I'm the villain… and I'm okay with that, now.
I don't know about you but I have struggled with rejection my whole life. The feeling of not being liked, not being wanted, not being enough and feels like you are being refused access to a place of great desire and love just because of who you are or because of who you are not.
It often leads to people pleasing; wanting to make everyone around you happy, even at the expense of your well-being. This was me. I was easily guilted into doing things or going to things I didn't want to and I felt determined to make sure others were pleased with me. It made it easy for me to become the person who others would dump on knowing that I would take it because of my need to feel wanted. I never wanted to be seen as a "bad person" and certainly didn't want others to speak about me to anyone else in that light either! I found my value in being seen by others and accepted by others. It made me feel great and empty at the same time.
I describe myself as a recovering people pleaser because even though I've come along way... I haven't arrived. It is so hard to say “No” when I truly don't want to do the thing someone else wants me to. It is hard to stand up for myself when I know I am being treated unfairly. I feel pressured to compromise myself at times for the sake of acceptance because of being rejected.
As I am working through this part of my story, there are some things that I am beginning to internalize to move pass this ugly stronghold that has held me hostage for so long.
1. I will be the villain in somebody's story and I have to be okay with that. I do not have the power nor the energy to convince others of my intentions, my “why”, and that I'm not a bad person. Everyone has their own truths and feel the way they feel based on their perceptions and life experiences both healthy and unhealthy- including me. If others are unwilling or unable to talk honestly and productively to work on our relationship - there is nothing I can do about that because it is out of my control.
2. I don't have to accept the spirit of rejection. I don't have to believe the lies that come along with the feeling of rejection. I can speak truth in opposition of the lies that try to live deep in my heart. Affirming myself in who I am because of Who I have submitted my life to allows me to confidently find my value in the truth of who God says I am. It also makes rejection more tolerable and comforting because Jesus, when on Earth, was also often rejected yet didn’t waver in the truth of His divine identity. I’d rather take my cues from Him. #justsayin
3. I don't have to respond to everything that I don't agree with or that hurts my feelings. It is probably one of the hardest things to do to not respond or try to defend your reputation but continuously trying to prove myself to someone who is determined to see me a certain way is just a waste of energy- it is draining. No matter what I do or say, it may not make a difference at the moment. I have to discern when I should respond and not respond and be okay with the outcome.
4. The process of healing and overcoming takes time. I’m not going to get it right all the time but I just do the best I can. I will still feel the sting of rejection but the more I accept who I am in Christ and work through the hurt of past rejections, the less time the sting will last. I have to give myself grace and space as well as offer that to others- we are all going through something difficult.
5. Just because you've changed doesn't mean everyone else has. As I have been growing, changing and transforming, the way I show up is sometimes much different than others are use to. While the concept of growth sounds great to everyone, the process and result of growth can challenge the position and power others have in your life and that can be hard for them to accept. Change changes everything. Keep striving for improve health in all things and those who want to invest in you and your relationship with work with you.
Maybe rejection isn't something you struggle with. Maybe its abandonment, unworthiness... Maybe it is all of the above. Whatever it is, know that you are not alone. If you don't struggle with anything of the sort, show empathy to others because you never know what someone is going through - without that, your actions are the ones making someone else feel rejected. We all want the best for ourselves and others and hopefully are trying to accomplish that given what we have or know. I pray that we grow in what we know.
In Light & Love,