What You Thought Was Rejection, Was Your Protection
“Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.”
Doing The Best We Can
“Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” — Steve Maraboli
Think of a recent situation, or as far back as you remember, where you experienced rejection. Try to get a sense of the emotions you felt back then. Was it: fear, shame, embarrassment, sadness or anger, etc? I realise it may be difficult to relive these emotions because rejection can strike at the heart of our core self. But I’d like you to use the emotions to empower you from this point forward. What if the rejection was disguised as your protection from something down the road?
When we experience rejection, we believe it’s our fault and our self-esteem is impacted. Understandably, our worthiness comes into question. But we are thinking about it incorrectly because there may be something taking place behind the scenes. Everything in life serves a purpose. Sometimes relationships dissolve because each party has gained the lessons they needed. I realise the wounds inflicted are hurtful, especially if one party has been deceitful. However, putting aside the cause of the breakup, we ought to focus on rebuilding our lives.
For example, how did you get over the rejection? If you think back to that time, can you now see how things had to take place as they did? I don’t know your situation, but I’m guessing you were being protected from something later on. Amid the heartache and pain, it may appear our suffering will never end. We may cry to sleep, trying to understand how we could have been better in the relationship. But here’s the thing: we were doing the best we could, given our level of awareness. As you improve, you attract better conditions and hence why self-improvement is an unending journey.
People often tell me; life seems like one ordeal after another and there’s no respite. I often respond by saying, sometimes the level of your growth determines the intensity of your trials. I repeat this message in many of my articles because I believe it to be true on all levels: life is not personal; it is doing its job and responding to our level of consciousness at any point in time. For example, the person in your teenage years is not the person you are as an adult. So, you will experience varying degrees of lessons to help you evolve.
Your Rejection May Have Been Your Protection
“Do not waste yourself in rejection; do not bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
But those lessons will not arrive as we hope, otherwise we would ignore them. Our lessons are often clothed in pain, heartache and suffering because this is how life gets our attention. We grow through pain and suffering, not in our comfort zone. Think about this in your own life. When things are smooth sailing, how often are you likely to step out of your comfort zone? To draw another example, people reach out to me for coaching when they’re immersed in a problem they can’t fix or manage themselves. Meaning, until the pain becomes unbearable, we sail along until we cannot take it anymore. Rejection is life’s way of pulling the rug from under us and protecting us from something harmful down the road. Similarly, it may also represent the end of a life lesson.
Are you relating to this? Are you beginning to see there is nothing you could have done to prevent being rejected? It wasn’t about what you did or didn’t do. It was about your personal evolution following its course. We needn’t beat ourselves that we could have done more to keep the relationship alive. In fact, in writing my book The Power to Navigate Life, I drew inspiration from a term relationship psychologists talk about and that was: being Parked in relationships. They believe people stay Parked (stuck, stagnant and not going anywhere) in their relationships, while they are miserable and unhappy. But it is easier to stay in the relationship than rock the boat and move on with their lives.
This is when the universe stops and says: “Hey buddy, I know you won’t do anything about this, so I’m stepping in to dissolve the relationship.” Life is like mum and dad sending you to your room because they know you won’t go to sleep if they don’t intervene. Naturally, you kick up a fuss because you want to stay up and watch TV. But as you mature, you soon realise they knew what was best for you. Sometimes that is what we experience with rejection. Life intercedes because she knows what’s best for us and what’s coming further down the line. I’ve spoken with many people over the years who see their rejection as a blessing in disguise. Some met the love of their life not long after. Others got the dream job they’ve always wanted.
We’ve got to trust life (aka our Higher Self) knows what it’s doing, but it may not seem that way because rejection is not pleasant. I’m not asking you to like it but accept what it’s trying to teach you. I’m inviting you to accept that possibility, your rejection may have been your protection from something in your future. Knowing this, I’d like you to journal what lessons you gained from your rejection? For example, have you learned to honour and value yourself more? Have you learned to create boundaries on what you will accept or not accept? Whilst rejection may be a painful teacher, it is the wiser Guardian who knows what is best for us, long before it comes to pass.