everyday, i come to this page, uncertain of the shape my thoughts will take.
everyday, so many lessons; every morning, so many revelations.
i am tired, on multiple levels. i am navigating the waters of rejection, once again learning it’s depth, the feeling of it lapping against my skin, the fear of drowning in it.
rejection is an interesting experience, because it feels immensely personal and yet, when i really dig into it, i can see that the other person’s experience of me has little to do with me. and vice versa.
as someone practicing taking responsibility for how i feel (instead of falling into blaming, my historically preferred approach to pain), i am learning how to dissect my side of things and the ways in which i am hurting myself (or maybe simply the ways i am hurting).
for what seems like the thousandth time, i’m confronting the reality of my loneliness and boredom. along with the places these states takes me and the actions they tend to prompt from me.
i’m coming to terms with the ways i’ve infused my hopes and desires into my idea of this person. and also the ways in which i am not great at not getting my way.
as i’ve gotten older, i’ve gotten better, more skilled at not “barking up the wrong tree” — not pursuing someone who’s so clearly uninterested, unavailable, or both.
and yet there are still times when i just can’t help myself. when i feel captivated, intrigued by someone, and i have to have them, despite whatever they’d prefer.
i think this is the place i come to when i’ve been lonely for a good while, and avoidant of it. and instead of engaging with it head on, i become focused, even obsessed with the other person in the subconscious hope they’ll fix it for me. that i’ll be able to bypass feeling the hard feelings completely.
this rarely, if ever, pans out well.
it’s also a total objectification of the other person, turning them into a means to an end, instead of a highly complex and individualized human being with as many needs and desires as myself.
and then i villainize them, making them the object of my anger instead of truly grappling with my pain.
it’s a cycle i know well, intimately, really. it made up a lot of my 20s, and i’m setting the intention to not make it a pattern in my 30s.
but of course, this means the willingness to feel my loneliness, my deep, unmet desire for companionship. my fear of being alone.
i honestly don’t know how to grapple with hard feelings. i’ve spent so much of my life in avoidance of and distraction from them, honing the skill of intellectualizing my feelings instead of feeling them.
i’ve also found that trying to feel my feelings on demand to be a generally counterproductive experience. so oftentimes, i end up feeling them only once they’ve gotten so big, they’ve become a tidal wave that swallows me whole.
i took a somatics course this past fall/winter that could probably help me out with this — much like my experiences with yoga, i’ve found the body to be the entry point to hard, tangled emotions vs trying to think myself there.
because ultimately, feelings start in the body and then become stories we tell ourselves, often stories we’ve been telling ourselves for years, even decades. i don’t want to keep telling myself the same stories around rejection, ones that feed my insecurity, my blaming, my lacking.
i am learning the path of self-compassion, the willingness to hold my pain with tenderness and care in place of ridicule and shame. this transformation is not easy or simple (or even straightforward). i have a long history of using shame as a tool for change, and so learning how to grow and evolve without it has a learning curve.
the mantra i’ve found to be the most effective when i’m getting down on myself is: never a failure, always a lesson (a tattoo of Rihanna’s).
this is the best reminder i have (at the moment) that instead of beating myself up, i can learn and grow from what feels like mistakes.
it’s a very relieving perspective to have, very forgiving and understanding. it feels like the path of love. and it’s not a letting off the hook, it’s a transmutation process, turning the “bad” into something “good.”
well, i don’t think i have the capacity to keep writing, so i’m going to wish y’all a happy sunday and leave it here.
if anyone would like to share their own lessons with rejection, please do. collective wisdom is the most potent.
love y’all. stay strong and soft and tender and bold ❤ keep challenging the bullshit that’s been fed to us.
may we never forget our truest nature, as divine beings on their earth, interconnected, and interdependent. ❤ ❤ ❤