The theme that keeps recurring in my world lately is rejection – and fear of rejection. We’re rejected by our employers, even those of us who thought we would never be the “ones to go.” We’re rejected by our spouses, even some of us who thought that only happened to other people. We’re rejected by our children, our neighbors, our friends, even our parents. “Why don’t they want me?” is our siren’s song. And if we aren’t actually rejected, we struggle with the constant ache in our chests that something may be amiss, that rejection is just around the corner, waiting to bite.
This pain we experience as a result of rejection seems uniquely obsessive. It follows us through our days as we try to serve the people who are still in our lives, who still need our attention. It leaves us wondering what’s wrong with us, what’s missing. We obsess about our rejecter – how could he not want me? How could they fire me? How could she never call me back? When we wake, she is the first image in our minds, and while we’re stirring dinner on the stove, there she is again.
Rejection brings an uncommon set of challenges to even the strongest spirit. A person who has everything and everyone will obsess only about the one person he cannot win over. The insecurity that can accompany rejection is profound, sometimes lasting for years. We think on a deep level that we’re not good enough, not smart enough, not thin enough. After all, if we were – he never would have rejected us. Right? Wrong. Rejection isn’t about him, or her, or whoever is doing the rejecting. It’s about us!
This is what I believe on this subject – rejection brings the precise level of pain we need to learn the lesson only it can teach, and it will come just as hard and unrelenting as we need it to.
Bring it on. Reject me. Let me fall to my knees with insecurity. Good things are learned there anyway. And what is my option? Never asking? Never loving? Never learning? Unacceptable.
Today I am grateful for rejection. Sweet, sweet teacher of so many truths.