Sustainable Service

by Jouet

There’s an aspect of service that is a direct reflection of how I feel about the person. In some part of my heart, love is expressed through how I serve. So, when I am in love with my owner, there’s that part of me that wants to give as much as I can and then more, because what I give never feels like it’s enough to truly capture how I feel about him.

Granted, I don’t think I’m particularly unique in that regard. For someone who serves, there can be a desire to find ways to give and give, and somehow summon superhuman strength to give some more. The rub is that this can, at times, be to their own detriment (burnout, exhaustion, feeling like you are on call all the time, failing to balance personal time and growth with the focus on someone else).

I find this to be especially true when I’m living in his home because it makes sense that if he needs something in the middle of the night, I am truly on call for him and it’s reasonable (in our world) for him to expect I will wake up and do it.

There’s no magic pill that will allow me to balance it all and somehow make more hours in the day to get everything done. I am human property and that’s where my best intentions and reality seem to bump heads.

We never cease to be human (and for this, I am grateful). However, that means there will be distractions and things that prevent s-types from effortlessly serving every waking moment. Fatigue, illness, family obligations or job duties (unless you are ordered to stop working and he assumes financial responsibility for you). You will have to figure out with him how he will handle potential burnout and exhaustion, or if he expects you to be the one to be responsible and self aware enough to maintain a healthy balance while serving him.

Logically, I understand this. I get it, I really do. I have no doubt of my limitations of time and energy. I know about balance and how essential it is to my well being.

Yet, I do struggle once I get started in my supercharged Pepper Potts mode. It’s difficult at times for me to know recognize when I can do “just one more thing” to get things absolutely perfect, and when the best thing I can do to serve him is ignore the task list in my head and just relax at his feet.

I struggle with finding the balance.

Because I don’t want to shortchange him.

Because how thoroughly I serve him is a tangible way to see how grateful I am to be his and how much I absolutely adore him.

Because I take some pride in the idea that I’m übercompetent. I want my service to seem effortless and don’t like to admit that I’m overextended, whether it is due to his expectations for me, or from outside sources like work and social obligations… even though I know that’s not my call to make. Knowing doesn’t make it easier some days.

Because “service equals reverence/gratitude/love” to me in some way that stubbornly defies logic. Above all else, my struggle is because I think he is an amazing rock star and it seems like I cannot give him “enough” in return.

The ironic part is that while it is in my nature to want to do everything, it sometimes turns out Master would be happier with less “tired from doing everything” and more “balanced, refreshed companion”.

This means relaxing, recharging, taking “me” time is critical to my being able to serve him fully as his Courtesan… as well as his Pepper Potts.

There are times when I have to remind myself: I may want to push myself harder than what he wants from me and in areas that he may not deem a priority… and ultimately it is what he wants that makes it service.

If he doesn’t want it, it’s not service. It’s nice to have and it makes me feel good to pamper him in the way I feel he deserves to be treated but… it’s not service. This is particularly true if my vision for how to serve him is not at a level that can be sustainable or even desirable for my dynamic at this time.

From time to time, I do have to reconcile what he wants from me and what I ache to give, without it feeling like I’m unable to express my devotion. I have to remind myself that there are a variety of ways to give and he determines the ways he wants.

I am grateful that he scales me back and redirects my service to a more balanced mix when he sees fit to do so. Sometimes that means directing me to cut back on social obligations, or adjusting my workout schedule. Sometimes it is reducing my hours at work or reviewing my personal service to him and adjusting it. Sometimes it is him being very clear about what he wants from me, right now.

In that case, I demonstrate my devotion to him by letting go of my own ideas about what I should be doing and yielding to his vision of what he wants from me.

While the concept of wanting to give ‘everything’ is romantic and demonstrates no limit to what you are able and willing to give… it is paramount to remember this puts an enormous responsibility on him to be ready to receive something of that magnitude and to know how to manage it. And it is critical to be sure that I am spending my energies serving in the ways he wants, so that I can continue this level of service long term.

His goal for me is balance, sustainability in service, and something which allows for personal growth, happiness, and recharging, all of which create better service to him.

copyright Jouet © 2013 – No portion of this article may be reproduced without the written permission of the author.  Original essay on FetLife