Family members and schoolmates said mean things at times, and as a result, I never felt acceptable, attractive, lovable, smart, talented, or worthy.
When I was fourteen, I discovered a book gathering dust in our family bookshelf called, Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. A light bulb came on. I devoured the truths in the book and learned why rejection happens and how it can wound and destroy. However, I failed to learn the mind over matter message of the book and continued craving the acceptance of people in my life and internalizing the rejection.
I am a person who believes the Bible contains words of life and wisdom beyond measure; that the Creator of the Universe knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16) and calls me by my name. (Isaiah 49:1) He sees me, knows me, and leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3) I have an experiential relationship with my Savior. I am loved, accepted, lovable, smart, talented, worthy, and can be attractive when I want to be, so why does rejection still hurt?
Rejection is an internal wound and must be cared for every bit as much as a physical wound. As a child, I reacted to physical injured by crying. I acknowledging the pain and had to ask for help. As I grew up, I learned to clean the wound and apply medicine before covering it with a bandage because dirty wounds won’t heal properly and become infected, leading to sickness or death.
I’ve learned that wounds to my psyche need cared in the same way. I feel better if I cry and acknowledge my pain. I’ve also heard the sayings, “It’s not your fault,” and “Hurting people hurt people.” I further understand that their wounds have festered because they didn’t ask for help.
I ask my Daddy God for help. His medicine comes in the form of his Word and insights, such as, “Forgive them for being ignorant because they don’t know what they do.” (Luke 23:34, paraphrased) When I don’t want to forgive, I’ve heard his gentle whisper in my ear. “You don’t always say or do correct things, why do you expect perfection from others?”
My Daddy blows on my wounds, covers them with bandages of love, and holds me until I feel better. Then he sends me back out to play, speaking words of wisdom. “Play nice with your friends, slow down, flee from danger,” and even an occasional, “Don’t make me come down there!”