I learned recently that the word rejection comes from a Latin word, which means “to be thrown back.” It resonated with me as I started to think of the many ways rejection causes us to go backward in our lives. It is a devastating catalyst for self-defeat.
A lifetime of rejection is crippling emotionally, spiritually, and relationally and is a deep wound that can be inflicted on us by our relentless and ruthless enemy.
There are seven signs of rejection you can recognize in yourself or someone you may know well. (I know there are many more, but these seven stand out to me.)
- Emotional immaturity
- A love vacuum
- Loneliness and fear
- Loss of identity
- Difficulty having a relationship with God
Ultimately rejection is being unable to love and be loved.
Did you know that rejection can also be experienced before birth? A child in the womb can feel the brunt of it and scientists have discovered there’s plenty of evidence that what’s heard in utero can make a lasting impression.
When rejection enters the mind of a child, they live their lives looking for love in all the wrong places. The results of rejection before birth or at any time after can be varied but life-altering.
Rejection can paralyze and build emotional and relational walls.
If a parent does not communicate love to a child, it creates a vacuum in his emotional being that leaves him empty inside. In this place of feeling unloved by parents, the child suffers from self-rejection, loneliness, depression, and often lives in an imaginary world.
Disciplining can be interpreted as rejection and may leave the child suffering emotionally. The parent may be displeased with the child’s behavior and approach the discipline with a negative attitude and then cease to communicate with the child. The silent disapproval leaves the child feeling rejected more than disciplined.
Perfectionism can also create the bruise of rejection. Never feeling good enough leaves a deep wound.
I’m reminded of a young adult who has suffered his entire life because of the rejection he experienced by his birth parents. Born into a home of drugs, alcohol, and no moral compass, this child was eventually adopted into a loving home. The parents who had prayed for a child of their own finally had a baby to hold in their arms.
Their love was full and complete as they parented their child through each stage.
There were signs of anxiety and emotional issues, but they knew their love would compensate for anything that may be wrong. The years of struggle, however, and discovery of ADD, BiPolar, and depression took its toll on the entire family.
As the child became an adult, he went back to the lifestyle of his birth parents. The child was more comfortable in a world of chaos where there was no moral compass, then he was in the home of loving and caring parents.
This moment in his life is when the bruise of rejection became evident.
This story is repeated many times over in our society. The good news is that there are help and hope for anyone suffering from the bruise of rejection. They can become whole and healthy adults.
To experience healthy results takes long-suffering, forbearance, wisdom, and more patience than most people may have. The truth is, there are no easy answers.
We are created in the image of God and have five basic needs as we live life on planet earth.
To receive any or all of these regularly can impact the rejection you’ve experienced as a child or an adult.
If someone you love is experiencing rejection, you can also remember that helping to meet these five needs can help them along.
In the middle of my rejection, I prayed to God every day to show me a way out of depression and anxiety. Never underestimate the power of your prayers as you cry out for His help! He answered my prayers by providing a Christian Psychiatrist. The combination of counseling and medication became my “way out” from the bruise of rejection.
Let me say that, while professional counseling and medication became my relief, it may not be enough for others. I do, however, believe it can significantly improve the well being of a person.
Writing about this reminds me that the bruise of rejection is complicated, but don’t give up on those you love.
Being aware and understanding rejection is the beginning of the journey towards wholeness.
Overcoming rejection is a huge victory and the lessons learned from it make you strong, compassionate, and productive. You’ll begin to discover your God-given potential and can fulfill the purpose for which you were created.
I love this quote by Henry Rollins. He says, “We all learn lessons in life. Some stick, some don’t. I have always learned more from rejection and failure, than from acceptance and success.”
I believe going from the bruise of rejection to healing and acceptance is possible! Don’t give up!