Wow, that hurts! I feel pangs, in installments. Sometimes it just strikes all at once. Other times, it would jerk me out of my bed. The ego lies scattered in pieces on the floor. And reduced to a supposed self-respect that too is in shatters now. The heart shudders at the words. The first letters get stuck in the throat, and the rest of the word waits on the lips, afraid to jump. Yet I get it out. I push it from the cliff. I utter it loud. I have been REJECTED.
So many times I have said a silent prayer when I have thought of this word: Please God, I don’t want to be the ONE to reject someone EVER! This earnestness has not come all of a sudden. It has taken what look like a million rejections. I know how it feels. I have touched it, felt it tangibly.
I am not of the opinion that a personal rejection hurts more than a professional one. It really depends on what area of life gives me more fulfillment. It depends on which part of my life affects me more, the part that occupies most of my mind. Whichever the case is, I know that both kinds at some point in life have pained me, upset me or disappointed me in varying degrees.
I do have tried the “detour” a lot of times, running from admitting a rejection. What’s there to admit? – you would ask. A rejection is a rejection. You don’t have a choice. It’s a fact. Well to your mind, it may be a fact. But to your whole being, rejection needs admission and acceptance.
Professionally, I have always taken the thought-out way, despite that I am not very ambitious. My only aim in working anything and anywhere is this: love what you are doing. So rejections did not come in the filmy way but in a rather subtle way. I have learnt that however subtle it may be, a rejection will never lose its force on you.
Personally, the rejections have taken several forms: the sugarcoated versions, the subtle ones, the to-my-face ones, the I-am-not-sure ones and the likes. They have taught me one thing: it’s okay to try keeping a person in your life. It shows how much you cared. It’s okay if one person could not understand the good in you. This will steer more goodness in you.
But a more important thing that rejections have never failed in making me do is introspection and a brutally honest one, for that matter. After every personal and professional rejection, I have found myself honestly searching my heart. My mind has written down points about what I possibly could have done wrong. That has always helped me see some of my personality traits that have consistently gone wrong and have still stayed stubbornly. Some of them I have corrected, some are still extremely stubborn. But a rejection has made me see myself in a flashlight.
As a result, regardless of how I have been treated or I deserved to be treated, I have always left a sweet note or an honest apology or a word of thanks or when I was too hurt to do any of these, just a little prayer for the person who rejected me. It’s almost like giving the other person a benefit of doubt. Now that’s a bit too much, you should say. Well of course it is. But too much is way better than lukewarm.
Accepting a ‘NO’ is crucial to my character building. Rejecting a rejection is akin to denying it. And denying a fact can never be conducive to my learning at the School of Life.
But hey there are quite a few lighter things about rejection too. A lot of times, I have often told myself: they didn’t deserve me or dude you have everything but ME!
Really, a rejection and introspection later, I have found myself renewing the faith I have in God and myself. It has helped me see how much I value my life. If I have been rejected, I wasn’t made for ‘that mould’ and I am still to find ‘my own kinda mould’. I also realize that the other person has not lived MY life so I can’t expect him to understand. Or I tried my best to keep them in my life but if they chose to reject my efforts, be it.
Over the years I have experienced that every human being is bound to disappoint another human being at some point. Reason is simple: nobody can possibly be perfect.
Hurts, pains, disappointments may be the result of a rejection. But they cannot be final. After a few years, a rejection won’t even be relevant. But the lessons it taught me, would have helped me grow better.