Rejection is protection is a quote I read for the first time yesterday. Those three words stunned me with their simplicity and truth. Never has such a thought occurred in my thinking. Maybe I just wasn’t ready to see the wisdom.
The word ‘reject’ previously always had a negative meaning. I never considered before that being cast off or discarded might have a sliver lining. The possibility that rejection could be for my own benefit, NEVER occurred to me. Oh, I played pretend quite a few times saying “things always work out for the best”… yada, yada, yada. Rarely was such expressed with a belief what I was saying was fully true.
It was yesterday while reading Alan Cohen’s latest release “How Good Can It Get” (originally published in 2004 as “Mr. Everitt’s Secret”) that my previous way of seeing was challenged and expanded. Still today those simple three words are ringing in my head as I wrap my thoughts around it. “Rejection is protection” is a game changer for me.
In “Lesson 10” of Cohen’s book is found: People think there is one mate, or one house, or one job they must have, and if they don’t get it, they are ruined. That’s ridiculous! No one person, place, or company is the source of your good. Life is the source of your good, and it has ingenious ways to deliver everything you need. The game board is much bigger than you realize.
Admittedly there are still sharp feelings about rejections of the not too distant past such as an unwanted divorce and being fired from a long-time job. While well beyond what happened, there is yet to form any idea of precisely what I was being protected from. In accepting the truth to be found in “rejection is protection” I am hopeful in time the good will become apparent.
Thinking back there are examples about positives than can come from rejection. I remember twenty plus years ago when I was rejected after eight months from a position I had worked toward for over a decade. The result was a much better job that allowed me to achieve success beyond anything I could have imagined. The company that rejected me was sold and went through massive change within months of my departure. I was protected from all that.
Being rejected when in my 20’s by a girlfriend who was two-timing her fiancé to be with me was a blessing. Although it hurt like hell at the time within a few months I met a woman who I spent over two decades of my life with. We married and had a wonderful son together. Looking back it’s easy to see I was protected from an unfaithful woman who probably would have not have been disloyal to me.
It seems the longer ago being rejected happened; the more apparent the “protection” angle is to grasp. Seeing “rejection is protection” within happenings of the last five years or so is just darn difficult.
Another chapter in “How Good Can It Get” threw a further challenge toward another thought etched deeply into my brain. Since my teen years I have believed struggle and difficulty is how lessons are best learned (NO PAIN, NO GAIN!). A revealing light was flashed on my previously accepted narrow truth as I read: Sure, you learn from pain, but you also learn from ease and fun – sometimes even more effectively. When you are learning to ride a bike, you learn from falling off, but you learn just as much – maybe more – when you stay balanced and enjoy the ride. Pain has a purpose, but it is highly overrated as a teaching device. If you pay attention to internal signals and external feedback, life won’t need a two-by-four to get your attention.
WOW! That caused a deeply set belief to have an almost instant revision made to it. With opened eyes it is without doubt I accept that being taught by painful experiences is only one way of learning. Being in the now, accepting the good coming to me, enjoying experiences as they happen and savoring happiness are highly instructive ways of learning.
In the past I never gave much credence to “the good stuff” being good to learn from. I am glad to add a widened way of seeing through my kaleidoscope view of life. This morning I am grateful for the unexpected lessons gained from Alan Cohen’s book and the power beyond me that brought the book into my life.
The only real measure of success is happiness.