I’ve had to face rejection so many times, I’ve lost count.
I’ve watched people attending my talks cross their arms, and roll their eyes at me.
I even recently met someone I believed was a potential student tell me they wished their previous teacher would teach the class I’m teaching – they just loved him so much, and did I know how he was doing? Did I know if he’d be back?
And I used to respond to these situations by trying to become a little different – more like a person who those people wouldn’t reject.
But that was exhausting! When we try to make people who have rejected us accept us, we can’t be authentic. When we aren’t authentic, we aren’t wholly tapped into our Divinity, which means we aren’t tapped into the inspiration and joy that comes with our authenticity.
I had to learn to see rejection as a de-selection process, so I could re-direct my efforts.
De-selection – in that I don’t want to pour energy into situations where my gifts aren’t received and welcomed. When I’m rejected it draws a clear boundary for me to honor.
Re-direction – then I can turn away from that situation and move toward where I belong.
Recently I again faced rejection with someone in my community life who doesn’t appreciate my music. My first reaction was to find a song he’d like, so I could be accepted and enfolded into his community.
But then I remembered that for me, rejection triggers obsession – and I knew my authentic self didn’t want anything to do with his project.
I first honored that it doesn’t feel great to be rejected, but reminded myself if I tried to force it, I’d be miserable, and stuck having to constantly seek his approval.
With that choice, he passed through my de-selection process – I won’t try again to “belong” to his project because I was instead re-directed toward those things that inspire me and bring me joy.
True – rejection feels lousy. But when we can honor that, we can see it as the force that de-selects from our lives those situations that would make us suffer. That then gives us the freedom to move toward our place of true belonging.