Culture of rejection

Yesterday, I heard a podcast where Jia Jiang was interviewed about his "100 Days of Rejection" experiment.  Essentially, he set himself up for rejection 100 days in a row and videoed it to share on his blog.

We all understand fear of rejection, don't we?  

We have scars from middle school cafeterias and when a girl made fun of our shoes or when we were skipping through the house just being ourselves and our dad yelled at us. 

Those experiences make us conform to a version of ourselves rather than living from a place of authenticity.  Instead of working to discover who we are, we start accumulating props to create social acceptance which can be seen in how we dress, the type of education we pursue, where we live and maybe the car we drive. In addition to the externals, we adjust internally to behave and respond in ways that will get us approval. Or, we reject completely the pursuit of approval and become rebels who oppose anything and everything so that we can be the dishers of rejection rather than the receivers.  

Here's the thing.  Neither of these approaches results in us being who we really are in all of our beauty and awkwardness, talent and discovery. 

We are the most authentic as kids, and if we can remember that time, we can find clues. The thing is that becoming is a process.  Even if we didn't live in a culture of rejection--it takes time and trying things to learn what brings us joy. To discover what we really want in life and what we are called to do. 

But because we do live in a culture of rejection and because we are prone to develop strategies to protect ourselves from it, oftentimes "becoming" requires a lot of unlearning--a peeling away of our defense mechanisms to get down to our true hearts. 

I believe this is Holy Spirit work. And that if we find ourselves living a life that isn't us, we can ask for help in shedding the scaffolding.  I do know it is well worth the process. While living authentically doesn't make us immune to the pain of rejection, it definitely softens it.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall