At our core, we all just want to be acknowledged, valued, and told that the very things that inspire us can help to make a difference in the world. Our gifts, the talents and traits we cherish as our own unique imprints on this world do carry a lot of weight when we find our tribe, the right group of like-minded individuals who mirror our beliefs and motivations. So when we put ourselves out there, wear our identities as our cloaks, we hope that we will be accepted for who we are, for what we can bring to the conversation, to the table. But rejection of our gifts, our beliefs, who we are at our core is a very bitter pill to swallow.
It's hard not to get discouraged when something we believe in, something or someone we felt we aligned with turns out not to be meant for us. It's hard to accept that what we want sometimes is not always going to come to us or show up in our lives so easily. It's easy to let the rejection chip away at us, make us feel like we have no value and aren't worthy. Rejection feels horrible. No, rejection is worse than a slap in the face, it is worse than the twisting of the knife in our hearts, it is more intense than a pounding ache in our ears. Rejection quite simply translates to us not being right for something. So we start to doubt who we are. We let rejection cloud the very fact that we are still incredible despite not being chosen.
I have wrestled with all kinds of rejections for the last four years and it has become quite the mountain in my journey. I have been rejected in my career choices by clients who's needs and wants didn't meet mine. I have been rejected by long-time friends sometimes for reasons I never will know. I have been rejected by lovers and partners who took from me what I choose to give and then left me blindsided when our timing or our hearts no longer aligned. I've been rejected by potential employers, one right after the other never knowing the reasons why. Rejection without knowing or response is perhaps the most difficult because as humans we want to know why. We are programmed to ask, why. But life does not always provide these answers.
Somedays rejection is easy. Something or someone just was not meant for you and that's okay. Something or someone else will be, eventually. Somedays, rejection is a real son-of-a-bitch and it can bear down on you and make you examine your life and send you into a spiral of confusion and misplaced self-doubt. It can be really hard to get out of that hole. All of the doubts, founded or not, can come quickly raining down on you, leaving you feeling emotionally drained, raw, and less than optimistic about the future. It's easy to stay there and let those unfounded feelings add up. We must not be good enough, worthy enough if these rejections keep persisting. Thank God for therapy.
1. I don't fight the emotions that are tied to the rejection. I let them flow because trying to stuff them back down just makes them explode eventually like some crazed jack-in-the-box later.
2. I breathe and find the facts. This one has taken me a while to learn. The breathing part comes easy, but sifting out what I think could be the truth of the situation isn't always easy to discern or may never be available.
3. I remind myself of my worth. This also has taken some mastery, and I still fumble from time to time. Women especially are not programmed to toot our own horns. So we speak softly, try to cover up and go unnoticed. Thank God that's changing so much these days, too.
It would make things easy if everything in life went our way. I keep wondering when I'm going to hit my stride again. Somedays I feel like I could move that mountain, but then something like rejection happens and I'm back to the doubt, the stress and the worry. But those are feelings, not facts, so I give them their space and I bring in a little kindness, sometimes chocolate, and I learn to take another stab at it the next day. We are what we are. We are work's in progress, that much is guaranteed.