“No is not a rejection; it is a cosmic redirection.” ~ Hollie Holden.
Or as Steve Maraboli recently posted, “Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.”
To be able to re-frame rejection into something positive is possibly one of the most liberating things you can do as a human.
It totally reinforces that golden lesson of getting out of our own way—of allowing the universe to take over, do its thing, and gracefully forge a better plan.
To be able to do this though, we need to acknowledge what rejection really is.
Rejection pains our ego enormously. It brings up many thoughts:
What’s wrong with me?
Why don’t you like me?
Am I not likable?
What did I do wrong?
Am I not worthy or deserving?
It triggers feelings of sadness, hurt, indignity, confusion, defensiveness and separation.
Rejection, biochemically, sends the adrenals into overdrive which leads to feelings of panic, uncertainty and fear. As far as our chemical makeup is concerned, we haven’t changed much since cave-man days. And this is relevant because back in cave-man days if one was rejected by the clan, it meant certain death. We needed each other to survive.
This explains why we react so intensely to rejection.
The thing is though, whatever the rejection—a job interview, a house share, a date, a relationship, an idea, a piece of work or suggestion—we always have the opportunity to learn from it.
When we get knocked back, we have the opportunity to get even clearer about what we want. What if that rejection was the universe saying “Oi, aim higher.”
That date that never texted back, the job that said thanks but no thanks—take a step back and see if what you went for was actually what you wanted.
We also have the opportunity to do things better the second time around. When we don’t take things personally, our ideas, piece of work, suggestions can be reworked, tweaked, made better. Our creative muse has the space to be heard.
And when we’re on the spiritual path, we’re in a constant process of evolution, right? We’re constantly attracting situations, people, and relationships to better understand ourselves. Therefore, we can technically totally embrace and bless each rejection.
But all this aside, the reality is, rejection hurts. And the only way to get over it is to get over it.
So how do we get over it?
1. We remind ourselves of the cosmic redirection—that the universe is in charge and has our back. We can relax into this knowledge.
2. It’s never personal. Never. Unless we make it so. Think about the times you’ve rejected someone or something. It’s not personal, it just doesn’t work for you. So you move on. We can do the same when we’re on the receiving end of this rejection.
3. Laugh about it and in doing so lessen our reaction to it. Don’t be victim-y in your humor and especially don’t be self-deprecating. But find the humor in your experience. Don’t take it too seriously.
4. Remember the law of impermanence. That is: nothing lasts. The hurt, embarrassment, resentment, the sick feeling in your gut—it all eventually shifts.
5. And most importantly, remember the best is yet to come. As Steve Maraboli said, “you’re being re-directed to something better.” In getting over the rejection you clear the space for what’s better to come through. This, of course, requires trust and faith, but those two things are a ton better than resentment and bitterness.
If rejection is lingering and preventing you from moving on, be consciously responsible and deal with your stuff. This means having a session of sorts—kinesiology, counseling, spiritual healing, some sort of therapy. Use the resources available to do you. They’re there for a reason.
Author: Clare Woodward
Apprentice Editor: Jessica Chardoulias / Editor: Catherine Monkman