Millions of people never analyze themselves. Mentally they are mechanical products of the factory of their environment, preoccupied with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, working and sleeping, and going here and there to be entertained. They don’t know what or why they are seeking, nor why they never realize complete happiness and lasting satisfaction. By evading self-analysis, people go on being robots, conditioned by their environment. True self-analysis is the greatest art of progress."
self-analysis - noun.
An independent methodical attempt to study and comprehend one's own personality, emotions and behaviour
One thing I have done through the years is a lot of self-analysis. I have scrutinised, delved, studied, learnt, and most certainly found a comprehension of myself. My personality. My emotions. My behaviour. But also my wants. My needs. My desires. My strengths. My weaknesses (being dominant doesn't stop us having them either!).
Probably the most in-depth analysis was when I first came across the "lifestyle" and had my lightbulb moment (something I've blogged about previously here). Finding out new things about myself which had always been there, an awareness of things that I hadn't been aware of previously. And in such I began to learn all about the person I am, the personality, the wants, needs, desires, and the more I have learned, the deeper I have delved, and in turn, the greater the knowledge but the deeper the understanding has been.
In doing such self analysis I have been able to find a true understanding of my inner self, a real insight which has granted me an acceptance of myself and who and what I am, of the things that I want, seek, or more so need to bring that complete happiness and lasting satisfaction.
That disection and recognition of "me" ultimately has enabled me to accept everything about the person I am, even when those things go against societal expectations or the societal "norm". It can be hard when we learn things about ourselves which make us different, especially if it is something that others look down upon or are likely to judge. We can often fight against things that we learn, thinking that it is wrong, or we are wrong or that we will be thought of differently by those close to us.
I related a lot to the quote when I first read it. Because in my opinion, such scrutiny does enable us to discover ourselves and it is with this knowledge that we can take positive steps to find all that we want. But it also enables us to know what we do not want, and I strongly believe that is just as important.
It means that we then don't ultimately waste our time working towards something that isn't what we want or accepting something "just because". Life is too short to be wasted on something which doesn't fulfil us. But there will always be things that we may have to compromise on, but knowing ourselves, analysing ourselves enables us to be able to know what those things are.
I have things that I will NOT compromise on at all. I have things that I desire, want or need. And as such, if something doesn't meet those then I don't compromise.
What is the point?
A submissive friend of mine through the years has been within relationships which has only met some needs, and ultimately many have been left unfulfilled and unsatisfied. They have been left feeling incomplete and certainly haven't found the happiness that is wanted or longed for. But so much has come from them not truly knowing themselves, their wants or needs, not having a knowledge or understanding of them. Because they dont know what they want, they don't know how to even begin to find fulfilment. This often leads, as it has done for them, to accepting second best, settling for something less than what is wanted. Often this is with the thought of "something is better than nothing", but, is it?
Not in my opinion. Not for me it isn't.
But some, choose to amble along, finding things out as they go, but then go on a drawn out journey which takes them in directions that they do not want to travel, having to go through things they do not want to, accepting things that seem ok, but aren't right simply because they don't truly know what is wanted or needed. This can lead to a lot of unhappiness, a lot of unfulfilment, a lot of wasted time.
This friend is now in therapy, going through the steps of self analysis to break the circle that they have found themselves in, in the hope that by being insightful, in knowing themselves, their wants, needs and desires that it will lead them on a much more positive path forward, not accepting things less than they want, need or desire or in fact deserve.
It isn't always easy.
We can often be our hardest critics.
We may discover things that we do not like. Things we do not understand. And this in turn can take and need more self analysis, more delving into our innerselves. As the quote suggests, it is progress . . .but its a work in progress. We are always a work in progress.
Sometimes we find things that we cannot understand, we may not know why it exists, we may think it is not really who we are. Analysis and being able to discover these things may not always bring answers straight away, it may and can take time to do so . . .but the results of such self analysis, of knowing ourselves deeply can be positive, whether that comes upon first searching or in the future.
Self analysis helps us to know what we want, and can lead us to a path which when we walk it, is the right one for us, and helps us avoid settling or accepting for something less than we want or need.
In terms of BDSM, in terms of an FLR, in terms of D/s, in terms of kink, self analysis has helped me to find who I truly am, accepting myself for who I am. It has enabled me to know the feelings that I have and where they come from. An understanding of my sadistic needs alongside my emotional ones. The dominant traits along with the need for control. It has enabled me to be able to take control, of myself, of situations and of others. It really has empowered me. It has facilitated my onward journey. It has supplied me with the understanding, with the knowledge, with the opportunity to know me better but also to give me the tools of learning others better, of understanding them, discovering them, accepting them too.
In analysing I know what I want. What I seek. What I desire. What I want.
I know the things that will balance me.
I know the things that I don't want. I know the things that do not work for me. The things I am not willing or prepared to compromise on.
Some may say that makes me picky.
And maybe so.
But it means that ultimately I will not spend time doing something that ultimately will not bring me happiness or fulfilment. That I will not invest into something or someone which ultimately will not work or which isn't what I want or need.
It is of course a never ending learning curve. Life is a never ending journey of learning. Our self analysis doesn't stop, there is always something to learn, to discover, to understand.
As we move forward in different relationships, different dynamics, we come across new things, new situations, new feelings, new emotions and in turn we continue to learn more about ourselves and the analysis is an ongoing progress indeed. But analysis gives us tools to know who we really are and that can only be a positive in securing our happiness, our fulfilment and the things that we desire.