Personal Growth Through Rejection

Rejection is an experience that we all have from time to time. It is an energy that we can use in a positive way for our growth or we can allow it to have quite a negative effect.

A while ago, our twelve-year-old daughter Mira was experiencing some rejection from the girls in her class. This was very painful for her and sparked many very deep family discussions. As a mother I have always wished I could protect our three children from painful experiences. Yet I sensed this experience was being given to Mira to strengthen her self-image.

When people feel rejected, they usually go one of two ways. They either blame themselves and feel they are no good, or blame the person or situation that rejected them. They either internalize or externalize the blame. I did not want Mira to get into blaming either herself or the other girls. We talked about the importance of believing in yourself and knowing that you are your own best friend. Her older sister Rami joined the discussions. She shared with Mira a time when she had entered a brand new school. She had left behind a large public school where she was quite popular, to be a student at a very small school where friendships had been established years before. For quite a long period she was simply ignored. She ate every lunch by herself. Rami told Mira that, although it was sometimes painful and lonely, she used that alone time to appreciate and believe in herself. Little by little students started wanting to sit with her. She soon became quite popular again.

I shared with Mira the importance of developing a safe place within her own heart where she knows she will always be loved and appreciated. Being one’s own best friend is perhaps one of the greatest qualities we can develop. Our culture tends to  affirm the importance of only seeking outside material gain and relationships. Little value is placed on seeking the friendship and peace that is waiting to be found right within our own heart.

As Mira concentrated on loving and believing in herself, the rejection from the outside diminished in importance. That rejection experience has been a blessing for Mira. It has brought her growth and more self-appreciation.

Several weeks later, Barry and I received a rejection for our new book. We felt we had found the right publisher, and the editor had been enthusiastic about working with us. The relationship had been building for several exciting months. The news came when I was alone with Mira. I sat on her bed and tears fell from my eyes. The adult part of me was doing fine, already coming up with alternatives. The little child in me felt that I got rejected because I am no good. Then Mira reached out, held me, and started repeating all that I had shared with her about the blessing of rejection. She sang a little song that she had learned about loving and believing in yourself. I saw that this experience was giving me an opportunity to heal some of my feelings from childhood about not being good enough.       Rejection can cause internal growth and healing and a chance to be strengthened in self love. The loving words from mother to child, were coming back to me from daughter to mother. My inner child was being healed as well. This rejection was giving me an opportunity to love and believe in myself more fully.

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