“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
When you’ve been rejected
A Christian Science Perspective
We’re forever approved of and chosen by God.
August 22, 2007
It’s strange to find yourself with the same hurt feelings you had in grade school when your best friend told you that she never wanted to play with you again. The stabbing rejection is back – that feeling of not being good enough, not being chosen, not being wanted or valued.
Maybe it’s ridiculous to feel this way over a friendship that has moved on. You say to yourself, “Grow up! It’s not the first time you’ve been rejected, and it won’t be the last.”
But heartache isn’t so simple. It can be devastating – the result of infidelity in a marriage, being fired from a job, or a grown child no longer staying in touch. Whether the situation is big or small, we long to be comforted.
This has happened a number of times in my adult life. Some I’ve handled better than others. As I look back, the times I’ve found real comfort were when I stopped blaming the situation, myself, or others, and turned in prayer to God. This prayer always revealed to me that no matter what the hurt appeared to be, what actually made it so painful was that something about my relationship with God felt askew.
That may sound strange at first, but understanding my identity as God’s child has been key to finding my way out of rejection. One way the Bible has taught me to look at God is as the only Ego, or Mind. God revealed Himself to Moses as “I AM THAT I AM”‘ (Ex. 3:14). Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, described “I AM” as “God; incorporeal and eternal Mind; divine Principle; the only Ego” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 588).
I found comfort again after a family member’s comments cut deeply. As I prayed, I realized I’d been feeling like a martyr, having gone the extra mile with her. I heard a gentle rebuke from God, “Neither you nor she has ever been responsible for doing anything on your own. I am the source of all the doing. Both of you are My glorious expressions of goodness.” This brought me peace.
We don’t have to just pass over, suppress, or let time take away the hurts of rejection. Prayer can bring us the comfort of being forever approved of and chosen by God, the Ego who defines our very being.
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