As you have thought about rejection and the role it has played in your life, you have no doubt wondered how you could get rid of this “albatross around your neck.” Rejection does seem to persist and rear its ugly head all too frequently, even when we cannot put a label on what has made our behavior so obnoxious or our pain so deep. Here are some steps to help you begin a recovery process:
1. Name it – Admit what you have experienced in earlier years. Acknowledge that it remains an instigating presence in your life and relationships, causing you to behave in ways that do not enhance your relationships.
2. Write about it – Make a list of those you feel have rejected you, beginning with your earliest memories and closest relatives. Write a letter to each person describing your feelings and recalling specific memories to illustrate your feelings. These are not necessarily for sending, not for condemning the other person, but for getting these thoughts/feelings out of your memory, so that they no longer control you. The hand will write what the mouth cannot speak. (An outline of such a letter can be found at the end of this blog.)
3. Speak it – Make an appointment with the living perpetrator, unless you are afraid of doing so. If you are fearful, go to a pastor or therapist, or a trusted friend. Read the letter out loud, asking for no comments or judgments. The important thing is that you are heard.
4. Destroy it – Burn your document, shred it, bleach it. Some have shredded and put it in a balloon, and sent it flying. In any case, dispose of it in a responsible manner. This signifies that you have let your pain go.
5. Thank God for the courage to do the work! If you ask, He will give you the strength to do the work completely, and then forgive. It’s quite possible you may not forget, as the mind is designed to remember, but the memory will be less intense with time, and the sting will dissipate.
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14 (NIV)
6. Order Shadows of Acceptance. This is a small book, written by Rockeys, on the subject of rejection. It has many more details than could be contained in this series of three blogs.
God bless you as you work through the rejection you have experienced in your life. Everyone has experienced it to a greater or lesser extent at some time in their life. Early childhood rejection has the greatest impact on life today. Refuse to allow the thorn that pricked you still cause you to bleed today.
Outline for a Letter for Healing
- The purpose of this letter is to share with you . . .
- I want you to know that I appreciate . . . (find something even though it’s small)
- I want to share with you the pain I received as a result of . . .
- The effect on my life from the damage done to me has been . . .
- My goals and plans for the future include . . .
- This letter is being written as part of my healing process. It is to empty myself of the _______ I have felt toward you since _______. Now that this letter is complete and I have emptied my pain, I will be filled with the Holy Spirit, because that is what I have asked God to do with the void.
Give yourself plenty of room between the points, so that you answer until you get out all of your feelings. This is VERY important!