4 things I didn’t let rejection teach me

rejection comes in many shapes, sizes and arenas. it pops up in friendships, familial situations, professional settings and as many people know, romantic relationships. I’ve encountered quite a bit of the aforementioned (like a sampler of L’s if you wish) but could never accept it for what it was.  here’s a list of what I’m finally willing to take from rejection & admit to myself:

1. FALSE HUMILITY IS A THING…and it’s terrible. it pretends to be at peace. it pretends to be rational and apologetic. it acts like it’s okay with rejection but eventually shows itself in statements like:

“I know I’m not perfect but…” | “I know I said/did ____ but you said/did…” | “I’m sorry if…” | “I don’t expect anything from you but” | the list goes on.

I honestly, truly believed I was so humble. like, Mother Teresa humble even though I was quick to pull one of those lines. in reality, I rarely accepted my role in conflict. when I did, it was followed by a tirade about how the other person(s) had done far more, far worse and why I was SO undeserving of such horrific treatment. false humility often assumes that scorned victim role to ease the pain of rejection.

my personal favorite would come around the end of romance or a situationship: “It’s okay, one day they will see I am the real thing/best thing that ever happened to them…but by then it will be too late”

…didn’t know if that day would actually come or if it would really be too late, but pretending made me feel better!

2. DON’T DISH WHAT YOU CAN’T TAKE… if I chose to walk away from something or someone, I did so with little remorse and wouldn’t look back. if I needed to distance myself in order to “protect my peace” or beat someone to the punch (in more honest terms), it was cool. because in those cases, guess who was in control? but when people decided to walk away or distance themselves from me

i was all like “oh, issa problem”. truth is, not being able to handle the same treatment you give others is pretty trash. wanting to be in control of every aspect of your interaction with others is immature and selfish. that was all me. ya girl wouldn’t let go unless SHE said so. she also turned into a whole child if the tables were turned. you’ll just have to imagine the chaos that caused me because this ain’t the post and I don’t have the energy to share those stories yet.

3. PEOPLE CAN’T BE INTIMIDATED OR MANIPULATED INTO STICKING AROUNDWhen the phrase “they know better” is often used to describe another adult’s adherence to to your “rules” or expectations, yikes. if a bad attitude, volatile emotions or erractic behavior is the dreaded result of disappointment, people might walk on eggshells around you. as some did around me. during that time, I prouly described my temper as a minefield because as long as you didn’t step on a trigger, I was a great person to have around! but who wants to be on guard around someone 24/7?!

admitting to a fear of being rejected isn’t easy but eventually, that fear will show itself in other behavior.

this goes back to the control issue; after being mistreated or abandoned by different people in my past, I sought out a way to prevent that from continuing. my intentions were just to protect myself but lowkey, I became manipulative. God blessed me with people who called me out and helped me get to the root of the problem. now I’m learning to establish and maintain relationships in much healthier ways. admitting to a fear of being rejected isn’t easy. but eventually, that fear will show itself in other behavior.

4. REJECTION IS A-OKAY… people have walked out of my life and now, I get that it’s okay. I didn’t get jobs I really wanted, I’ve been let go from a position I kinda liked and friendships I thought would last forever have fizzled out. ALL OF THAT IS PERFECTLY OKAY! and that “okay” doesn’t come with a splash of

“rejection is God’s redirection” | “better is out there” | “they didn’t deserve you”….blah blah blah. while those things are true sometimes, that’s not always the case.

I mean rejection—as that and that alone— is legitimately okay! it provides a chance to grow in humility. it allows opportunity to acknowledge your own flaws to determine whether or not you even want to change. rejection teaches you fine-tune your life to the answer “NO” because we will not always hear “yes”. people will not stick around forever and that’s something to be thankful for! no matter how badly we want to believe we are God’s perfect gift to mankind, we are all flawed. sometimes, people will not choose you and they won’t be wrong for it.  it won’t be the end of the world. there will be other jobs, there will be other friends and although we can’t replace family (a type of rejection I didn’t get into here), that pain can be healed. I am speaking from experience.

•••••••••

until we get a little more into rejection & the effects of it, remember there is One who has never and will never reject you.

 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. — Psalm 34:18

 

you’ll know why I’m here…

there are seven attempts at being consistent sitting in the “drafts” section of this account. they were never published, nor were they finished – as it is with other “potential posts” I’ve written by hand.

I have come up with every excuse possible to leave this blog where it’s been since my last post in June. for the longest, I denied this procrastination and its cause. I blamed it on not finding a theme for the blog, told a few people that I wanted to focus more on the book I’m writing and even tried the whole “I just don’t have time for it” bit. while all those statements are true, none of them identified the actual root of my avoidance: fear.

“I kept hearing messages about the importance of using the gifts we’ve been given and how it stifles God – not us- when we sit on them”

fear of overexposing myself (as I tend to do when I write), and fear of being judged as a result of that were my top two. there was also a concern of having this page stalked and mocked by a few of the people I know aren’t very fond of me. because let’s face it, this is the year 2017 where people get DRAGGED through timelines and in GroupMe chats on a consistent basis, just for retweets and giggles.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to that piece of paranoia.

but then I kept hearing messages about the importance of using the gifts we’ve been given and how it stifles God – not us- when we sit on them. that idea bothered me so much, i would stay up all night writing poems or mini essays about what I DIDN’T want to share here. thought I could make myself feel better by letting it out in my journal instead of the place God instructed me to put it. that’s me: always trying to find an alternate route for very clear directions I got from the Lord.

I often catch myself mid-sentence when explaining the importance of following directions to my three year old son. just as I remind him to do as I say even when he doesn’t understand why, I imagine God chiming in like “Oh yeah?…that sure sounds familiar”.

It gets me every time

ultimately, I am just like my son – an eager child, looking to get what I want, how I want it and unwilling to compromise on my terms. that’s not how a life in Christ works. I most definitely have goals and plans for my writing, they just didn’t include having to share my story on this platform first. BUT here I am. I’ve always considered myself a believer and Christian, I just wasn’t willing to lose things I valued in order to be a follower of Christ buuuthere i am.

following God’s direction and conquering fears along the way: a concept.

“So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.” ‭‭ 1 Peter‬ ‭1:14‬ NLT

“Smile, it confuses people”

my smile has made me a master of deception. to say that I have merely confused people would be an outright lie. the joyful young woman in these photos existed only for those brief moments. my smile was a distraction from the emotional and mental decay that took place beneath it. immense feelings of inadequacy, shame and insignificance had a way of stealing all traces of my joy. under the surface of what my siblings long ago deemed my “kool aid smile”, there was an ongoing struggle to stay afloat. since I haven’t shared much about that phase, I am currently fighting the urge to hold the backspace key until this post is nothing more than a bad idea I had. BUT  GOD.

about a year after giving birth to my son and ignoring the first diagnosis, i was prescribed antidepressants for anxiety and depression.

at the time, what most people knew of me did not fit the description of a mentally ill person. that made it extremely difficult to talk about. when i did share what i felt, i was told not to speak that way. as if “someone like me” had no right to be in that state of mind. needless to say, my peers weren’t equipped to properly handle such a confession. here’s the wicked thing about mental health issues: they don’t have a look, they are no respecter of persons and they don’t usually make sense to anyone other than those suffering from them.

during that time, i secretly began to question my relationship with God. i believed i was a total lost cause as well as a sorry excuse for a Christian because i couldn’t pull my emotions together. i lost the battle in my mind time and time again. i couldn’t focus on school or anything else for that matter. i missed out on a lot of opportunities and damaged a lot of friendships. i felt unlovable in that state and often projected that onto those around me. i was a wreck. but no matter what I was feeling, I kept that mask of a smile on for the world to see.

hiding didn’t do me any good. the medication didn’t help either because i wasn’t taking care of my self in any other way. with the aid of my excessive drinking and other forms of self medication, my condition worsened. i became suicidal and even attempted it once.

today, i am extremely grateful because God provided a so many tokens of His love to keep me going. if i hadn’t been blessed with friends who stuck close enough to see past my facade, i would not have come out of that. if i hadn’t accepted the fact that i was folding under the pressures of life (and realized it was perfectly okay),  i would have stopped seeking help and tried to handle it on my own. if i would have remained in isolation–i would have given in and stopped fighting…you only lose when you stop fighting. so please don’t stop.

you don’t have to force a smile. you don’t owe anyone a made up version of who you are. no one has the right to judge you for your struggles. if you need help, please seek help. if you have to lessen your load and step out of the spotlight, do it. TAKE CARE OF YOU. TAKE CARE OF YOUR LOVED ONES, pay attention to them. if someone crosses your mind, call them. if you’re concerned about someone, take time to catch up or just let them know you care. you never know the difference it could make. don’t let a well rehearsed smile confuse you.

 

RESOURCES:

Suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255 (available 24 hours a day)

Dial 211- Services Include:

  • Physical and Mental Health Resources – including health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health resources, health insurance programs for children, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, and drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation.
  • Basic Human Needs Resources – including food and clothing banks, shelters, rent assistance, and utility assistance.
  • Work Support – including financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance and education programs.
  • Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities – including adult day care, community meals, respite care, home health care, transportation and homemaker services.
  • Children, Youth and Family Support – including child care, after school programs, educational programs for low-income families, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring and protective services.