Rejection is the Stepping Stone to Acceptance

Everything that turns to ashes and returns to dust needs to be mourned appropriately, in order to be able to move on. Traditionally, religious texts prescribed a mourning period. This was observed by every member of the family, the relatives, the neighbourhood, the friends and all other acquaintances. 

My first brush with someone going away to not return was when I was a nine-year-old girl. My Grandfather passed over to the other side, and all I knew is that he had died and could never see him again, except in pictures, or then the images reflected by memory. That was it. I saw his body and everyone was crying. I cried too, mostly because everyone cried. I cried because my parents cried. I cried because my grandmother was crying. I cried because my uncles and aunts were crying. I cried because everyone cried. 

I cried even more when my Grandfather’s brother held me and said, “Even though Grandad has gone far, far away, remember I am always here for you as Grandad.” That is what made me realise that really my Grandad has departed, and no more weekends of stories, no more weekdays waiting for him to come home, no more peeled apples, and mangoes from him, no more celebrations. He rejected me and went far, far away.

Did I accept this? I don’t so considering the rejections I feared facing through life, till the husband married me when I was at the ripe, or maybe over-ripe age of 42. Well, while the fiancé-turne-husband accepted me, fertility began to reject me!

I consider anyone exiting my life as a rejection of being with me. They walk away, and I am left here mourning them, till I accept the rejection.

Yes, rejection is the steeping stone to acceptance. Acceptance is empowerment. It is the power to embrace what is, as is, for it is a part of the script.

The mourning period helps you to reach acceptance and go on in life.

All that comes to an end is actually rejecting my presence on the journey. They walk away because there journey continues elsewhere, with someone else. It is very painful, nonetheless; but as they say “whatever hurts you only makes you stronger.” Whoever rejects you only empowers you accept all that is meant to be the way it is, because from there, there is only movement ahead.

Words like evolution, growth, soul-realization, progress, are coined based on the principles of relativity. Relativity is based on the illusions of the higher and lower levels. We are all on a straight line, that appears crooked. I like to imagine life to be a crooked straight line that wears the cloak, and drops it when it is worn out. Such is everything in life.

When the soul out does an experience, it finds ways to drop it, so that it can move along on the path, seeking whatever it is here to seek, or rather experience.

Now, you mmust be wondering how does it work in the case of a loved one passing away? Well, we all co-author our life’s story with our guardian angel. We write out our trysts with rejections in all its forms, and fly straight into the womb of the mother that births us. We decide our mother’s as the womb is the tunnel through which we enter a life and its journey of our choice. We choose our lessons, and the experience happens, just like that.

So, when someone dear to us passes over to the next cloak, we chose that as our lesson on the path to realizing the power of accepting all as is. In this process we need to mourn. Mourning is a way of letting go, dissolving the emotions attached to the memories. Once all the emotions are dried up, and the memories of the one gone by are simply pictures created on the projector of the mind, acceptance has begun to rise and lead us further into the woods of life to discover the wonderment of being in the human body.

I have been through a couple of friendships and relationships that rejected me; sometimes within weeks, sometimes within months, sometimes within years. While the friendships that rejected me and walked away did not bother me as such, every relationship did have a painful impact, till the mourning period lasted. Some mourning periods were long and nasty, encouraging me to go into bouts of rage, stalk the man, retreat into a shell designed in self-pity and at times suicidal ideations. They were ugly periods, no doubt; but to be honest I am not ashamed of them. I feel going through the mourning period, mindfully a hundred per cent led me to accept the situation, by seeing the lesson it brought. I always met wisdom when the light dawned at the end of mourning period.

There is no doubt that while going through that mourning period there is immense pain, anger and hurt churning within. However, if we walk past the mourning period we actually store all the toxic emotions. We may just bury beneath busy-ness and other distractions. We can party away the nights and work away the days. Yet, nothing can dissolve the toxic emotions accumulated by the loss of a loved one or a relationship, or trust or whatever it is that has rejected you and dropped out of your life.

 I remember when my Grandfather passed away our family observed thirteen days of mourning. The Brahmin would come every morning and read the scripture, while my Grandmother, my aunts and uncle and my parents sat their listening, only getting up to take washroom breaks and to eat their meals. People would come through the day to pay their condolences. Every time someone would come, there would be tears and memories surfacing with the pain of losing my Grandfather.

Yet, with each passing day, it make less poignant dealing with the loss, as the emotions were emptying out and in the space acceptance was filling the void. After the thirteen days of mourning everyone had the courage to return to life, keeping Grandad alive as a memory in the garden of smiles. The tears were gentle, yet accepting the void created by absence.

I witnessed the same process of mourning when my Mother’s father passed on. The thirteen days of mourning led everyone to accept that my Nana was no more with us in the physical body.

And, later in life I learnt that for all you lose, you need to give yourself an opportunity to mourn that loss, so that acceptance comes in to empower you to move on.

I had gone through a break up that left me devastated, considering the man actually committed not only to me, but my entire family. It was long distance relationship with an old friend. I trusted him. My family trusted him. He professed love and the want to marry me. There were expectations building. The family was excited that this man would be my husband in a couple of months.

However, on his last visit to Mumbai, a voice in my heart said that he cannot be trusted and I must call off this relationship. I actually did that much to the chagrin of my family. However, they convinced me that I was being apprehensive because of my own commitment phobia. Well, he played with their emotions and played the role of the perfect son-in-law-to-be. In spite of me giving in, I had a gnawing feeling that he is a complete farce. Yet I played along.

Six months later I received an email stating that he has returned to his ex-wife and it is over between us. Well, the fact was that his ex-wife was married to somebody else, and he was getting married to someone else, who apparently was a rich man’s daughter.

Oh my God! The pain, the anger, the anguish, the disgust, was beyond leaps and bounds of my control. Just like that I took to binge drink every night, and working myself through hangovers. I smoked like a chimney. I was all out to destroy myself.

One night when I returned really late, my father stood there waiting for me. He held a mirror in his hand and told me, “Look at yourself in this mirror. Is this really you? Stop running away from the pain. Wake up and acceptance the death of this relationship!”

I walked to my room with a huff and passed out without neither changing my clothes, nor removing the makeup that hid my anguish. The next morning when I woke up I felt paralysed, I just couldn’t get out my head up from my pillow. Tears were rolling down my cheeks. I felt a lump in my chest explode and I was sobbing into my pillow. 

I spent three days in my room, with meals sent to me. Thankfully, my father and sister have known its best to leave me alone when I am going through such a low cycle. After spending three days swinging between weeping and sleeping, and nibbling on some food and sipping lots of water, I chose to go my desk and write out all that was there within. 

So, the next two days I was swinging between writing, weeping, yelling underneath the shower, sleeping and nibbling on some food, and sipping lots of water.

Six days down and from the seventh day to the tenth day I binged watched whatever caught my interest on TV. Well, actually nothing caught my attention, to be honest! I just kept staring at the moving pictures relayed on my TV screen!

Then from the 11th day to the 13th day I read, and re-read the Bhagwat Gita. Imersed myself into the verses, meditated, did my pranayamas and went to the gym. On the 14th day I resumed work, and got movie tickets for my father, sister and me. We had a great time boding over dinner, bitching out the idiotic man, watched a silly movie, over ate popcorn.

The acceptance empowered to cherish life as it unfolds. The mourning period I went through empowered me to forgive myself for being rejected by this man. I forgave myself, and therefore I forgave him. I emerged from the mourning phase with no regrets and no guilt, for in accepting the person, the situation, the experience, as it is I felt safe and protected.

As months went by a common friend told me he had divorced the woman, and was dating someone else. I felt blessed and safe, for I knew I was protected.

Acceptance is the power to let go of that which is not meant to be and the grace to welcome all that is.

Every rejection has taken me closer to the self.

Every rejection has infused wisdom.

Every rejection has saved me from a dreadful future.

Every rejection has empowered me.

Every rejection has led me to the husband I cherish, and who cherishes me so much more.

Every rejection has been a stepping stone to accepting me for who I am and not what others want me to be. 

In the loss that every rejection brought me, I gained a larger part of the real self, I am.