She sat across the table deeply immersed in her files of handwritten notes, reviewing, turning pages, underlying phrases. I was irritated by her concentration, by her rejection.
She had been friendly when I walked in. Wondering who else was sharing this raised table overlooking the coffee shop, in that gorgeous blend of noise and movement that makes for great work.
I told her I write. Fiction or academic? she asked. Business, I said. Oh that’s not interesting, she said, the conversation was over. She turned back to her files, not another word. I was fuming.
How can she make such a broad statement. How can she be so ignorant. She doesn’t even know me. I didn’t get a chance to tell her about storytelling, about how I write these stories, how powerful storytelling is. Blah blah blah.
The story in my head doesn’t give up. Keeps going on and on. It’s so boring, so painful.
And then it hit me. Why do I care? Why do I even entertain these thoughts. What is it about rejection?
And I started laughing. That’s where our thoughts go. We create evidence that would prove our worthlessness. Look for signs of disbelief and our insignificance. It feeds our feeling of lack, our insecurity.
It’s war. It’s a crazy place, seriously insane.
I, for one, refuse to live there. I may not be able to control the thoughts that pass through my head, but I can certainly decide where I want to live. And it’s not in those thoughts.
In this situation it was actually a blessing. I mean, do I really need to feed my ego all the time? Can’t I just get on with what I came here for. To write. To drink good coffee. To get my work done?
She gave me the gift of disinterest so I would not get distracted into a conversation that only served to feed my ego, it’s not real, it’s not true.
So I thank her. I open up a fresh page on my computer, I begin to write.
I consider rejection and realize, it is usually a blessing. Actually it’s always a blessing. It serves to keep us focused, working with the right people, on the right projects. Rejection is discernment. That’s a good thing in business. It keeps us on track.
So, bless that women immersed in her work, bless the rejection and bless the thoughts that would have me insane, as I let them go!
What have you learned from rejection?
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