Quote: Just a little rejection can cause a wound. That wound is picked at and never allowed to heal. So they grow up as adults still picking at their wounds. It gets infected and then they begin to infect others. – R. L. McGlothin
The spirit of rejection is running rampant through the world today. Headlines of mass killings and suicides permeate media dialogue. The effect on our society is disastrous. We now have a generation of so-called “Outcasts” crying out for help by either imploding or exploding. Many have been deeply wounded by the maltreatment of others. A conscious decision to refuse to live out life as society’s doormats, leads to chaos in the home, in the schools, in the church, and in the workplace. Strike outs will become a common thread in our culture. Sociologists, psychologists, and social workers tirelessly work to find a solution. The world is left to clean up the aftermath of a forgotten collection of individuals. Rejection is not a perception, but the symptom and root of a deeper issue.
Webster’s Dictionary defines rejection as, “the state of being refused love.” The scars of being unloved and unwanted are not easily seen. It becomes a manifestation of several indicators. Whenever I hear a person say these words…”they just don’t like me” immediately I think rejection. It breaks my heart to think that in a world filled with millions of people; that someone could feel so isolated. How could this be? If we dig deeper, we will find that somewhere in that person’s life an incident occurred that greatly impacted their outlook on life. A change occurred that could not be reversed. A shattering of an image in a mirror that is too painful to conceal.
Fear is the fuel that feeds rejection. A person may have experienced trauma in the form of abuse or neglect of any kind. Children often grow up feeling rejected when a parent is absent from the home by choice (abandonment) or overwhelming family issues in which they are unable to cope. Students who are bullied or teased by classmates and/or family members often go through life feeling rejected. Coarse joking, criticizing, ridiculing, and extreme harshness can open the portal to these thoughts. The injustice felt when one parent compares or favors one child over another. A child is left vulnerable to impressions, thoughts, and the opinions of others. (Hypersensitive)
As this seed is planted and starts to grow, numerous symptoms start to develop. Desiring to “fit in” becomes an insatiable thirst. Even into adulthood, the person may find themselves running from one person to another seeking a seal of approval. Like an addict, temporary fixes are gained from the flattery of others. But, when disagreements and perceived disapprovals surface, spiritual death occurs. A constant stroking of ego, hand-holding, and propping up is needed in order to survive. There is a running to whatever situation provides gratification at the moment; that situation may be: drugs, sex, alcohol, relationships, work, over achieving, obsessions, title seeking, educational pursuits, thrill seeking, the latest social issues, and daydreaming are all attempts to dull the pain of rejection. Life can never be fully enjoyed; it becomes a quest to prove something to everybody and anybody.
Attention is garnered whenever possible. It does not matter whether it is positive or negative attention…any attention is better than no attention at all! Wearing many hats and masking true feelings is not uncommon. Like a chameleon, the person is able to change in order to fit the situation. Realizing one’s true self is never an option. They become good at “pretending” life is one big masquerade ball. People- pleasing is the name of the game. The feeling of true fulfillment is never achieved. Exhaustion is inevitable. Life gives way to a quiet storm brewing on the inside.
I once heard a preacher say, “Hurting people hurt people” which is a true statement. Rejection shatters, controls, and paralyzes. Rejection is life altering. It injures the spirit of a person. The lingering sting of an incident can last far beyond the incident itself. It is an unsettling feeling which can lead to bigger issues of anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues. In my next blog, I will include ways to overcome the spirit of rejection. Until then, let’s adopt an attitude of mindfulness. People in the world today are hurting. Everyone needs to know that they are loved and cherished. They need to know that God loves us all. Love is one of the cures…and it is free!!
Written by Laura Alexander