Some crafty meme-maker took a photo of a woman in a challenging yoga pose and wrote the inspirational:
It doesn’t get easier, you just get better.
Then some fresh meme-maker took that and did some line-through and insertion (oh baby) to make it read:
It does get easier, and you also get better.
I can’t decide which one is actually more inspirational. Or more accurate.
For instance, doing a handstand is hard. I can practice that and get stronger and at some point it would presumably be easier for me. I’ve gotten better. The handstand is still a challenging move – it isn’t like all handstands the world over suddenly got easier.
But the reverse is also true. Handstands are now simple, for me.
So which inspires me more? The message “Keep going, it won’t always be this difficult” or the message “You will become strong enough to even do this hard thing.”
It made me think about the thing I value, and around which I seek competence: power exchange.
I sort of think that people see katie and I do power exchange, and have thoughts similar to watching the yoga expert: “Wow, that is so smooth and easy for them.”
But 12 years ago, it was not simple to be in a power exchange for us. We didn’t know how to do it well. We didn’t have the strength to hold to the dynamic naturally.
So… did power exchange get easier, or not? In either meme above the “get better” is constant, so that isn’t really in question.
I’m inclined to say that relationships are hard. In order to be excellent they require all the buzz-words: communication, focus, patience, etc. And being in a power exchange doesn’t make that less true. With power exchange there is an even sharper focus on trust, discretion, fidelity, responsibility. Power exchange relationships are tough.
Do katie and I suddenly NOT have those same issues? Like with yoga or handstands – do joints suddenly hinge differently? Does gravity no longer apply?
Absolutely not! We still have to be extremely attentive and careful about how we do our relationship. It is still a carefully crafted merger between two souls. Things could still devolve into a relationship meltdown if either of us got stupid or lazy.
But… isn’t it easier, even if it isn’t *easier*? Fuck yes it is. We do all those hard things naturally now. We do those effortful things in a way that seems (and feels) somewhat effortless.
Which message is more inspirational to those we teach?
Power Exchange will not always be this hard. You will get better and stronger, and it will be an easy and natural experience. You won’t have to struggle to find and keep your role. You won’t lay awake at night wondering if you are doing it right.
Power Exchange relationships are extremely hard. Leading and following. Trusting and being trustworthy. Pushing for growth while protecting and providing safety. These things will always be hard, and you must be ever mindful or you will lose that which you value. But you will gain the skills and the strength to do it well, and it will become so much part of who you are that you can’t imagine life without it.
Both are true. Maybe like this: