I tend to think of Daddy as big and strong, my rock in a world of chaos. I say that I don't put him up on a pedestal, but I probably do. In my eyes, he can do no wrong.
On an intellectual level, I know that's not true. Everyone makes mistakes. It happens. But to me, even Daddy's mistakes have purpose. And no mistake of his is so serious that it can't be forgiven.
Our pasts affect our present, even when we're trying not to let them, they do. I know this, too. In the beginning, I had to actively remind myself not to compare Daddy to anyone else I'd ever known. I had to actively remind myself that submitting to one Dominant is different than submitting to another. That was my past trying to encroach on my present. (And hell, that's only one example.)
In trying to choose between this condo or that town house while we plan our move, I became frustrated a few times because Daddy seemed so unsure. I said, more than once, "Daddy, I trust you. If you say this place will work, I believe you. If you say it won't, I believe that too. Just tell me."
Our conversations went no where. He and I are both thinkers - and can overthink ourselves into a blackhole with no hope of return, if allowed. I knew this could be part of the problem, but finally, finally, he said something that made it all make sense...
"Babygirl, I spent my entire marriage being told I was wrong about everything..."
He might have said something else after that, but I didn't hear it. My wheels were spinning, and I realized I was treating him as if he'd always been my Daddy, my Dominant with no crazy past of his own. He didn't spring forth from the ground fully formed into Kayla's Daddy. He has a past that he has to deal with just as much as I have to deal with my own. He has years of a bad relationship to deal with just like I do.
The moment he said it, I knew what I had to do. I have to help him trust himself. He makes good decisions - he thinks things through, weighs the pros and cons, and then makes the best decision possible with the information he has. Better yet, he listens when I offer a different perspective or a bit of advice based on my own experiences. I have no doubts about his ability to make good decisions.
I'm a big believer in listening to your instinct. If I'd trusted my instinct earlier in life, a lot of things would be very different. Daddy has to learn to listen to his gut, too. So I started helping him. Every time a decision needs to be made, and we've discussed every single detail ad nauseum (as thinkers are wont to do), I ask him one simple question.
"What does your gut say?"
I promised Daddy that because of the way we've been making decisions lately, I'm never going to belittle his decisions or second-guess him - even if we discover later that it was a mistake. I reminded him that hindsight is always 20-20 and it's much easier to second-guess someone than it is to jump in, solve problems, and be the decider. I reminded him that I support him 100% and the only time he has to worry about that support is when he cuts me out of the decision-making process or he doesn't communicate with me.
I tell you all of this to remind you that it's not just submissives who need strength and guidance. Submissives aren't the only ones with a past to overcome. Dominants, in all stripes and forms, need the same thing - just in a different way. Lending Daddy strength has nothing to do with taking control (that's his job). My form of strength is letting him know that I trust him and believe in him, that I support him completely.
Dominance and submission is about give and take. From the outside, most people think the Dominant does the taking and the submissive only gives. That couldn't be further from the truth. There is a push and pull, yin and yang movement to a good D/s relationship. I think the same can be said of solid vanilla relationships, too, but it's an easier dichotomy to see in D/s because the roles are often clearly defined. For Daddy and I, our strengths and weaknesses complement one another, and we fit together exactly like a puzzle.