Healing begins with acknowledgement. If the wound stays shrouded and disguised and in the dark, it can’t be healed. It must come into the light. Only in the light can it be healed.
Here is an attempt to identify how a wound of rejection can manifest. This way our awareness can lead us to Truth. In the words of the ‘GI Joe’ cartoon I watched as a kid, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!” We can then choose to come out of alignment with beliefs and behaviours linked to this wound. Once we have identified the harmful beliefs and behaviours James 5:16 tells us that if we confess our sins to each other and pray for each other we will be healed.
One of the lies the wound of rejection spins is that if you admit to your harmful behaviours you will be rejected again. Let me reassure you: Are you aware of and willfully engaging in behaviours that are violating others in some way? Unless you suffer from anti-social personality disorder or lack empathy (linked to other types of disorders) - I don’t think so (if so, help is available through appropriate professionals). Therefore - if someone confronts you on a behaviour that violated them and you own it, apologize for it, and make it right (this is so important, it’s the proof actually, if there’s apology with no setting right then it’s about your comfort - not the hurt you caused. Set right wherever possible.) - why would they reject you after? They wouldn’t, that’s a manipulative lie straight from the pit of hell meant to keep you as rejection’s marionette.
Whether overt or covert, all of us experience rejection at some point or another. It’s the rejection from meaningful people in our most vulnerable moments that open us up to infectious lies from the dark side, often in our formative years. If not caught and cleansed, they breed and fester, affecting entire limbs of our soul and affect optimal functioning of things like sight, hearing, perception, and discernment, of ourselves, others, and situations.
It’s an infection designed to be invisible to you (soul wounds have their own guardians), yet many times is visible to those around you. Like a physical wound, the soul wound causes us to protect it, and so if someone gets too close to it or pokes it - we lose our junk - and darkness plants another lie - a lie that says that person or people are not safe, that they are the enemy - or in certain circles: that the enemy is operating through them. Most people stumble upon your wounds by accident, having no idea that they’re there until you lose your junk on them or on a situation. Many people will choose to avoid that particular topic or situation, or even you, keeping you at arm’s length (or further) after that, especially if you’re not a significant person in their immediate life. The root of rejection plunges deeper. Sadly, after being victims of your behaviour several times over, significant people may back off also. And the roots grow larger and begin to choke you. You live while seething beneath the surface, from pain and anger and grief. You become harder and harder to be around and the diabolical plan to take you out is running unchecked.
Do you wish someone had confronted you and spelled it out? What if they had? How did you react? Did you get defensive? Offended? Angry? Did they confront you with love, leaving a candle in the window and the door of relationship unlocked - or did they accuse you in anger (not imagined, but actual seen and visible anger) slamming the door of relationship in your face and locking it?
A deep wound of rejection keeps its victims from being able to own their part, let alone apologize for hurts they caused others, which further damages relationships and further reinforces rejection’s power over their life. One of the lies that goes hand in hand with rejection is a victim mindset. If you’re always the victim, what ownership do you have to take? It’s the other person’s fault right? Apologize for what?
Correction and confrontation are taken as attacks then, because deep rejection doesn’t allow for any concerning/wrongful behaviour - because that justifies rejection (speaks the lying wound) - which they’re deeply afraid of - so the confrontation must be labeled “HAZMAT” (military term for hazardous material). Confrontation and correction is labelled as a toxic attack; defence and counter-attack mechanisms kick in, and lo and behold your victim who confronted the concerning/wrongful behaviour is now suddenly labelled an attacking, slanderous villain. Whereas in reality they are now your victim twice over. Your rejection wound/victim mindset protects that status by lack of ownership or apology and then accuses and labels (attacks) your victim, oftentimes rejecting them and possibly slandering them in front of others, spreading the infection. What a mess right?
So here’s the hope:
You being rejected is not your fault.
Whoever rejected you and opened that original wound of rejection (likely in childhood) and then the liar (that cruel voice in your head) that fed the infection - it’s their fault, not your fault. Let that sink in. It’s not your fault that you were rejected.
What you chose to believe about yourself as a result however, is your fault. This applies whether the rejection was real or perceived. To err is human, to not apologize and to reject is diabolical*, to forgive is Divine…and it’s a process. What we believe and declare determines our spiritual alignment and opens us up to its power.
Invite Holy Spirit to shine His light to expose the lies you believed, express your desire to be free from the wounds and ravages of rejection, ask Him to show you the specifics to the following:
You need to forgive those who rejected you, the original rejection wounds. Be specific to person and type of rejection. Release them to the Lord and bless those who hurt you.
You need to repent (turn from) believing the subsequent lies about yourself, life, them, God, etc that were planted in the wound. Identify them by name. This is important. Ask Holy Spirit to help you, He is your guide.
Repent for agreeing with and succumbing/becoming familiar (spiritually/emotionally codependent) with a victim mindset. You are not a victim. You were a victim of something, but that should not become your identity, it’s inappropriate. Declare the Truth of who God says you are in His word. You’re a beloved son/daughter who is precious to God, He paid a high price for your freedom. Break-up with the victim mindset.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the loving heart of God toward you. Give this the time it deserves.
Declare liberty over yourself.
Thank Jesus for taking all the junk to the cross.
Declare Who’s you are (I belong to Jesus! I am the Lord’s beloved!).
Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit guiding you as you learn to live in a new way, step by step, when you stumble, just get up, dust off, apologize, don’t believe lies, keep going. You are loved, precious, and deeply valuable! Enjoy your new identity, be blessed and be a blessing!
*The need for people to implement healthy boundaries is not the same thing as rejection. Healthy boundaries implemented in a loving way (note that doesn’t equal comfortable), should include a conversation about why the boundaries are necessary, in order to give the option of choosing behaviours that protect healthy connection (don’t violate others) or give people time to heal. If the boundaries are not acceptable to you and you feel the other owes you relationship on your terms you may need to talk it over with a counsellor. It’s not uncommon for people to struggle with having unmet love needs from childhood creating codependent relationships in the present, where the other person(s) become(s) like an IV bag giving them life. Manipulation also can come into play in that type of relationship. True life comes through God via Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit - yes we start by drinking spiritual milk from more mature vessels, but growth comes as a result of that and the goal is personal relationship with God that is whole and complete, eating spiritual meat from sources He enables. This results in healthy self love that knows how to love others with the Love that God gives, God’s Love sets us free so we don’t feel entitled to or have to use others to give us life, but rather we give the life that God gives to us, and we give it where He shows us to give it according to His calling and purpose for our lives. Wherever He calls us to pour in, He will give the grace (empowerment) to do so.