Today I want to bring you into the world of rejection. Well, to explore and understand, but not to experience because it sucks.
Recently I’ve found myself in various moments of being rejected which quickly spiraled into judgement and shame — questioning my worth, my value, my purpose, my path, my life.
It started a few weeks back when a well-intentioned colleague offered feedback on a few sample chapters of a book I’m working on. Even though they were telling me they knew they weren’t the audience for my book, I was gutted. Even though I’ve had boatloads of others tell me how much they love my work, I was still gutted.
Then I had an appointment with a new dentist. When I was asked if I would consider ‘fixing’ my teeth, my immediate response was no. Several days later though, I found myself thinking about it and wondering if at this juncture in my life, I wanted to invest in fixing something that I thought I’d already healed years ago. Growing up, my parents couldn’t afford braces for something cosmetic. I was made fun of for my smile and teeth. I was probably 35 before I got to be okay with my teeth. No matter how many people tell me my smile is amazing and creates absolute character for me, I didn’t hear those voices. I heard ‘you’re not good enough’ once again in my heart.
Then I was trying on a new piece of clothing that I thought was the same style and material as another article I already had and it didn’t fit. This started me into a spiral about my body and my weight. I didn’t realize that the garment was not the same style. The experience slapped me back to the ‘you’re fat’ bullying & body-shaming I’d experienced in the past — not only as a kid, but also as an adult.
Then the final piece was someone telling me that my newsletter was ‘too long’ and offering suggestions on how to shorten it so that it was similar to another newsletter they received. ‘You have too much to say, get to the point’ — a repeated message my entire life. Unsolicited advice is a great opportunity to learn who is and isn’t resonating with what you’re crafting.
These are only a few random instances from the last month or so. I could probably think of a dozen more.
They’ve stirred up because I am working on two important things: one, being more loving to myself and two, showing up in my truth and just being me, no matter what anyone else has to say or think about it.
When we are working on healing something big like our self-esteem, our value, our worth, the Universe gives us pop quizzes. A friend shared this phrase with me some time ago and it’s stuck with me ever since. The quiz is connected with the work you’re doing because otherwise, how else would you know where you’ve healed and where you need to continue to focus?
My ‘I’m not good enough’ story goes back far and deep. It’s an ongoing work-in-progress for me. Some days are better than others, but lately, they have been nothing shy of excruciating.
What does a healer do when she’s feeling beyond done?
I turned to love.
I do things that make me feel good, proud and pleased. I write down the things that I’ve done well on any given day and celebrate my abilities.
It could be simple like using my favourite skin care regimen just a little slower, rather than rushing through it.
Using my favourite coffee mug and drinking a second cup while they’re both hot.
Not letting anyone impede my personal space when it’s quality Heather time. Trust me, whoever they are can wait.
I also allow myself to feel whatever I need to feel. My feelings aren’t wrong or bad; they are signals for me to pay attention and choose my next step.
I also remind myself that these moments are to help me move through to the next healed place in my life.
I affirm: I love myself, over and over until I calm down.
I then sit in the stillness & quiet and ask myself: where am I rejecting myself? What am I doing that is a rejection in my life? Where am I not being ‘good enough’ to me?
Sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, answers come.
Everything has shown up to deepen my experience of rejection, so I can be the light and activate the new code of approving of myself.
What I have learned is that what appeared to be my deepest weakness and pains, has become one of my biggest healing moments.
If you’re in the thick of it right now, I extend my hand to you to borrow some light until you’re able to remember that you, too, have yours.