If you are a regular follower of my blog, you know I’m a writer. Maybe you are too. And if you are, you know a thing or two about rejection. It’s a safe bet that most adults have experienced it in some form or another. Heck, my kids are no stranger to it in their own ways.
As citizens of this world, we’ve got to learn how to deal with rejection in a healthy manner if we want to cope with life effectively. (Agree? Tweet it.)
My birthday is this week. I’m usually a little melancholy around this time of year, and my whole family assumes it’s because I’m turning another year older. They tease me relentlessly. In fact, the jokes are so bad that they’ve taken to asking me how old I am the day before my birthday just so they can say, “Starting tomorrow, you won’t be able to say that ever again!” I go along with the joking and I don’t correct anyone; it’s easier to let them think my age bothers me. It doesn’t, but it’s simpler that way.
The real reason I’m a little maudlin this time of year is because it’s the anniversary of my miscarriage.
It’s hard to celebrate another year of my life when I have a child who never got to celebrate any life at all.
And that, to me, is the ultimate rejection.
I bring this up now because my sister-in-law is expecting, and she was having some problems this week. She thought she might be losing her baby. Of all anniversaries, that wasn’t one I’d want to share. Thankfully, she and the baby are currently fine. If you’re the praying sort, I’m sure they’d appreciate a prayer or two offered up for them.
My husband and I share everything equally in our marriage. But my miscarriage was the one thing I never felt I could share equally with him. I’m not saying he didn’t grieve with me. We both grieved. But the baby didn’t reject him. Just me.
I offered it all I had to give: nourishment, safety, comfort, love. But I wasn’t enough for it.
It was the ultimate rejection.
I had a lot to overcome when I learned I lost the baby. The physical issues were the least of it. There was the heart-shattering grief. The gut-wrenching fear that I’d never be able to have a child. The stomach-churning guilt that I’d done something wrong. And the soul-sucking humiliation that I was an abject failure.
I moved through life on a functional plane of existence just above ‘zombie’ for months. It truly took an act of Divine Intervention before I snapped out of my funk and rejoined the land of human beings again.
After living through a loss like that, a rejection like that, the other kinds of rejections in my life didn’t quite have the same impact. Sure, I still have feelings, and my feelings can still be hurt, but I now have a different perspective.
- Have I had friends leave me out of things or tell me lies? You bet.
- Have I had family members break promises or betray trusts? Sure.
- Have I had colleagues drop the ball or cause damage to my brand? Yes.
- Have I, as a writer, received rejection letters? Of course!
Do I let those things get me down? No.
I wish I could say I laugh and move right past them. I don’t. Like I said, I have feelings. But in the grand scheme of things, those things aren’t nearly as important as what I’ve already faced.
So the next time you’re facing rejection, ask yourself this one question:
Is this NO a life-altering NO, or can I move on from this unscathed?
If you can move on, allow yourself five minutes to wallow and wail at the world (venting your frustrations for a little while is healthy, after all), then pick yourself up and move on. Your next effort may be the one that results in your dreams coming true. You don’t want to cheat yourself out of your dreams because you were busy living a nightmare. (Believe that? Tweet it.)
I hope none of you have ever suffered the ultimate rejection. Or ever will. I, thank God, have only suffered it once, and since then my husband and I have been blessed with two wonderful children—a son and a daughter. And although I remember that rejection every year, I have come to terms with it. While I’ll never say I’m glad it happened, I can say I learned a lot from the experience. If nothing else, I hope you can learn from my loss, too.
- Keep your rejections in perspective.
- Lament them to get them out of your system.
- Reassess to see if you need to change anything before continuing with your plan.
- Move forward with your next step so you are still pursuing your dream.
Do you have any suggestions for someone suffering a rejection? Share them with us here.