I recently had the pleasure of going through a class called the “Re-Telling”. It is all about taking our story/stories and holding them as a gift-examining them as we experienced them…how does it impact us now…and where does the redemption of God reveal itself in the Retelling. We worked in small groups each week and listened to one another and spoke out hurts/ slights and perceptions out loud. Extremely powerful stuff.
I dreaded going each week, doing the homework etc. I kept asking myself why would I pay and subject myself to a ripping of my heart out just so it can be thrown on the ground and kicked about each week. Each week I would leave the class learning new and powerful things about myself, and ultimately glad I went. It was horribly affirming. Yes-I do mean that exact combo of words.
I became acutely aware the power rejection has had on my life. I wore it like a merit badge. I allowed real and imagined rejection to force me into a position of fear instead of empowerment, and I learned I was indeed a fighter…but more importantly I discovered I was also a protector. A protector of my brothers and my fear protected my children-and it was okay to let go of the things and experiences I failed to protect. Friendships, relationships, my dignity, my pride.
I allowed rejection to form my life’s story. I allowed it to tell the story “I am just not good enough” and it gave me shame and contempt to carry with me-for myself and rightfully so for others.
I was able to see how I could take that pain that sorrowful intense emotional trauma and use it for good. That if I hadn’t felt the fear, hadn’t experienced the rejection and lived it..I couldn’t bless others with empathy. More importantly I could now forgive myself for the road not traveled. I could let go of the coulda, woulda, shouldas.
In the face of this addiction I have journeyed with rejection like it was a lover. I could hide behind it, and use it to keep my heart at a distance-no risk. But nothing gained either. And while it served to protect at times it has cost me dearly. Time to say good bye and give it power no more. The next few posts I will say good bye to this unwanted lover of my soul.