Rejection is part of life. A rational conclusion to rejection is that we can’t win the approval of everyone on the planet. Not every job, relationship, or situation is right for us. But for many addicts and alcoholics, rejection is a fast track to childhood shame. It is proof of our inadequacies and that old, deep rooted belief that we are not enough.
The problem with rejection arises when shame kicks in and we aren’t able to view our flaws, limitations and vulnerabilities in a patient, self-loving way. The fear of rejection often becomes so intense that many alcoholics avoid intimacy entirely. Certain character defects act as armor to protect ourselves from the feelings of shame, self-loathing, depression, anxiety, and rage that rejection can evoke. There is also an old belief that the person doing the rejecting is superior to the person being rejected. Relationships are not some sort of bizarre competition in which the person who gets out first, refuses to attach, or suffers less is proclaimed the winner. Rejection can reveal just as much and often more about the insecurities and fears of the person doing the rejecting.
When we can acknowledge that rejection is not an indictment of our being, but an experience we must all face, it becomes easier to bear. Practicing of the 12 steps allows us to uncover, discover and discard old ideas and patterns. The only sure way to avoid rejection is to hide from the world. This is not living; it is barely surviving. If we choose to live life to its fullest, we experience rejection and survive to show up for more and along the way, experience the joy of living.Share post