God, As A Most Delightful Daddy Dom

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

As of tomorrow, it’ll have been eight weeks since I last ate refined sugar. This would have been “pretty impressive” during a decent year, but in the Age of Pandemic, the fact that I haven’t stress-eaten a cake a day has been nothing short of miraculous.

The big question is, how have I given up sugar for so long when I’m constantly craving a big ol’ glass of chocolate milk?

The answer: By using the Lent abstinence, compassionately, as a brain hack.

See, I believe that religion is at its most useful when it’s not merely faith, but also doubles as a brain hack to make you a more resilient, more compassionate person regardless of whether God exists or not. That’s a concept neatly stolen from Alan Moore’s thoughts on magick, where he says that casting spells isn’t really about shaping the world, but are simply a way of using patterns to rearrange your own consciousness.

Which is why for me, prayer isn’t about helping people. If I’m spending more time praying for people than I am actually helping them, then I’m failing. My days are spent calling politicians, listening to friends when I can, and donating to charity.

With that in mind, my prayer is a sort of anxiety-reducer for the large-scale things I can’t control – things like pandemics, wars, politics, and so forth. I quiet down and talk to God, trusting that He (or She, or It) has a plan – and I do genuinely believe that, but even if I didn’t, focusing on a belief that everything’s going to be okay is a meditative way of hacking my brain to get my ass to calm the hell down.

Because yeah, if I turned on the logic circuits in my brain and said, “Everything’s gonna be fine,” then my asshole brain would devise a thousand reasons why everything is spiralling out of control. But focusing on a compassionate being watching over us all – even if they’re imaginary – helps short-circuit those frantic concerns. And I need those concerns quelled, because as noted, I’ve done all I know how to do already, so stressing about the economy 24/7 will just break me down.

So I have this twinned issue: I believe, and also that belief is useful. I never assume prayer will be helpful for anyone else, because everyone should process stress in their own way. But that’s how it works for me. God is both a reality and a way to cut through the conscious levels of thought straight to the amygdala.

Which is how Lent happened to be useful.

I heard a priest discussing Lent not as a time of abnegation, but as a time of self-care. The point, said the priest, was not to grudgingly give up your favorite hobbies for six weeks; the point was that you knew what was hurting you in your life, and God wanted you to stop hurting, so why not take the time to get closer to him?

Which flipped a switch. (Or, perhaps, flipped my switchy tendencies, ha ha ha.)
I’d been dreading Lent, because six weeks of no chocolate milk? Six weeks without the nectar of life? How?!?

But that concept made me go, “You know all that sugar is hurting you. I know you can’t give it up for yourself, but what about envisioning doing it for a being who absolutely loves you and wants you to be happy?”

That… felt like a Daddy Dominant.

Which is to say that there’s a lot of BDSM relationships that aren’t predicated so much on bloody whippings and ball gags so much as “You’re not good at taking care of yourself for yourself, so let’s externalize that focus.” There’s a lot of people who take their medications because their dominant sends them a text every morning reminding them that part of their relationship is, yes, working out and taking time for themselves. You don’t take your medications for yourself, but as part of a ritual that affirms your bond for another person.

You devote yourself to another person, who in turn wants you to devote yourself.

So whenever I felt the itch for a big gloppy eclair, I thought, “If there is someone all-loving who treasures me, do I want to disappoint them by shoveling this food into my face?” And I felt them saying, “You know what’s right, don’t you?” And I let my putting the eclair aside be an act of devotion to someone else.

Basically, I hacked my brain out of an eclair. (And my brain really likes eclairs.)

And yeah, it’d be nice if I could externalize that concern to someone actual, like my daughters or my wife. (Which I have, to some extent – on the days I really want to skip a workout, I think of my daughter Erin stressing out over my heart and then I get to the weights.) But those real people have real disappointments, and if I fuck up they might yell at me – or even leave me. Whereas the God I envision might sigh a bit, but the all-loving, mysterious creator knows down to the atom precisely what a fuckup I am and still cares, so I don’t carry that extra stress of “Must be perfect in quitting sugar or I’ll be alone.”

And so it’s two weeks past Lent, and here I am, still not tucking into the boxes of Girl Scout cookies on top of the fridge.

Still. I’ll have a chocolate milk some day. This isn’t about refraining for the sake of refraining. Part of the deal with a Daddy Dom is that they know you fuck up from time to time, or even just need a break. A really compassionate Daddy Dom gives days off, understands the times when you’re so wracked you need to deviate from the routine, and will be stern but loving on the days you forget.

It is weird to think of God as my Daddy Dom. But honestly? I’m a big fan of whatever works. And if I gotta be a little closer to God to get me a little further away from diabetes, well, I’ll take it.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous Alex
    Apr 22, 2020

    I have this one pencil, with which I have filled in the letter-circles of every significant standardized test I’ve taken since I was taking significant standardized tests (let’s call that mid-to-late teens).

    I have always done very well on standardized tests, and of course that fact has nothing to do with my Pencil. But while I recognize that it is me and not the pencil which does well, focusing on the Pencil (and a few other personal traditions) does help me sidestep much of my anxiety about said tests . . . which, if it doesn’t help, at least can’t hurt my performance.


All Comments Will Be Moderated. Comments From Fake Or Throwaway Accounts Will Never Be approved.