The Hope in Rejection – I would have to say in the last few years I have seen so much rejection. You wouldn’t know it to look at me as I walk in with my tailored suit and gourmet coffee. I am confident, respected by my peers, have best friends, and two lovely daughters. I have a very full life with lots of incredible miracles happening each day and ones that are yet to happen. Yet in every area of my life from relationships, to jobs, to business, I have experienced an overload of rejection.
So how do you tackle and subdue the feelings of rejection? First, let’s talk about what rejection does to us. I believe there are three major areas it affects: our physical wellbeing, our self-image, and finally our future outlook.
The University of Michigan did a study and found that the “brain releases natural painkillers during social rejection.” 1 So you can actually feel physical pain with rejection. It’s why when there is rejection; fatigue also is its close friend. The body needs to shut down and rest.
Rejection also causes our self-esteem to be lowered and therefore we will sometimes move on in future choices to accept less than what’s best for us. It’s why many people who divorce marry soon after, only to see divorce again. 67% of second marriages fail according to Psychology Today. 2
Again, low self esteem coupled with no change results in bad habits that all revolve around past rejections.
Finally, rejection causes a fear or the lack of hope in a brighter day. Some think to themselves, “Well if this could happen, what’s the use? Hope is gone.” I have observed many people living miserable lives after rejection. They choose to always be on guard, never allowing any healing or perspective changes to happen.
Now that we know what rejection does to us we can better understand how to resolve the pain of rejection.
Rejection is part of everyday life. Even Jesus was rejected, and he felt it.
“He was despised and rejected–a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.” Isaiah 53:3
Imagine having the entire world turn their back on you; over, and over, and over again. Jesus knew that the only way to battle rejection was to connect back to the source of all, the creator himself.
We have three choices in how we respond to rejection and in my life, I have experience all three.
One; we can choose the road of “someday”. Someday they will see what they missed. In this we tend to hope in another’s pain. There are tons of songs on the radio about this. Here are the top 23 Songs by Mashable: http://mashable.com/2013/10/28/music-monday-rejection-songs/
My top rejection songs from this list were “Heartless” and “Since U Been Gone.” Yes, I drove down the road singing Kelly Clarkson.
While I think it’s healthy to take control of the rejection, I have found that doing at the cost of someone else, even in our heart or mind, doesn’t allow for healing.
Two, we can let it debilitate our daily life so that we lose the ability to function and ultimately change for the negative who we are. This is where we make the really poor choices, find someone new, give our bodies and mind away for someone to accept us.
Thirdly, we can choose to hope in God and rejoice, knowing that we are that much closer the true gifts that are awaiting us and a time of thankfulness that God kept us on track. I call this my hope in rejection.
Rejection is a way that we can sort out direction in our lives. Some rejections, like in relationships, are answers to prayer that you haven’t prayed for, of things you haven’t seen. Being single and dating, when I am confronted with rejection, I stop and remind myself how thankful I will be the day I am with someone God planned, and how awesome the rejections were that lead me to this place. It’s a forced direction change. Rejection is just one step closer to your hope being fulfilled.
Now I’m not saying go out and get rejected so you are closer. You have a responsibility to guard your heart. However, you have to change your perspective on rejection to this hope in rejection. Changing your perspective requires a connection to God’s greater calling on your life. That he will ultimately work everything for your eternal good. This change and connection will lead you to a better place, refine your character for great things, and ultimately you will see God’s hand in every moment. You just have to be willing to choose the right perspective, embrace patience, and connect to the author of hope.
Many blessings to you fellow “reject”…