I have always felt that with submission should come grace. A submissive / slave should show grace, act graceful, speak gracefully, and, in all things, not look like a jackass - thus bringing the height of her training down. I cannot say, truthfully, that I have always BEHAVED gracefully, but I always felt so.
When you switch gears from submissive mode to survival mode, though, all grace goes out the window - even if you are trying hard to maintain some semblance of grace. When I shuttled out of submissive mode and straight into am-I-going-to-live mode, all grace went out the window. I became a crass, foul-mouthed, rotten old lady. I dropped the f-bomb all the time. I was grumpy and mean, and I know that I did not always behave in the manner I was taught (or self-taught). It was strictly surviving from day to day.
However, I know someone who has stage 4 cancer. That means that her cancer is never going away. The goal, for her, right now is not to beat cancer but to see how long she can live with the cancer. And this woman is amazingly graceful in everything she does. And I noted a marked difference between how this woman behaves and myself last night when I hosted a forum. I was still crass and foul-mouthed, and I know I was not graceful.
As I am slowly coming out of survival mode and back into the world, I wonder if I can achieve that state of grace again. I wonder if I can rise up to the standards I kept for myself and the standards that would be appreciated by a dominant partner.
All I can do is try...