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Spiritual ABC's -- Letter F

In both your private and public lives, discover the sweet release that comes from forgiving others. Feel the healing balm of being forgiven and of forgiving yourself.

Spiritual Literacy -- Reading the Spiritual in Everyday Life, by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat.

I have mostly done this series in fairly general terms, and have mostly avoided speaking directly to BDSM related applications of these ideas.  Not with this one.  For this one, I think there is much to be said for learning to forgive; to bring down on ourselves and our relationships the healing balm of being forgiven and forgiving...

If there is one thing that challenges those of us who seek to live in intimate relationships, and particularly those of us who live within power dynamics, it is the work of forgiveness.  We do so much structuring and negotiating on the front end of our connections that we get bound up in the expectations that we create.  We expect our dominant partners to be strong and good and intelligent and perceptive and decisive and wise and balanced and fair and honest and...  Along the same lines, we expect our submissive partners to be faithful and loyal and obedient and serene and open and self-aware and flexible and transparent and ...  How often do our "contracts" (explicit or implicit) begin with the assertion and expectation that our partners, on either side of the power equation, are HUMAN, and therefore, inevitably, fallible?

Submissive women are the worst at this one.  We put our menfolk up on sky-high pedestals; proclaim their greatness far and wide; and then behave as if their clay feet are some sort of personal affront.  When they stumble... screw up... or act like pure through and through jerks, we carry on like a hound dog with our tails caught under the runners of a rocker -- and whine and bitch about how our trust is "broken."

Now, I know that there are some insults to the integrity of a relationship that cannot BE forgiven.  Each person has to define that line for themselves and for their particular relationship.  But most faults and failings are miles from the "unforgivable" line.  I suspect that too many of us pour gasoline on our most treasured relationships and then stand back and toss a match at it just because we've painted ourselves into a corner of mythical "perfect or nothing" fairytale foolishness.

What sweetness we might find if we'd just learn to forgive, and be forgiven.  And then, when we do forgive, we ought to do it completely.  Once.  For all and all.  I like this quote by Marlene Dietrich:

Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.



  1. I, too, like the quote. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Like the quote, but love the sentiment. Should be required reading for newbies!

  3. This is a great post and very meaningful to me in my life- thanks


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