Sunday, August 30, 2009

Handling Rejection

(Originally posted May 18, 2009)

Morning walks with my husband are great. It’s amazing what interesting topics come up. Even more amazing are the insights that come from random comments. We are currently living in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Each morning we walk about 2 miles. One day we walk south, toward Keauhou. The next day we walk north, toward the pier. We’ve been doing this same pattern since we arrived in January. Each day we notice something we hadn’t seen before…or rather hadn’t paid attention to before.

This morning, we had stopped to watch the waves crashing at Magic Sands beach. There would be 2 or 3 big crashing waves, and then nothing but the ebb and flow of water coming in and going out for a few cycles, and boom – back to the big waves. I’m sure there is a rhythm of sorts to this, but I am not aware of it just by casual observation.

Casual observation – an interesting term. It implies that you are watching without regard to outcome or having an emotional or mental attachment to what is going on. If you are in the water, you may be able to get away with casual observation when the waves aren’t crashing, but if you have ever been caught in one of those big waves as it hits the beach, you’ll understand that casual observation is not the tool to be using at that time. Those big crashing waves can pick you up, toss you about, and deposit you on the sand, spitting and choking. You survive, but it is not a fun experience.

It’s a bit of a metaphor for the experiences of life, right? Some days, it is gentle waves on the beach, but some experiences are the big shake ups that sometimes you just don’t see coming and leave you feeling flipped up and around, churned and covered in sand.

I had one of those big crashing waves hit me a few months ago. I felt picked up, tossed around and discarded up the beach. Since then, I’ve crawled my way to safer ground, and am now turning around to look at what happened and to see if there is a rhythm or pattern to those big waves.

Part of that safe ground for me is being able to talk things out, vent, dissect, peel the proverbial onion with my husband on our morning walks. Today, I started working with The Artists Way program by Julia Cameron. Part of the process is called ‘Morning Pages” – It’s akin to journaling, free and random thoughts put down on paper as they come to you. I was talking about this to my husband, and mentioned that I was surprised at the things that came up for me. I had written about being in the middle of one of those big waves and I had thought I was now sitting on the beach reflecting. Kim was making a random comment on something I said, and I had one of those “Ah ha!” moments. I don’t even remember what it was he said, but one word jumped out at me and shouted. There was no way I could ignore it. The word? REJECTION!

Oh my God, that’s exactly what I was feeling. I was feeling personally rejected by some friends. In hindsight, I can see the situation had been developing over the last six months as my ideas and opinions were being rejected. Okay – another piece of the puzzle has come to my awareness. Now what? How do you handle rejection?

Here are some ideas:

R-Review the situation. Would you have done anything differently?

E-Evaluate how you are responding to the situation, and work through it if necessary.

J-Just realize that something better is coming your way.

E-Excuse those that are not able to see the true you or the value to your service/product.

C-Check in for Divine Guidance.

T-Trust in yourself.

I-It’s not about you – remember that.

O-Offer up a prayer for releasing any hurt, and retaining any lesson, from this experience.

N-Never give up on your dreams and goals!

I’ll admit it. Rejection sucks. But I have to believe that all things happen for a reason. There was a reason I was rejected. There was a reason it hurt. There is a reason that I’m being called to look at it, and write about it now. The reason? Got my ass, as a high school buddy used to say. Whatever the reason is, and I may never know exactly, but I do know that how I deal with it, how I respond to it, is part of my own growth process. In the meantime, I’m not giving up. I just hit a dead-end with that particular association, so I’m trying a different pathway. And keeping an eye on the waves, just in case.


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