Thousands fell head over paws in love with Lady, the gorgeous, greying Lab who walked almost 30 miles, despite being arthritic, to be re-united with her second family, who were unable to take her back. [Read the full story]
I’m guessing zillions of tears were brushed away.
It was just so achingly sad and poignant.
Lady’s story got me thinking because we’ve all been there, haven’t we? I know I have!
And when it happens, it’s painful. Oh boy, does it hurt to be shunned!
We feel unlovable, unwanted, lacking, embarrassed And as rejection can occur in romantic, social, family or work relationships it’s going to affect all of us.
Of course, some professions invite rejection. My daughter is in the midst of editing her first novel, which will, hopefully, soon be published. Along the way, she has faced many rejections from literary agents.
Why Rejection Hurts
Much like Lady and her doggy pals, we are social animals and need to feel that we belong to ‘the pack.’ We want to feel loved and accepted.
This desire is stronger when you are invested in a relationship. Somebody you don’t know well gives you the cold shoulder and you shrug it off. If you’re turned down for a job, you can recover reasonably quickly and start the search again.
However, if it’s someone you really care for, then it’s much, much harder to deal with.
It’s to do with value and self worth. When someone important rebuffs you, it’s inevitable that you feel judged and found wanting in some way, Even worse, you may have no idea why the other person feels like that. So you’re left floundering, wondering what you did.
We tend to personalise rejection, and our brain runs an endless loop – ‘what should I have done differently? what’s wrong with me?’
And that feeling that you’ve done a few rounds with Mike Tyson is real – Recent research indicates that social rejection triggers the part of the brain that causes the physical pain we feel when we trap our hand in a drawer or spill a hot drink on our hand.
Dealing With Rejection
“Rejection is merely a redirection; a course correction to your destiny.” Bryant McGill
I love the sheer bravery of that quote!
It flies in the face of our natural tendency to shut ourselves away, to guard our hearts against future rejection.
And we can’t live like that. In fact, the fear of rejection can become greater than the hurt of the actual experience.
There are ways of dealing with rejection:
- Don’t take it to heart. Ok, I know that’s easier said than done, but remember that you don’t always know all the factors in a situation. There may be a reason that you didn’t get that job that had nothing at all to do with you and your skills and experience.
- Accept that you don’t always know what drives others, what inner hurts or pain that cause them to behave in certain ways.
- Don’t anticipate rejection. It’s natural to want to protect yourself against further hurt – but stay open to new relationships, new opportunities. It’s Ok to be cautious but don’t lock yourself out of life. If you do that, then you’ve given away your personal power.
- Hang out with people who love you and encourage you. Believe what they say about you!
- Write a list of all your skills, talents and positive characteristics. Ask others for suggestions. Keep reading it!
- Forgive. You may have to work on this over of time – and pray a lot – but it’s totally worth it. Forgiving the people who have hurt you frees you and enables you to move forward.
- Pray for strength and wisdom. Jesus knows how rejection feels. He understands what you’re going through. His love never falters and He is your rock and your safe place when you are journeying through the pain of rejection. Ask Him to show you what you need to see.
And finally – Lady’s story had a happy-ever-after ending – she was rehomed by a millionairess!!
You never know how your story will end – so keep on trusting in God’s plan for your life.