Rejection and The Season Of Goodwill

Or…subheading…

Christmas And The Apocalypse

I realised today that we can’t do anything, or go anywhere, or interact with anyone, without the risk of rejection. We risk it in our social lives, in our everyday routines, in our careers, in our jobs, business, love lives, family, in everything we do, everywhere we go…

The rejection can be about simple things, interacting with someone in a shop, a work colleague, or a friend. We can feel rejected if they don’t laugh at our little jokes, give enough eye contact, respond the way we expect/want them to. What about our work? Do we feel appreciated? What if we’re rejected on a daily basis when we put our ideas forward, make little suggestions?

And if trivial little things get rejected, what about the big things, like declarations of love? Now there’s the biggie. What if a man or woman wants to change direction, be someone new? Perhaps they’ve been living an inauthentic life, but never knew it, until now. How do they go about suddenly being Jill if they were Jack? Maybe someone has suddenly found their voice but knows it will be met with rejection if they shouted from the rooftops.

Or it could be a creative thing. An aspiring novelist sharing their work for the first time…a playwright…an artist…a painter…a singer… an actor…let’s all wait for that moment…the hiatus…the point of no return. Let’s put it out there, all of us, pour ourselves out. Bathe in the vulnerability, shower in it. Feel the raw. Skin peeled off. Now you know. You’re in the middle of the whirlwind. You feel you might explode with the tension but there’s nothing you can do. You just have to ride it through. So you felt it and you realise there’s no escape. Every day, in every way, we risk (maybe it’s just me, I don’t want to tar you with the same brush) that feeling of…rejection but what is it really? Why is it so painful, so avoidable? Yes, AVOIDABLE. Why is it so easy to avoid? Or rather preferable? And why do we go on avoiding it, time after time?

Because avoiding pain is a human instinct.

The fear of rejection is a deep primal, primitive, gut wrenching instinct of survival…bringing you back to the infantile state. It doesn’t injure us physically but it can destroy us emotionally, psychologically. Or…hurt our pride? Pride is such a coward. And if we didn’t have this…if there was no risk, or we felt no risk, in other words if we didn’t care, how far could we go? Could rejection make us stronger, when we became immune through constant exposure?

I’m interested in what type of rejection is the hardest? Sexual? Creative? Professional? Personal relationships? Family? Are they all on an even keel? Does it depend on the person? Perhaps it’s different for everyone. We all have our archilles heel.

I haven’t recently been rejected, but I’m sure we’ve all been rejected recently…that’s not the reason for this post, it’s the RISK of rejection. Now there’s the key, there’s the Big Mamma. I need to share that and in doing so, have made myself vulnerable to the risk of rejection, in a way. It has to be done, I have to live it, if I’m going to advocate it, it’s all about the risk. Sometimes I think the risk is what hurts more than anything, it’s the ‘nothing-to-fear-but-fear-itself-thingy-my-gig, that’s the Bogie Man. The Bogie man is sick (we are sick, I am sick) and we need to haul his ass out of here.

People love vulnerability, it reminds them of themselves. Our rejections rub off on others. It inspires them. Schadenfreude. You are helping others gain pleasure through your misfortune, but what they don’t realise is, your rejection has a by product. That ‘by product’ is a bit like like gas, like a cow passing wind, except it helps others. You cannot lose here. They think you are crushed through rejection but how can you be crushed if you’ve helped them want to live for another day through Schadenfreude?

Most of our rejections are temporary. So it’ll be about pushing through and never giving in and believing in the passions of your life. We have nothing else but the passions of our life, which are those things which make us feel like we are in oxygen debt if we don’t keep doing them. So, stick your neck out. Put yourself out there, risk rejection. There’s no way we can actually  go through life without the risk, unless we live without any social contact. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Treat it as a game, and you will win, or at least get somewhere, move on. It’s better than standing still.

At this time of year, rejection takes on a darker hue, it becomes heightened and therefore harder to bear. We are aware of it more for ourselves and for others. Everyone gets a little crazy the week before Christmas. It’s that time limit, the countdown, the tension.

I saw an abandoned shopping trolley full of food in a supermarket. The place was absolutely jam packed and it was utter chaos. I could imagine the rising panic of the person who abandoned it and I hoped they were feeling better for running away, more liberated, less tense. I was feeling it too. I wanted to run too, but I soldiered on. I was proud of them, whoever they were. It was a positive slant to their panic attack. They took action and got out of that hell hole. At this time of year, people just aren’t thinking straight, and another thing they’ll do is put something in a trolley and often abandon it on the sweet shelves by the check out. Why does it always seem to be a chilled or frozen product? Is it some kind of sod’s law?

People are so irritated and annoyed and panicky right now. Mothers yell at their kids more. Spouses snap at spouses. In fact, there’s much more chance of rejection this time of year than any other (Except perhaps for Valentine’s day)

People stock up on food as if it’s an apocalypse and an apocalypse is always a lonely feeling. I cam imagine an apocalypse brings rejection in bucket loads.

But Christmas isn’t an apocalypse, it’s a holiday. It’s a time for joy, love, giving and receiving, the season of goodwill, but sometimes the bleeding obvious needs to be stated now and again.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

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