkness) and reciprocal support of each others service to the conscious revolution.

Coming back to the Rilke quote above, I want to live this question through this journey with Daddy - how can I shine my light brightest and be most fulfilled in expressing my deep need to serve?

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