Back in 1969 Ella Fitzgerald sang an old song, “But not for me” from the pen of George and Ira Gershwin. And some of the words they’re writing made up songs of love.
“But not for me. A lucky stars above, But not for me. I’ve found more skies of grey than any Russian play could guarantee.”
It’s a gloomy sentiment true for many of us who believe we don’t quite fit in. All the luck has run out or we can never succeed.
Others might have a lucky star above, but not me. So what do you think it means to be rejected? A simple answer is not being accepted, and this can play out in many different ways, like a neighbour who refuses to speak to you over the back fence or a husband or wife feeling the rejection from their kids. Really, no one likes to be rejected, but the problem is that rejection is impossible to avoid. It hurts. Feelings of self-doubt and anxiety and rejection has been called a painful memory. We are made in such a way that we experience all the various emotions of life, including those which have destructive or unhappy results, and I think everyone experiences the sting of rejection. But mentally strong people use that pain to grow stronger and become better. And the counsellors will often say that some things are not meant to be, and rejection can lead to positive change.
In some circumstances, it means you’re pushing your limits. You’re taking risks. You’re leaving that comfort zone behind. And sometimes it’s difficult to move past the hurt and carry on with life as we know it.
And whether you were excluded, say, from a social engagement or were passed up for a promotion at work, rejection hurts. The way that you choose to respond to rejection, however, could determine the entire course of your life. That’s why it needs to be talked over and not ignored. And I think the most important thing is to face the problem, whatever it is and move on. And that will probably mean finding encouragement to try again.
Maybe you’ve been taking everything too personally. Keeping the pain from rejection and bottling up everything inside is unhealthy. That can lead to other long-term problems. You can feel the hurt, but just don’t get lost in it. You don’t want the emotions to override your control behaviour. And under the initial sadness, anger or resentment of rejection is the hurt that needs to be addressed.
It’s not that people are meant to spite you. It may mean they’re in a hurry. I’ve got more important matters on their mind, and they simply forget to acknowledge you. The pain or rejection is an emotional bruise that can undermine your confidence, your self-worth. And if you’re finding it hard to bounce back, you may need more time to build up your sense of self-love and esteem. But life goes on. We learn how to deal with rejection, hopefully in a healthy manner that will propel us forward into the future.
Can you try to remember that one rejection is not a projection of future failures? If you read the National Geographic magazine, you may recognise the name DeWitt Jones, a professional photographer. He’s won many awards, and yet he told audiences that of the 4000 photos that he takes, only one will be accepted. The other shots would be rejected as not good enough, so here’s a man who knows what it means to have perseverance and a steadfast attitude. The Christian faith has got some good news for you.
God loves you as an individual, and He will not reject you. You see, he’s not into the rejection business. God is love. He has a plan for you. You’re unique. You’re special to him. You’re needed in this world. In his word, the Bible, he says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt.” That’s Jeremiah Chapter 31. You need to remember that God created you and loves you just as you are. You don’t have to prove your worth to him already. You are apart of the eternal kingdom. The Bible says this is the promise that he has given to us – eternal life. The best thing you can do in a situation where you feel disappointed and rejected is to focus on God. When your mind is set on things above, you can cope with life’s hardships knowing that you’re never alone.
Heavenly Father, how easy it is to feel rejected even by those that we love. It can hurt. It can bruise. But, Dear Lord, thank you for your comfort and love and your reassurance today, amen.