One thing which became very clear to me while doing my self awareness walk, and even this past weekend at the 2009 Labor Day Retreat, was the idea of how badly we take rejection. It’s amazing how when you are forced to look back on your past relationships you realize just how poorly you let them finish.
So many times when a relationship would end, I would have two reactions. I would either turn into a whiny crying kid who just had his red fire truck run over. Or I’d be the spiteful bully who’d push you into your locker just because you got chocolate pudding and I got vanilla.
Sadly most of the time I was the kid crying.
We let our emotions control us so much during a relationship that it is so easy to let them totally overwhelm us when that relationship ends. Think about how much we invest in every relationship. The time, the energy, the research, the desires, the hopes, the dreams.
With every moment we are involved with someone, in any relationship we are giving a piece of ourselves to them.
At the retreat they talked a lot about that very idea. The term they used was access. We grant access to people and the more access someone gets, the more information they get about us. Our friends have a certain level of access, our family, our shrinks, and of course those whom we are dating. As we discover new insights into people and as our trust is built with them we open up more access for them in hopes we get the same.
Problems arise though when we give someone more access then they are willing to give us.
Personally I’m someone who would either give a lot of access right of the bat, or not much at all. After my divorce I held back a lot and wouldn’t open up because of all the access I had given my ex-wife, understandably. In the relationships where I was the crying kid it was typically because I had invested less in the relationship then the person I was investing in and when I invested more I was the bully.
So it’s no wonder we take rejection so hard. We often feel cheated in that we gave more than the other person. Or we are more honest about why things went wrong then the other person.
We take it personally that someone decided to tell us no rather than yes.
But in reality we need to take rejection and see it in a different light. I’ve started to look at rejection and all those no’s as opportunities to learn about myself. I’ve also embraced them as yes’s from God.
When someone says No to me I hear God say Yes.
Every no is me moving one step closer to the person God wants me to be with. It’s a step on a rock across the river rather than me wading through a swamp. I learn each and ever time how I can better myself, how I succeeded in this or that and how I failed here and there.
So we need to stop looking at rejection as something horrible and start to embrace it as an opportunity. An opportunity to be one step closer to the life, joy and happiness which God has designed for all of us!
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.