Can we be real for a moment? My current season life is what I would call an outcast. I think that it's been that way for the last year, maybe even the whole two years that I have lived here in Tucson. In previous years I have always found my group of friends, but I will be honest, those groups of friends are few and far between.
There have been seasons where I have distanced myself. Then there have been seasons where others have pitchforked me out. Telling me I am not worthy of living in community, worthy of being loved or having a friendship. Some would say this is abnormal, and I agree it possibly is. What makes me say that is that over this last year as I have journeyed through therapy I have learned a lot about myself. I have also revisited certain situations that have left scars, some surface levels, and some bone-deep.
I tweeted the other night that it's not that we strive to be accepted, but more so not to be rejected because of who we are. Being rejected is one of the most common emotional wound we sustain in daily life. Our risk of rejection used to be limited, mainly by the size of our close social circle or family. But now rejection can come from anywhere. Some are minor rejections that we just shrug off, and then there are some that are the bone-deep ones that I talked about earlier.
Being who we are, quirks and all typically only comes after we have built a trust. One of the bottom lines of why rejection hurts is because we trusted this person. Another reason as to why rejection hurts is because we are singled out and left out. We are social by nature and when we are the one singled out or left out we immediately attack ourself. Let's be vulnerable for a second, when we go after ourselves it's typically that bone crushing, crying in the fetal position not able to recoup type of negative self-talk attack of ourselves. What could I change? What is wrong with me? The list could go on and on.
The reason why rejection hurts so bad is because it attacks the very person that we are. It destroys our self-esteem, and attacks who we are and our purpose in life. This is why it is one of the most common tools Satan will use to destroy a person's life. God never wanted us to feel rejected or abandon. He desires for us to know who we really are, and realize how deeply God loves, accepts, and appreciates us. When we don't deal and heal from rejection it has a way of playing out again. It will destroy some of the very things we yearn for, desire and God desires for us. I mentioned above that due to rejection I have placed walls and placed people at a distance. I know that it's not something that God desires for us, but it's something that God is working on healing within me.
As I have healed I learned that damage from rejection is the result of a misplaced identity. You're thinking "you're crazy"...I might be, but rejection is not a feeling. Rejection is an event in which a person does not gives us something that we wanted. Things such as approval, companionship, employment, or continued friendship. Whenever we base our identity on somebody or something other than what God's Word has to say about us, we make ourselves vulnerable to the damages of rejection. Many of us tend to base our identity on what others think of us, how many likes we get, how many followers we have etc.
For me, I have realized that my rejection came at a young age when my Mother gave me to my grandmother to raise. The most contradictory thing in my life journey is that my Grandmother and my Father told me was never to change for anyone. Which it is something that I have lived by. I am who I am, I don't change that for who I am around (maybe you're like me). With being that type of person it makes it a bit harder for when others reject us. Right? It goes straight to that scathing negative self-talk - it's because I feel empty - unworthy - unloveable. The best way I have learned to combat that is with spending meditating over the following verses.
- Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
- Ephesians 2:4-6 (ESV)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
- Matthew 10:29-31 (ESV)
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
- Psalm 139:13-14 (GNTD)
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
These are great verses, right? But they're not going to help you or make friends, right? On some level, they help us remember God's love for us, but they aren't going to help us feel less rejected or an outcast, right? I am going to say yes for you ;). So I want to tell you what Jesus did for society's outcast back in His time. He wasted no effort damaging their already diminished sense of self-worth. Instead, He created a renewed sense of personal value. He established that foundation by consistently loving and accepting the outcasts, whose hearts were often melted by the warm and loving receptions that they had received from Christ. Which changed their life, I assume it's like a mic drop because that's all the self confidence that we will ever need, but we're human...and we tend to ride the waves when it comes to feeling accepted, loved, and worthy.
One of the other things that I do after meditating on God's word I spend 20 minutes writing self-affirmations. If you don't know what they are statements such as:
I love and accept myself unconditionally.
I approve of myself and feel great about myself.
I am a well loved and well-respected person.
I am a cultured and wise and yet, a humble person.
I am free to make my own choices and decisions.
I am a unique and a very special person and worthy of respect from others.
I am worthy of being in community.
I am worthy, not because someone says I am.
I am worthy because God died on the cross for me.
It helps me remember that those feelings that I am feeling are temporary, not permeant.
Let's go back to being real. Being real causes us to be vulnerable. It causes us to reveal a part of hearts and most of all it leaves us with the chance of being rejected. But in order to have something you have to take a risk. So when you're ready to throw in the towel, build those walls, or shut down - keep pushing. Remember you deserve someone who is able to be digging in the dirt with you. You deserve to honor who God made you to be. Remember you're not perfect. You're a work in progress. So if you still have some hiccups with beating yourself up about being an outcast or being rejected come back. Read this article again. Then rinse yourself in Gods word, write your positive affirmations and believe that you've been placed on the perfect path for you.