As we begin to explore the gifts of rejection let’s first define rejection for the purposes of this article. Essentially rejection is getting a ‘NO’ from life. We’ve all experienced this many many times and it always seems to suck right?
Not only does it ‘suck’ it can be devastating and gut wrenching. I would have to say that often rejection takes us to our core wounds like nothing else can. But why does rejection have this kind of power?
I want you to think of a time when you were rejected or told ‘no’, bring it up in your mind very clearly. Once you’ve got that memory online begin to explore what that rejection brought up for you.
First, did it show you how you may have been ‘rejecting’ parts of yourself? I see that as the most obvious insight most folks connect to. And I would say that the usefulness of considering how we may be mirrored with self-rejection via rejection from others is the first gift of rejection. Yet, I have found there is something deeper on offer. Keep that memory of rejection present and let’s go a little deeper…
The Main Gift of Rejection is How We ‘Fill in the Gap’
Pause for a moment and reflect on the rejection memory I had you retrieve. Now ask yourself “When I was rejected, what emotional feelings came up for me specifically?” Got those feelings present? Now ask, ‘What story did I create as to why I was rejected?’
I sense that when we are rejected it opens up a gap in us where we begin to question ourselves. And then we tend to immediately fill in that gap with something and that ‘something’ is usually a shame-based story of unworthiness.
For example, we begin to ask, ‘Why did they reject me? Why didn’t I get that job? What’s wrong with me? Why won’t that person requite my feelings for them? Am I not sexy, smart, handsome, healed, enlightened, worthy…ENOUGH YET? Haven’t I cleared enough issues and done enough work on myself? And herein lies the gift!
Rejection acts like a cosmic homeopathy. It triggers our system with something reminiscent of our core sense of abandonment and shame bringing that core stuff to the surface of awareness for healing. It helps us meet our core wounding in a NY minute. In that minute we are gifted with an exquisite opportunity to make contact with our wounded beliefs about ourselves and love ourselves more.
We get to explore our fears of abandonment and sense of worthlessness. We get to dialogue with our shame. And if we are willing to look at this territory in ourselves with unconditional perception, we will see that we also have feelings of rejection regarding God. We then get to explore our unconscious shame based projections onto the Divine and heal that relationship too.
So what story have you filled in the gap with when you have been rejected? What did you assume about yourself and others as to why you were rejected or told ‘no’? What did you assume about the Divine? Is God a relentless taskmaster that you must please in order to finally get a ‘yes’? Or is the Divine an unconditionally present and loving force in your life, only giving you ‘no’s’ when it serves your growth and the highest good of all?
Often times, when rejected, we fail to fill in the gap with the truth of why we got a ‘no’. Instead we default to the lies born out of our childhood neglect, abuse, parental abandonment, and indoctrinated shame based beliefs about a God we have to earn love from because of our inborn ‘original sin’ (what a bunch of B.S.!! grrrr). We also mistake someone telling us ‘no’ for God telling us ‘no’. As if a one mere mortal were our sole source of opportunities to get a ‘yes’!
Rarely do we realize the beauty, gift, and opportunity present when someone refuses to meet a need or leaves us at the ‘altar of love’. Indeed there are many opportunities available when we don’t get what we want – when we are simply told ‘no’. If the gift is to emotionally connect with your past shame and abandonment so you can make conscious the stories you believe about yourself — are you in? No, I mean it…ARE YOU IN?
That brings me to my closing thoughts regarding the gifts of rejection that I’ll offer as a few questions: What strategies do you use to avoid dealing with rejection in the first place? Have you been driven to codependently manage others so they won’t leave you/reject you? Are you driven by perfectionism so no one can reject your flawlessness? Do you people please and shape shift so everyone likes you? Are you constantly trying to be a ‘good’ person so the Divine doesn’t send its raging wrath your way or abandon you?
Ah yes, rejection indeed is a gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s tracking your reactive strategies to avoid it, or using the experience of it to explore your deeper wounds and claim your awesomeness; my prayer is that you’ll always stay open to the gifts of rejection.
Intuitive Life Strategist