Often when I come to write here, it's because I've had a lightbulb moment and I feel the desire to share what I've discovered, realized or figured out. Still other times it's because I've learned a lesson and want to do my best to help you avoid it, or learn from my mistakes. I may have been a submissive, turned slave for over 11 years, but I am far from the perfection I seek every day in my service to KnyghtMare. I make mistakes, some small, some large and for that, I am corrected, disciplined or punished.  Yet, even when I'm being punished there's a lesson to be learned. It's not just about the lesson that the Dominant is trying to teach you, but for yourself; how to repair faith in yourself and your chosen submission, how to lift the guilt and how to humbly move on in apology, progress, and recovery.

Unfortunately, mistakes do happen and slips can occur at any point in your personal submissive journey. I'd like to make a distinction here though that some rules should never be broken and there are lines that should never be crossed. The fate of your relationship could be contingent on your obedience within these limits. But we all have rules and/or directions from our Dominants for things they prefer that we do or how to act that we, as submissives, sometimes forget. It can be intentional, which is a fracture of the relationship's communication, in my opinion. Or accidental, in a case of slipped focus. You know that there are rules and yet you've let one slip in a moment of spontaneousness, through peer pressure of friends or family or you simply did forget. For the purpose of the article, I want to steer clear of the relationship ending mistakes and talk about the ones that mean you slipped or that you need correction and discipline to move past the infraction.

I'm currently being punished for something that while it's not inconsequential to my relationship with KnyghtMare it's not important to know what it is for this article. I have a week of punishment and then he will consider the error corrected, I'll have atoned for it and it will be forgiven. All of this is with the understanding that I'm not to do it again. I'm to learn from my mistake and the punishment is to remind me what is at stake. I'm also constantly reminded that I upset him, disappointed him and that's hard to feel and work though. But it also gives me time to reflect and repair the damage not only to my submission to Master but also the faith in myself to submit and honor KnyghtMare with my service.

Sure I could spend the whole week beating myself up over my mistake but nothing good has ever come from guilt. I first need to forgive myself and then to ask for forgiveness from KnyghtMare. This is a difficult step for anyone because it means admitting you were wrong (even if in your situation you feel you were in the right). A simple, heartfelt "I'm sorry," goes a long way to making the changes you need. There are more elaborate ways to apologize, such as my apology for small slips in behavior which is "I'm sorry Master, I'm a bad girl." Find the way that works for you and your dynamic.

Moving past apology is a hard step for most of the submissives I know and talk to because of the guilt we burden ourselves with. It can eat at us for hours, days and weeks if we let it. But learning to let it go is an important step in growing as a submissive and as a person. How you handle guilt from punishment is a personal thing, but I find journaling to be a strong outlet for me. Then working out how to prevent the mistake in the future can give me the positive progress I need to let the guilt go. Whatever it is, guilt will only hinder your progress. The sooner you can release it, the sooner you can recover your faith in yourself and your positive outlook on your submission.

By this stage, you may be still in punishment if your Dominant applies grounding techniques, or if your relationship has physical punishment you probably have already been served. At this point, you need to realize that once the punishment is over the infraction is dealt with and your Dominant wants nothing else but to move on and stop dwelling on it - and they want you to not do it again. If you continue to carry guilt and mope about because of what you did and that you got caught (oh noes!) it counters what you should be doing.

Make a plan, in your head or on paper on how to correct your mistake. Often it just means avoiding the thing that lured you to begin with. It could mean you end relationships or activities if things need to be drastic enough. In the end, it all depends on the mistake you made and why you are in trouble to begin with. Use realistic steps to help you work through your mistake. Take those necessary steps to your Dominant to help you progress. A support system is definitely helpful. If you don't have a support system you could develop your own personal accountability plan. Whatever you choose, progress is best rewarded.

We can do this, together. Learning from mistakes is a part of the journey. Sure it's a setback, but it's never a dead end. Good luck and remember you can improve and get past your mistakes.