Rejection is everywhere, from…whom dislikes us, to whether or not we can finance a car, or rent an apartment, or land a job or a relationship! And these days, rejection seems to have arrogantly taken a position of such stiff authority over us that one would think it is the only opinion out there! Well, it isn’t! At least it isn’t so for those of us who take rejection to mean other things, particularly the notion: you’re not the boss of me!
Most people say, “Well, rejection hurts!” -and they’re right, it hurts! But the only reason that rejection hurts is because of how attached we became to the object of our attention, without leaving any room for other possible outcomes. Fear of rejection, for starters, is a very crippling thing. It keeps us from fully exploring all possibilities available to us, because there’s that chance that we’ll go rejected if we make our petition known. Some of us are too shy to put ourselves at the forefront of anything, but we mustn’t stifle our shyness further by co-joining it with fear of being rejected. If permitted, to size us up, both the fear of rejection and the rejection itself, determines the level of our self-worth, based solely from the “opinion” of whomever assessed us. And, surely, you have heard the old saying, “Opinions are like noses; everybody has one!” And, it is true, we all have a nose, and an opinion, about everything and everyone, too!
It is, fine, that certain standards are set high and that we are called to “measure up” in order to “fit in” with those criteria. Nothing says that we are to look for and embrace that which, by its own decision to remain unsavory, may cause us harm or other problems. We do it all the time; we pick and choose whom we would spend time with and “reject” those whom don’t really measure up to our standards. But, on the other side of that token, we’re also on that same list when facing the assessment of ourselves by others. It happens both ways: they reject and we reject, as well.
However, when rejected, it is absolutely crucial that we be OK with the turn-down. That we have already previously gained a wonderful opinion of our self, developed loads of compassion for one’s self, and, at the same time, not be so attached to and needy of the object of our attention that it would crush us when not accepted. To survive that stiff authority, we must take on, and truly believe, the air that says, “You’re not the boss of me! My happiness and self-worth isn’t dependent upon whether or not you accept me. If I can’t have you, or this thing or that thing, it only means that something better IS on the way to me. I am your loss. You are not my loss; you are my gain of something grander.”
There’s nothing to fear about rejection. It’s God’s protection and a nudge in a better direction.
Simultaneously, though, we cannot afford to sit around and not work on self-improvement either. If you notice, some of the happiest people on earth, besides toddlers, are those with handicaps. They know they are “different,” and yet are so full of love, grace, joy, and self-acceptance, they put to shame those of us that have everything going for ourselves but are consumed with dejection and fear of rejection! In essence, those who are different are [or should be] our greatest teachers, for they genuinely convey the message: You’re NOT the Boss of Me! I like and love myself, just as I am, and if you can’t appreciate my unique beauty, then you’re the ugly one, through and through!
Discard being too attached to the approval of others. Neither you nor I arrived in this world to be anybody’s chalkboard, easily erased and reconfigured because that other person muses how they’d like us to be. At the end of the day, everyone is a unique work of art. Learn to love your own individuality first, and how to appreciate the differences of others.