I’ve had my heart broken many times.
But I’ve never broken a heart. At least not that I’m aware of. So I got to thinking, rejection is one thing every human being has in common.
We’ve all been rejected to some extent. We don’t get the job we want, the girl we ask out turns us down, we’re denied college admission to our dream school, we fail our LSAT’s, an audition goes horribly wrong, our book proposal gets rejected. It’s something every one of us has experienced.
But we don’t talk about it! We don’t let anyone see our failures. Instead, I’m constantly bombarded with with my family, friend, and stranger’s successes, often making me feel inadequate. Every one else seems to have it so together. Even the ones who don’t.
Here’s what I know, I failed my first driving test, I interviewed at Lampo (Dave Ramsey) 8 times for 4 different jobs and didn’t get any of them. Most of the boys I’ve liked haven’t liked me back. I didn’t get 9 out of 10 modeling jobs or auditions I went out for. I submitted an article to a magazine and they said no.
I don’t want to share current secrets about my life because I’m afraid for people to see me fail. I don’t want to tell you about the boy I have a crush on, because if he rejects me, I look foolish. I don’t want you to know about these potential opportunities because what if they don’t happen? Will you think less of me?
And the answer to that is, no. Well, maybe you will. But if you’re rejoicing in other people’s failures, there is a bigger issue on hand. When the situation is reversed, I don’t think less of anyone else when they don’t get a date or a job or a part or a passing grade! If anything, I think the people on the other side are crazy.
But that’s the lie of rejection. It tells me that my value (or perceived value) is less if others seem me fail. That whatever circumstance I’m engaged with has a direct reflection on my value. That who I am depends on whether or not I succeed, or am chosen, or loved, or desired.
Rejection doesn’t tell me that sometimes it’s actually the best thing for me. Rejection doesn’t sit in the corner and gently remind me whose best is better. It screams loudly in the middle of the night that I’m not wanted. It taunts me when I turn a corner and bump into an unfulfilled longing. And oh are there corners these days.
I’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other people’s blogs to remind me of my rejection. We all show a world that looks pretty on the outside, but rarely do we show the not so pretty inside things. I’m guilty of it too. Sure, I’ll be honest about when I’m not trusting the LORD or I fail at surrendering to Him, or even that I had never been kissed, but to talk about things where I might get rejected? That’s a little too vulnerable even for me.
Yet, it’s one common experience that binds us together, regardless of race, gender, age, or status. We have ALL been rejected. What would our world look like if we started living out our rejections not in shame but in grace? I’d be curious to see how social media and community interactions would change.
Will you try it with me? Will you try living out a rejection and see how others around you react? Will you genuinely be vulnerable with others and allow them to see that part of you?
I guess I’ll go first.
Recently, I put myself out there with a boy. I told others about him, I let my heart get invested, I listened to the words he said about me, I defended him when others told me to run, I believed him when he said he’d fight for me.
And he didn’t. I wasn’t worth enough to him to fight for. He chose someone else. And now, I get asked questions about it and have to explain that he’s dating another girl. I cringe a little bit every time I say it because I feel like I was a fool.
So there you have it, I offered my heart and my story to someone, and he turned it down. I’m not going to try to tie it into a pretty little bow, because it was rejection, and it sucked.