~by Lolisha GLT Chaney
No one likes to be rejected…and most of us aren’t aware of how to deal with rejection, much less that it can be a blessing in disguise.
We’re all sensitive to rejection. It’s hardwired into us. Neuroscience demonstrates that perceived rejection activates the same part of the brain as physical pain.
Can you look back to a time in the past where feelings of rejection consumed you, but it turned out to be a gift because it brought you to something more beautiful and satisfying in your life?
Perhaps my story will help you understand how to deal with rejection and embrace its mystifying gifts.
Finding the Beauty in Rejection
I imagine my mind as a package and my thoughts as its contents. By my early 20’s and emerging into the earlier stages of adulthood, this container was filled with mostly negative images of myself.
My package had not only been filled by me but also largely by the world I lived in.
An environment that was driven by unrealistic expectations and fictitious beliefs which caused self-doubt and insecurity if your mind hadn’t been filled with healthier things. Living in such an incubator caused my self-esteem to erode as I depended on external sources of my environment to provide my soul with nourishing acceptance.
I had been accumulating these destructive mindsets since childhood and managed to find little ‘keepsakes’ wherever I went. You could even say I had a knack for attracting them.
As a teenager, I found envious “friends” who would slip in demeaning innuendos to ‘level the playing field’. Once, I had a boyfriend who would laugh in hysteria when I tried to share my music with him and even told me I was a ‘garbage’ artist.
In fact, there always seemed to be someone around to tell me I was ugly, skinny, and couldn’t sing, rap, or (insert verb here).
As the hip-hop culture exploded in the mainstream, it heavily influenced the preferences of my peers. From fashion and romance to everything in between. The images being portrayed taught us right from wrong, good from bad.
Unfortunately for me, the desirable woman in hip-hop looked nothing like me; my skin was dark and my frame petite. I’m far from a fair-complexioned, voluptuous vixen with prime real estate stuffed in the back of designer jeans.
Almost everywhere I turned, I was fed messages that what I possessed was not enough; that there was little value in my creative soul and wondrous spirit. As my peers responded to this standard of beauty, this measure of value, I became the least in the eyes of what I saw the most.
It was communicated to me through these expectations, that in the absence of those physical attributes I was not even a woman.
Because I was not the type to miss out on what I desired – which at the time was acceptance – I told myself that I must improvise! I was determined to function within this handicap. Since subpar wouldn’t cut it and the last choice would simply go unchosen, I learned to run faster, and jump higher.
I began investing feverishly into my sex appeal and even went as far as wearing layers of clothes underneath my pants to create the image that I believed was most valuable.
While watching music videos, I became an understudy taking mental note of all that made her ‘the one’. I tried to mimic what I thought made the guys whom I wanted, want her. I tried my best to look like her, to walk like her, to say what I thought she would say.
After I learned how to masquerade as this mythical creature (as best as I could stuff my pants), the playing field opened up for me and I began having access to the kind of dating opportunities I desired.
Once these opportunities were secured, I made an interesting discovery: This feigned ‘beauty’ attracted desire but seemed to repel love. I started noticing that these women were suffering from various forms of abuse and were being devalued and disrespected in their personal lives.
I began to see that the type of ‘beauty’ that they paid homage to did not invoke feelings of love, honor, or respect. Contrarily, it invoked a possessive, yet fleeting and disposable infatuation with a shelf life lasting as long as her novelty.
Because this was the criteria for selection, the competition was fierce. There would always be someone working to become the most ‘beautiful’, the most anatomically generous object of desire.
I saw these women used and thrown away like paper towels after hand washing. In following her footsteps, I visited the same landmarks of humiliation and heartbreak. I too had been unwrapped, opened and re-gifted, as my intimate relationships never caught aflame into something substantial.
In offering what she offered, I received what she received. I was entertainment, rather than a cherished attainment and no one is satisfied seeing one concert for the rest of their lives.
This made me look not at who was regarded as beautiful, but who was respected, valued and loved. To my surprise, it was women with creative souls and wondrous spirits!
Women of all shapes and sizes, who sparkled with self-respect, and who were confident because of who they’d become and not what they looked like (in or out of their jeans). Women who loved themselves and were thereby able to love others.
Women who were not for sale because they possessed something priceless inside.
Low-bidding window shoppers would simply walk past, not wanting the hassle that comes with amassing such a fortune. It’s as if we had been chasing an illusion, while the secret lay hidden in plain view.
I had to go in circles to learn that what I thought I needed, was with me all along…Me.
I possessed the ability to become a beautiful person by adding value to myself and others. I became a treasured possession to the people who have benefited from what a lesser class despised.
This experience taught me that in some cases, it is actually favorable to go unchosen.
About the Author
Lolisha GLT Chaney is a freelance writer and inspirational speaker from the San Francisco Bay Area, CA. As a depression survivor, she draws upon the wealth of knowledge gained from her journey to emotional wholeness. Lolisha has accepted the call to a higher lifestyle with a focus on helping others by telling her story with refreshing candor that resonates with the human experience. This work is used to inspire others to remodel their lives from the inside-out; getting life together, one thought at a time.
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