Rejection

It is almost impossible not to think about this word because my world right now is flooded by reminders. Rejection. One word, innumerable effects.

My devotion this morning had me reflecting on things that wounded me emotionally. This drew up quite a number of memories. Last night, the same thing happened and I found myself asking God to have any of the bits of my heart that were still hurt. From friendships that ended and left with chunks of my heart to guys who whether dating or not, left with bits of my soul. From disappointments and anticipointments, to moments that were beautifully high but left me broken the minute things crumbled.

The other trigger was a TED talk I watched on 100 days of rejection that encouraged those of us who’ve felt the sting of rejection enough to make us hide in our cocoon, to expose ourselves to that very feeling. The point wasn’t to get you wounded further or get you hooked to pain. The activity is premised on the fact that the more you expose yourself to rejection, the less it hurts and eventually, you become immune to it. I won’t lie, this sounded exciting; I mean, who wouldn’t want to be immune to rejection? I considered trying it for 30 days and each day I would go request something that I knew would be outrightly rejected (maybe asking for a raise from my boss should have been my starting point, Lol).

When I thought about it, I agreed with several of the things stated on that talk. Most of us fear rejection because of our perceived reaction by the person bound to reject us. We come up with all sorts of reasons why we were rejected: I wasn’t good enough, she’d never accept a guy like me, I am not his type, I am not good enough for this position, they don’t usually consider people like me, it’s because of my background… and on and on we’ll go. However, we’ll never know unless we ask. The guy giving the talk one day knocked on a random door and asked to go plant a flower in the person’s backyard. Of course his offer was rejected and he had all sorts of ideas as to why plus had begun beating himself up for this. Then he decided to ask the person why he refused his offer and turns out he had a dog that uproots things in the backyard so he didn’t want to waste the guy’s flower but he referred him to a lady who loved flowers. Not surprising, the lady was ecstatic about his offer and accepted.

This morning, one of the first things that met me on Facebook was an article shared explaining how guys break the hearts of girls even when they were not dating. This I easily relate with! From my own experiences and those of my friends; in fact if I had a dime for each time this occurred, I’d be a pretty rich woman right now! All the friendships where the guy was sweet, always listening, always there for you, crosses oceans for you, is your go-to guy for everything, always telling you how beautiful you are, willingly stating how much you are missed every so often and practically acting like a boyfriend without the title. Then you fall for him only to realise it wasn’t mutual or discover he started dating some other girl. Rejection stares at you with its big ugly eyes again.

It’s never a funny thing to hope and miss; to put your best effort and be met with a no; to invest so much only for things to fail; to try even against all hope and still be disappointment. It kills something inside of you each time and you either end up shut tightly away from anything threatening or masking your wounds and constantly portraying a picture perfect you. None of that helps and eventually you’ll see that healing is necessary.

Healing starts with exposing your wounds bit by bit, by choosing to step out and try again even when you’re scared. Most of all the ultimate remedy lies with the Maker of our hearts. He knows exactly how that wound came, what shape it took and how to heal it effectively. He breathes onto those wounds, pours out His liquid love to wash them and holds us gently until we’re well.

The Unexpected Dalliance

What would I do if someone I was dating or married to, cheated? If we were dating, then it’s easy: I’d dump you faster than you could assemble the five letters your apology would begin with. With dating, it’s simpler because the two of you aren’t bound legally or spiritually. If they’re cheating when they have the option to leave, how are they to be trusted when the two of you are married? Dating is the nursery bed/seedbed where whatever is planted there is transferred when marriage comes and everything grows to bigger proportions.

If it was somebody I was married to, hmmm, now that becomes a little more complicated. Most people will simply tell you to pack your bags and run immediately, others would advise you to stay and work through it. Yes I am completely against divorce because I strongly believe marriage isn’t just something you walk into and out of at your pleasure; it’s a serious institution.

I personally would first interrogate and find out what it was exactly: a one-night stand or an affair. A one time sexual escapade is easier to deal with; not easy but slightly better compared to the rest. He wouldn’t just say sorry and be forgiven, no we’d involve our best couple (who would have been walking with us all through the years) and possibly, our spiritual authority. Basically people we could trust and those who had been married way longer than us and had the wisdom to handle such things. This is something that would require us talking and finding out why it happened and what next.

If it was a sexual affair, I would still go through the same process. This of course would be much more serious because he made the choice repeatedly. Anything sexual forms bonds, so getting over it would not be a walk in the Park. Sex for women creates much stronger bonds than it does for men.

The one that would worry me the most is the affair where there was no sexual activity but she had my husband’s emotions and mind. The kind where he couldn’t wait to see or talk to her. The type where their minds danced to a similar tune. Where her words had him captivated. The kind where his mind was drawn fully or to such a great extent that it was hard to get out. She who made him laugh. The one who had him excited. The one who he thought truly understood him. The one who listens when he talks about his problems. The one who helps him forget his troubles. The one who becomes his distraction. The one he’s not afraid to tell anything. The one with whom he can be himself. That is the one I would be worried about… and if that happened, then I do not know what I would do.

Clearly, it is true that none of these things are as easy as we think, until it happens to you. For now, I speculate and go with what my single mind thinks, if this ever occurs (and I hope not) then I hope something here will be of use.

Miss me

Miss me with your expectations. Yep. I probably won’t meet them.

You’ll find me quite a handful (and you’d need big hands for this), you’ll find me hard to understand at times and I’ll step on your toes oft enough. 

I took after my dad’s stubbornness. I like having my way. I talk a lot just as he does. I became more introverted like my mum when I grew up. I have moments where I want to be alone and don’t appreciate human interaction. I am a dreamer like my brother but not the best at implementation of those ideas. 

I am a weird combination of a perfectionist and a messy sanguine. So you’ll find neatly organised rooms one moment and the next, they will look like the aftermath of hurricane me. I love cooking for people but I don’t feel like it often. By now you’ve noticed discipline isn’t my forte.

Yes I grew up being daddy’s girl but somehow that didn’t insulate me from the daddy issues you’ll find still healing. If I got half the heart my dad has for people and the kind of love he’s shown me; then you’ll proud of me. My mum’s amazing intelligence wasn’t the only thing that was passed down; I learnt kindness, generosity and unbelievable patience. Not that I’m good at them but I’m learning. My brother’s ability to go after what he wants and his people skills also rub off on me. That young man inspires me in ways I can’t explain.

So yes, I’m work in progress. I don’t mind learning and accept growth. I joked the other day about how God forgot moderation when creating me. Everything about me is extreme; both the good and ugly. But rest in this: God’s got me. I’ve watched the way He’s moulding me and it’s encouraging. Oh you should know how in love I am with Him. He lavishes me with His own love!

Most of all, I acknowledge this: miss me with your expectations is a two-edged sword. This isn’t just for you but me as well. You’re who you are and perfect as you are. So when you come, I’ll lay my expectations on the altar and take you for who you are.

Tides

High and low,

They come and go.

 

Two steps forward,

Heavy feet dragged,

Three more steps covered,

Alas I see the light,

Tunnel’s edge comes to sight,

Freedom at last.

 

Liberty is beautiful,

Fresh air, clear skies,

Have you seen how the sun shines?

Without ’em shackles,

Everything looks brighter,

Life’s much greater.

 

Oh shucks!

Slowly it calls,

Gently it tugs,

I can feel it happen.

I run, I cry, I can’t hide.

 

I’m pulled back,

I can’t believe this,

I was free as a bird,

I felt the chains fall,

I was certain this was it.

 

Oh I loathe them,

The tides that allow me,

Forward to move,

Only to retract;

False sense of liberation.

 

I’m caught up,

In these tides,

All I can do,

Is for mercy beg,

Please let me go;

This time round,

Never to return.

Brush Strokes of Reality

I am a dreamer, that I am. It is my gift, it sure is my undoing as well. I build things where none exist. I paint pictures that eyes don’t see. I find beauty where it can’t be spotted. I add glamour to the most ordinary things. Sounds enviable, right? Not really.

See my problem is that all this sips into my perception of people. I view potential; not reality. It’s a good thing you’d argue, well so would I. I get a sneak preview of their lives and proceed to create a whole movie directed by yours truly. I already piece up their character and decide on who they are. The ones who relish the benefits of this are the ones whose lives I romanticised.

I get excited about the picture I painted and enjoy interacting with them based on my own notions. I interpret their words and actions through the lenses I’d selected. This I hadn’t realised its magnitude up till yesterevening when I (against all common sense), called my ex.

I don’t know what I expected. Perhaps curt conversations or an unanswered call. The exact opposite met me. Cheery tones, questions on where I’d been and queries on whether my visa expired since the only reason I ignored his last text should have been because I was out of the country for long. Plenty of catch up, jokes here and there plus having to explain why I was refusing to go pick his car from wherever he left it because I was taking risks with the motorbike rides I do (I love those ones too much to quit).

The car issue lingered on my mind long after the phone call. Not because of the excitement of enjoying the convenience, but because of how I’d interpreted that offer. It’s not the first time he’s said that. First one was while we were dating and he was out at war arguing with me over my love for night walks or meetings that had me out after darkness set in. I still refused. But it had me feeling very cared for and protected.

Then a different thought struck me. What if it wasn’t care and concern but a bait guys throw to get girls hooked? Cognitive dissonance. Hmm, he can’t be like that, can he? I knew a different person. But wait again, we never made it past the honeymoon stage of relationships. We broke up before the period for masks falling arrived. How sure was I that everything hadn’t been staged managed perfectly? Cognitive dissonance again. Fantasy crumbles.

I suddenly got on this train of thoughts that led me right to the root issue: I get clouded by potential while seeing people. I began reflecting on my interaction with various people and saw how I’d clothed them with strokes from my brush as I painted the picture of who I thought they were, vis-a-vis who they really are.

Reality sucks I must say. But reality becomes the necessary foundation before we can build anything. Friendships strain under crazy expectations. Relationships disintegrate slowly as lenses fantasy lenses weaken and the picture gets clearer. So here’s to throwing away all the brushes, lenses and movie scripts. Director no more.

The Whirlwind… Part 1

The past weekend was a whirlwind of activity and emotions! I am not even sure I have recovered… and by weekend I mean some 24 hours or so of it. All I’d expected was a road trip out of town as we went for a thanksgiving party for my friend, Missy, who just got admitted to the Bar.

For most of the journey heading there, we were engrossed in conversation and laughter. Managed to get some time to talk with God. Had this feeling which gave me chills about us crashing and kept seeing all the ways we’d possibly get into that accident.

Then my fears came true; well not for us though but a vehicle that rammed straight into a truck right next to us. I remember that bang so clearly and the way my heart almost stopped. Rushing out of our car to go check on the people who were there. Panic mode. Praying with some ladies who were in shock and crying. Trying to see how we could help. Seeing a guy I was sure would not make it out with his lower limbs, being taken out with his legs intact.

We had to leave soon after because we were very late for the event and we had the girl everyone was waiting for. I was left feeling a bit confused: wanting to absorb what just occurred but distracted by the urgency of our getting to the destination. Car we were in stalled just before we got to Missy’s home. Another one came for us and the celebrations began.

There was too much to soak in at that event. The importance of family and community. The centrality of God and prayer. The beauty of our life journeys. After speeches that had me meditating on so much, we found ourselves distracted by selfies and photo shoots.

Three of us girls retreated to Missy’s room. In between girl talk and being on phone chatting, my dad called. Then casually, Miss Kay asks if I know a certain guy she’s chatting with. I smile and can’t believe it. I tell her to say hi and figure he should break the news to her. He does. She’s baffled to say the least. Just then I remember my dad mentioned he was in the kitchen with a certain guy as he called me: the guy is her ex! So here she was chatting with my ex, M, while I’d been on phone with my dad who was cooking late lunch with her ex. I mean, how weird can life get!!!

That evening had us do plenty of reminiscing and discussing stories about us and guys who’d featured in our lives. I was really glad to have gotten M’s number because I owed him an apology and had been looking for him for months.

The Whirlwind… Part 2

Next day began beautifully with group breakfast accompanied by words of wisdom by Missy’s grandpa and aunt. I loved that session. We were sent off with enough goodies by Missy’s mum complete with money for our lunch.

The trip back was absolute fun. Stopping for shopping in new places, me getting a whole bunch of banana and feeling ecstatic (I am such a monkey), stopping to see the home of Ms. Ess. Having fun at their farm. Harvesting avocados, going to see the river at the edge of their compound and checking out coffee berries. Lunch at Bombay (Lol, you’d think I was in India and not a barbecue joint). Plenty of detours and seeing breath-taking places. Tea and cake at Missy’s place because she insisted. Me shopping for a few things in her house. Finally dropped right outside my place.

Evening turned out to be a chapter closing session. Did two letters to my ex M, and the high school sweetheart, A. Had a conversation with M where we finally got to have the conversation that never happened ages ago and I got the closure I needed. I sent A his letter but we didn’t talk after that. I also closed a chapter I’m sincerely hoping is closed for good because it’s caused me adequate emotional turmoil.

With all that happened, I will most likely require some days to process each item, one at a time. I definitely got much more than I anticipated and I am more than grateful.