I didn’t die from being rejected. But it did sure as hell hurt.
– Can we go for a walk?
– May I hug you?
– May I join you?
I am practicing taking no for an answer, letting feelings of insecurities emerge, some time rushes of pain, shiverings from feeling rejected, feeling that I am wrong and feelings of not understanding the code of conduct. And underneath all this the deep longing to belong.
I guess it happens to all of us some times. The feeling of standing outside, looking in and neither find the key or the door. At least that is a position that is very familiar to me.
I stand there, watching the others playing and laughing and wondering what it takes to come inside.
I guess this is something that I brought with me from forever. Sometimes a feeling of being in the wrong body, maybe it would have been better if I were a boy... And then not really understanding how to behave and play with girls... And it goes on with periods of really being outside, times of being bullied, times of really not getting it. Times of feeling the rejection on my physical skin, and then withdrawing even more.
These lessons learned me a lot. I learned to be on guard, to always be on alert, being aware of potential dangers all the time, being aware of words that could turn into poisonous bites from a snake, often in the form of a female, saying something that made other laugh and threw me out of the context. And I learned to watch my moves, my mouth and to create a persona, which was acceptable to the group.
I got kind of a stone face. I didn’t give anyone a possibility to read my body, mind or feelings. I made myself invisible and shared this shallow likeable person. I seemed like a tough and cold girl. Inside I was warm, bleeding and fucking terrified. I stopped crying and didn't start again for decades.
For years now I have strived to be authentic. To search for who I am, and to show that person to me and to the world. I have strived to care less about other persons judgment and to judge myself less. To feeling comfortable with being uncomfortable.
It’s not easy. I fail again and again and again. There are moments when I feel to afraid to go for my truth, to ask for what I want or need, to show that I have needs or desires. Sometimes a rejection throws me back in time to when I was bullied and walked alone, and when the informal leaders punished schoolmates if they approached me.
To not be so alone, to break the ice I have many, many times said yes when it would have served me better to say no. This longing to belong made me accept the yeses I really didn’t want, because not being part of the group was even more painful. Sometimes it felt like dying.
So here we go again. For some mystical reasons I have loads of opportunities to meet other persons yes to themselves and no to me this week. It brings up so many feelings in me. It reminds me of times when I didn’t know how to belong, it makes my body shiver from inside, it makes me shy. Fear of more rejections and no’s make me hesitate in the movement. Should I approach and meet what ever is there? There could be a yes and there could be a no. How much pain is it possible for me to transform into something else? When is it time for me to not bother so much about other persons choices?
One of the things surfacing is a feeling of being stupid. And that is, to me, a very uncomfortable feeling. I feel stupid to react with pain on rejections, I feel stupid to show my insecurities and my vulnerability. I feel stupid sharing this openly to the group. I feel stupid showing my tears.
It’s like waking on thin ice. It becomes a matter of life and death. My primal brain is keeping me as a hostage for a while, and that makes me feel even more stupid.
And still, most of the time, I go for it. I ask if I can join. And I can see that most of the time I actually can. I ask for a hug or to give a hug, and I can see many yes’s. There is even them who say... come to me when ever, and there are people who gladly take a walk with me.
While being caught by the primal brain, when in survival mode, it’s as it’s only the threats, the no’s are visible. When I leave this fog it’s possible to distinguish other things... such as: Maybe it’s time also for me to sometimes practice my ability to say no. Maybe the fear of aloneness needs to be dissolved, so that it’s really possible to listen to what my heart needs, not just to my primal brain?
I guess one of my survival mechanisms has been to say yes, because I so desperately wanted to belong. And now I know, that in a wider sense I do always belong, that I need to stop separate when caught my different kinds of fear, which are locking me in to my own pain body.
And in doing this means , part of the journey means, at least to me, to feel stupid, insecure and shaky. And still feel that it’s okay to be me with all there is, warts and all.
I am speaking a lot of self-love, self-care and self-acceptance these days.
And, well, as you se I get loads of possibilities to practice. Isn’t life amazing?