What could be harder than rejection? Telling others you were rejected! It’s that feeling of embarrassment and shame. It’s allowing others to see that you were not accepted, or chosen – like putting a spotlight on something people possibly can’t see and allowing them to see it.
Like some of you know, I applied to go on a retreat, and you had to answer some pretty hard questions, and those questions were vulnerable and raw! I wanted to be a part of this significant and big retreat not just for the retreat itself, but to be a part of in this place and space in my journey right now.
I waited and waited to find out if I was one of the chosen to be sent an invitation … they promised us an answer by the 15th of September, and then they pushed it to the 29th as they had an overwhelming amount of people apply. I waited and looked at my email every time it chimed! I wanted this more than anything.
I spend a good couple of sessions talking about it in therapy with my therapist, and he knew just how important this retreat would have been to me. I opened myself up to him about just WHY this meant so much to me and how I felt about it. He got it .. he is one of the people who gets it, and understands just what this meant to me. Applying for this retreat felt like a huge part of my journey – it was a big damn deal as my therapist would put it :) – – – and it was.
I found out Friday that I was NOT one of the people chosen to go on this retreat. Some may see it as significant odds (350 selected out of the 3700 people who applied). Some people may say “maybe the next one” or some may say “it wasn’t about you and who you are”! Well for ME, putting myself out there to apply for this retreat was a HUGE step for me. Letting myself be seen in the answers to the hard questions they asked, and allowing myself to be vulnerable to the rejection that may happen?
I took it a lot harder than I thought I would! I thought I was prepared for it! I prayed about it! I kept telling myself and the inner child within me “if I don’t get chosen, it’s not about my worth, I am a good person deserving of this!”
All those positive thoughts got washed away when I read the denial email that kindly said, “it’s with our heavy heart to say” and “maybe next year” or “but please know you are on our waiting list” – The generic email sent to all the people who didn’t get it!
I cried for what seemed like forever! That old familiar feeling as a little child running to my room as fast as I could to get to a safe space to cry being unseen! It felt all too familiar with my past!
All those positive words I swore I would feel washed away in that moment of rejection! I felt hurt! It wasn’t just about the retreat! It wasn’t just about what the retreat was for! It was about being chosen for allowing myself to be vulnerable to the questions asked on the form! It was about someone choosing me and saying “this woman is deserving of this space and or “she is good enough to be a part of this retreat!”.
It FELT horrible. Then came letting others know that “I was not chosen”, which felt even worse! What will others think?
My therapist, of course, was nothing short of supportive, caring, and had open arms, heart, eyes, and ears to how I felt. His first response was “THEY made a HUGE mistake!” HE gets the story and the wounds this hurt comes from, and I so appreciate him for that.
My friends and family love me to the ends of the earth to know that this did hurt – but some people don’t understand why it hurt so much.
So what do I do with these heavy feelings? Well, I do what I always do … OVERCOME! I move thru it and find ways to rise above!
My therapist wants me to honor my feelings and continue talking about it because this is too important not to talk about! I just want to run past it, but something tells me he is right. I need to show the young part and myself that I don’t need to shove my feelings away. This is how I feel, and I am worthy of talking about it.
I have to say, writing about this tonight feels pretty raw and vulnerable … something I would never do before is to write about rejection! But maybe this is the first step in healing, and showing the inner self that it’s OK to feel and it’s ok to be sad and hurt without consequences.