How to Deal With Rejection – Words to Live by
By Pastor Lonnie G. McCowan
We reject things on a daily basis — we reject items we don’t want, ideas we don’t like and opportunities we don’t see fit. Rejection is as much a part of our world as is approval. It drives a healthy system of competition and ensures a high standard of quality. But what happens when we as human beings reject each other?
Rejection comes as one of the most brutal stakes to the heart because it deals a direct blow to our ego. The ego is the inherent part of the self which holds intact our pride, esteem and self-worth. When the ego is bruised, a core element of our being is damaged. We often feel reduced to a lesser version of ourselves. We automatically begin to blame ourselves, assuming there must be something wrong with us and criticizing the behavior that led to our rejection.
Of the many forms of rejection, being denied by a love interest is most agonizing. We are grieved by a deep sense of bitterness and spite, both against the other person and against ourselves. Ironically, though, we feel an inexplicable sense of longing — a stronger desire towards the rejecter than ever before. As a pastor, I’ve seen many become stuck in a cycle of voluntary, unrequited love. The more they are rejected, the more they “wanted” the person rejecting them. They refused to give up. Rejection can cause cycles of unhealthy emotions and behavior.
To change the hold rejection has on you, first solidify your self-worth. Bear in mind these five truths the next time you feel overwhelmed by rejection.
1. It really isn’t you. When somebody rejects you, they are acting on their own insecurities and fears. Take comfort in knowing that the person who rejects you is dealing with their own personal issues and that you most likely did nothing to cause their decision. Rejection — especially harsh or cruel rejection — is a manifestation of self-insufficiencies and a lack of self-tolerance.
2. It happened for a greater reason. When we feel rejected, we trap ourselves in a moment of doubt and distress. But we must learn to see past the fleeting period of pain and acknowledge that there is a higher purpose to not getting what (or whom) we want. That higher purpose is usually revealed in time. I’ve had many people tell me that they felt awful when someone they loved turned them away, only to find the perfect partner when they least expected it. When that happened they became grateful that they were rejected, or else they would’ve never met the new and better person. In retrospect, they laugh at the fits of emotions which rejection invoked. We all discover the greater purpose of our pain in due time.
3. This is not a new pain. Rejection can be a lifelong ordeal stemming from childhood. For some children who were abandoned by a parent, rejection becomes a recurring challenge to conquer throughout life. They may overreact when they feel turned down and not know that this is caused by a subconscious memory. Understanding the primary source of rejection and the impact it had on you can help you deal with this unpleasant emotion. Accept that this is not the first or last time you’ll feel the ache of rejection, but that you’ve defeated this emotion before and will emerge stronger from each instance.
4. They’re really missing out. A person who rejects you cannot comprehend your inner and outer beauty. So why let someone hurt you who doesn’t see the full spectrum of your wonderful being? The next time you feel rejected, remind yourself of your amazing traits, you’re positive characteristics and your invaluable qualities which undoubtedly exist but may have been overlooked by someone else.
5. A chance to evolve. Rejection offers us an opportunity to evolve through and learn from our experiences. It allows us to look within and say, “Okay, maybe I can change this,” or “Maybe I can fix that side of myself.” After all, there is room for betterment in each of us, and sometimes it takes emotional anguish to be able to demolish the ego and come face to face with our truest self. If there is any constructive way to view rejection, it is through the lens of an earnest effort at self-improvement.
Hear Pastor Lonnie each Sunday at 6am on KEYT Ch. 3 (ABC Affiliate) also come hear Pastor Lonnie live at the Miracle Center 5105 Walker St Ventura Ca, www.miraclecenterventura.com (805)644-7722. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lonnie G. McCowan is pastor at The Miracle Center of Ventura, in Ventura, CA. He can be contacted through email email@example.com or by visiting www.miraclecenterventura.com.