Part 3 of 3
Of course the world looks wildly unfair and cruel when you’re slighted.
But what if rejection was not punishment, a smack down from the universe, or an indication you’re not good enough?
Instead, what if rejection were protection? That’s right. A sign that you were spared. From what? Danger. Heartache. Indigestion.
James McCrae, author and creator of Sh#t Your Ego Says uses driving to describe rejection: “There are certain turns you must make to arrive at your destination. No driver would be upset about a road not going straight forward when there is a lake ahead. That would be insane.”
The potential bummer, though, is we may never see the lake. As a result, we might doubt its existence. Although this response is very post-Enlightenment and logical, it's also pointless. We must assume we’re guided in the right, safe direction.
“Naturally the road must turn to accommodate the environment. Such is life." McCrae explains in Turning Imagination Into Results. "Navigation is inherently determined by factors beyond our control. It may take longer to arrive than we would like, but we have no choice but to follow directions.”
Following directions requires trust. Trust in the not yet seen. Trust in why you were rejected. Trust in all the turns and meandering detours along the way.
Sure, you may not be thrilled to negotiate a gnarly intersection or attempt a left turn without a traffic signal. But the real punishment is any kind of forcing. Because if you insist on driving into the lake, the universe will let you.
McCrae takes direction following to an extreme—and extremely liberating—degree. For him, “no” is not rejection. In his mind, “no” means “not this way.”
Isn’t that gentler? Doesn’t it shift the energy a bit? Try it. On the rare, but I think increasingly often, occasions I remember it, I feel kinder to myself. Like I'm a blind baby mole bumping into trees and rocks on the forrest floor. Instead of, you know, a 32-year-old human with good vision.
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