A few people have suggested I write something on couple style love. I find that hilarious as I was married for 24 years and now am not. I don’t think my pondering on the subject should be trusted at this point. So, I picked rejection to contemplate instead. Funny thing about rejection though, is that it really can’t be examined without looking at its counterpart, love.
My friend Ron Holtz sent me a quote from his new book, which looks like it will be really good! This partial teaser speaks to value:
“One quickly learns that the rainbow arching over our lives is intimately bound in the absolute uniqueness of each individual. Gaining that insight…”
Within that statement is the first point of the rejection-love connection. He may be speaking here of seeing another’s “absolute uniqueness,” but I’m thinking about “gaining the true insight” of this fact for ourselves. When we believe this and the inherent “value” that comes with that fact, rejection loses a bit of its power in our lives. I’m not saying it won’t sting! Human nature longs for affirmation and connection and being rejected by a friend or lover mutilates connection at its worst. At it’s best there are daily rejections that bruise us and our longing for affirmation.
But rejection does not have to flatten us. I remember telling a friend that sometimes rejection reveals the fear of “not being wanted.” But it doesn’t have to. If each of us can “gain the insight,” of our inherent value, not being wanted, whether it is in a career (what we do) or a relationship (who we are) rejection articulates a difference of opinion, not a statement of value.
I wrote on fear and sometimes feel like, “My name is ‘Blurryface,’ and I care what you think.” (Stressed Out, 21 Pilots) Which is cool, to be mindful of my effect on the people around me, but it doesn’t define me. Caring what others think, desiring affirmation, IMO are completely healthy manifestations of the human condition. Bruises will come, but devastation? Not necessary. Forgive me, if I sound insensitive! I know the depth of pain from rejection surrounding deep relationships. I believe there is a time for deep grieving! But not “being wanted” or “affirmed” does not equal being valueless. So if we do as Ron says, and “gain insight,” into the absolute and unique value of ourselves and others, we will see that neither rejection nor its counterpart, love, ever, ever “determines” our value. That rainbow can set us free.