I felt like I’d swallowed rocks. One landed in my stomach; one stuck in my throat. I fell over into a pit, and I couldn’t climb out. I didn’t even try. I just lay there stoning myself with my own judgement.
That’s how I felt after a series of rejections last week.
Rejection cuts like a razor. It makes you believe something is wrong with you. It comes in all kinds of packages:
- A breakup–I’m not pretty enough
- A divorce-I’m not young enough
- Infidelity–I’m not sexy enough
- Criticism–I’m not smart enough
- Being called names–I’m not likable enough
- Uninvited–I’m not fun enough
- Passed over for a promotion–I’m not savvy enough
- No “likes” on a Facebook post–I have no friends
No matter how you sum it up, you’re not enough.
No matter how successful someone is, they’ve been rejected. As common as rejection is, it’s still tough. You feel like you’ve been kicked.
You feel like you’re stuck. You want to hide.
I was in order on the outside–hair, makeup, smile–but I felt like I needed an organ transplant on the inside.
After walking around with my lip poked out, expelling a heavy sigh, every few minutes, I pulled out my Bible. My fingers felt like lead as I tried to flip through the pages. I landed on a verse about suffering. I thought it was appropriate.
It was, but not in the way I’d expected.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
I sucked in some air, closed my eyes and tried to meditate on the words.
Suffering produces endurance.
Endurance produces character.
Character produces hope.
Those words bounced off my heart like water off a hot teflon pan.
I’ve had enough character building, at least for a while.
But, I was reminded–when I crumpled under crippling condemnation-it’s easier to cope when I let others in. Others who can remind me of the good stuff and point me toward it.
I did the “What’s Wrong? Nothing Dance” for a day or so with my husband before I told him.
“I got rejected,” I said with a heavy sigh.
“Everyone gets rejected,” he said, not in a “so-what” way. “Think about how many no’s you get before you get a yes. You just haven’t gotten a “yes” yet.”
I supposed he was right. Rejection is a matter of perspective.
I could either believe I hadn’t gotten a “yes” yet or I could feel rejected.
Truth is, feelings aren’t reality. Feelings are guided by perspective. My perspective.
I’d taken the first step to climbing out of the pit. I’d told someone. Then I did this:
- Acknowledged how I feel
- Invited compassion
- Reminded myself rejection doesn’t define me. It’s one moment in time.
- Learned from it
- Was kind to myself
- Avoided isolating myself
And, God’s word is true, whether I feel like it or not. And He works all things together for the good of those who love Him, including my suffering.
I’d love to hear from you. Spill it. How do you deal with rejection?
Get your real on,