No one likes rejection, but it’s easier to take from some, then from others. There’s one person whose rejection affected me drastically in the past.
This person used to be relentless. She made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. She pointed out places I hadn’t arrived at yet. It seemed like she was determined to make me feel bad no matter what I did. Most days it felt like I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.
I needed to avoid hearing her rejection or not believe it if I did hear it. Yet I couldn’t avoid her or stop her from talking to me. And oddly, I was the one giving her the power to talk.
You see, the problem was … she was me.
‘She’ was that nagging voice in my head saying negative things to me. Some times, I realized she was an unhealthy voice. But other times, she could be so convincing that I thought what she told me was true.
To figure out who she was and who I am, I realized I needed a clearer picture of myself. I needed to know me better in order to get her to be kinder to me.
I took time to simply be. To think. To read. To explore what I like about myself and what I don’t. I tried to take an honest look at the reality of me. Yes, I had many faults and short-comings, but hello, I am human! But I’m not all bad, I also have some good qualities.
Also, it dawned on me that I would never talk to others the way I allow her to talk to me. I tend to give others the benefit of doubt. And to encourage others to continue to try their best even if they screwed up.
I’ve always instinctively known that we learn better with encouragement than with criticism, but I tended to think of that in light of others, not myself. But if it works for others, why wouldn’t it work for me.
I also gave myself time to ponder words from others:
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. –Lucille Ball
Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built up against it. –Rumi
I have had more trouble with myself that with any other man. –Dwight L. Moody
You have to choose whether to love yourself or not. –James Taylor
Love your neighbor as yourself. –Jesus
Love yourself — as in me, myself and I?
Yes, love myself.
Love and rejection can’t co-habituate, so one of them had to go. As I absorbed the ideas above, I was kinder to myself. I gave myself the benefit of the doubt. I stopped her when I became aware of her negative thoughts toward myself.
Doing this allowed love to grow in me for me, and slowly lessen her influence. Every now and then, she rears her head again and spews out negative things before I’m even aware of it. But as soon as I hear her nastiness, I pause, take a deep breath, and think about how I would reframe the conversation if I was talking to someone else.
With time, there’s been less space for her rejection in my life
and I found that as I loved myself more…
I also loved others more.
Because that’s how it works. If I call myself names, I’m quicker to call others names. If I put myself down, it’s easier to put others down. If I hate myself, I hate others.
And if I accept myself for who I am… flaws and all, I’m quicker to accept others for who they are. If I respect my journey so far, instead of beating myself up for what I did or didn’t say/do/think/believe, I’m more likely to respect others.
So it’s a win-win.
A win for me,
and a win for humanity.