Rejection is protection!

  • What?

    Rejection is protection! How can that be?  

    This is a saying in 12-step programs.  When someone rejects you, or your proposal, it is actually a sort of “whew…dodged that bullet!” because even though you wanted “it” or wanted a relationship with this person, your IDEA of what you would actually receive in the bargain was just that:  YOUR IDEA.  Not the reality of what would occur.

    This is one of the hardest passages of adulthood.  Recognizing that the voice inside our head, the strategic mind that tells us what it thinks is good and bad, is actually not what is wisest in us.  There is another voice, “that small still voice within” that knows more but often scares that strategic mind and so it shuts that voice down.  

    I have a long time friend, going on 3 decades.  She is a recovering alcoholic.  She told me once that first time she tried a 12 step program it didn’t work.  The step (maybe first?) that asks you to surrender to your higher power?  Well, she really believed that “She was her higher power”.  And I don’t blame her.  First of all she might be the most competent person I know, and I know so many, that this is actually a huge complement.  Second, she grew up where there was no reason to trust any adult around her and every reason to assume she was the only person that was for her.  The only person she could trust and the only person who would protect her, was herself.

    But when she said it (“I always thought I was my higher power.”)  my first thought was “She is just like me.”  I too find it easier to trust my idea of what should happen instead of trusting “life” or “God” or even that small still voice deep within me that whispers, maybe it is better this way.  My strategic mind hates that voice.  It doubles down on its list of why things should be the way it thinks they should.

    For most of us our idea about a job, a marriage, really any endeavor we wish for ourselves never materializes that way.  It is always something different.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse, but always different.  So silly me, why do I really think I know what is best?  So, picture me raising my right hand and swearing:  “When the “no” comes, on any front, I resolve to recall all the times a “yes” made me unhappy and say “I probably just dodged a bullet, and I don’t know why yet.”  

    Care to join me?



About Nancy


Nancy C. Wonders is an interior designer. The “interiors” she designs are psychological, not physical, space -- a client’s personal interior landscape, or the emotional barometer of a team, or an entire organization. Nancy’s office includes a “design bar” where clients have a chance to re-invent how they see themselves and/or their organizations. These re-structurings result in discovering what is fresh, new and alive. This discovery prompts profound, immediate change, on both the inside and in interactions with others. Read more»

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