Submission… yup you heard that right
There was a time when I felt revolted and rebellious whenever I heard this word. It always connoted male or parental domination and my gut response never even allowed me to open myself up, consider the meaning and dissect what’s possible with this word, this action.
David Deida was the first to FORCE me to open my eyes with his book “The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work and Sexual Desire.” I admit that when this book was first recommended to me by a (male) friend, I gagged, thinking no way would I seek this book out. My friend raved so about it that I promised him I’d check it out. Wow, my life shifted as I read about the superior man, not an ego driven, Type A leader of sorts but a man who commits himself to understanding his partner, learns how to communicate with her inherent femaleness and knows when and how to act such that his partner will submit to him. Yes, submit.
Why is submission critical? Because it feels good. To be fair here, David also knows that there are times when men want to and feel good submitting to their women too. I went on to read all of Deida’s books and my favorite of his is “Intimate Communion.” I’ll let you read some of his books if you are so inclined, but suffice it to say that my mind became open to the notion of SUBMISSION, my views and feelings of being a woman completely shifted – definitely an upgrade – and my life has changed for the better.
With my newfound openness to the possibilities of submission, I began to realize that submission is actually an ultimate act of love, tenderness, caring and responsibility. When my children were newborns, I easily and naturally submitted to their cries by holding, nursing, carrying, singing and engaging with them. My devotion to mothering submission, if you will, felt right and responsible. It felt like love and connection because the results were always so satisfying: baby stops crying, gazes into my eyes, smiles, drifts off to sleep. As they grew into toddlers, submission was less necessary but still valuable: when she needs MAMA! I drop whatever I’m doing and give her all my attention… I know her hunger and sleep patterns so I am sure to make myself submit completely to satisfy them. As toddlers grow into full-fledged kids with their own (mostly) lives, submission is even less necessary but still feels good when my child needs me for advice or to listen to his ideas or to help him plan an outing or event or project. Yes, I am available to you, right now. I will assist you in any way that I can, right now.
I’d never realized before that this was what I was doing, submitting. The reason the word is important is because it so clearly says what the act is: one of letting go of one’s own thoughts and agenda and releasing oneself to the needs or dictates of another. Despite what I had previously believed about submission, that it was a dominant or controlling, even abusive, act, I now realized that, at least in my world, in wasn’t that at all. In fact, submission never involved the control of another, but rather, love.
The reason I am dissecting this today is because the beauty of learning submission as an act of love demonstrates how naturally children then also learn submission. When I need my child’s attention quickly and say so, he comes running. He has learned from me how to do this. He’s never learned from me how to “take orders” or “obey,” but rather submit to my genuine needs. The miraculous beauty of sharing life with children is that they keep you in check so that you never misuse submission, should it become tempting to play that card for things that don’t actually call for submission… but that’s a different subject and a very long one…. that I’ve covered in many different ways in prior blog posts.
The reason submission is important is because it is a part of the life of FLOW, the dynamic, always changing, always evolving, joyful, feel good interplay of lives we lead as families in community with one another. I now believe that submission is in fact an essential element in living a life in FLOW… even though I only recently realized it as a succinct and accurate description of how we lived as a family. Years ago I would have had a much harder time explaining this… and submission does it. As you immerse yourself in the flow of submission, does it feel as good to you as it does to me?