I believe rejection is the culprit in a lot of issues we deal with today.
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It is a root of envy, murder, anger, mental health challenges, depression, suicide, the drug epidemic, oppression and the like. I used music, relationships and drugs as an outlet to try and cope with rejection. For some, it seemed to work for a while; for others, not so much. I was part of the “not so much” group. From my birth, a spirit of rejection attached itself to me which caused me to spend the rest of my days trying to fit in and prove my worth to society. I survived abortion but I didn’t overcome rejection.
I can remember my parents sending me to visit my grandmother in Puerto Rico at the age of twelve. I was so excited to go and experience the country my family came from. (I was oblivious to the fact it is part of the USA. Well, I hated my history teacher, what can I say?) While there, I enjoyed the culture, the music, the food and the people. The majority spoke Spanish and I spoke Spanglish. A little bit of Spanish and lots of English. My grandmother introduced me to the neighborhood friends and we played together almost every day, unless I was with my grandmother. I’ll never forget the day when one of the little girls from the hood, jealous because her little boyfriend supposedly had a crush on me, told me that I didn’t belong there. She made it known to all the kids in the neighborhood that I was not a true Puerto Rican, but rather a “Gringa.” A what?! Gringa is a term used in Latin America to refer to a female American girl or one of British descent. “She had some nerve,” I thought to myself. My neighborhood back then would’ve considered her the Gringa, seeing as she had lighter skin than me, blue eyes and blonde hair.
What others are saying;
Motivational…Moving…Sincere…Timely. These are the words that come to mind when I think about this book. “Thank You for the Ice Cream” takes a seemingly simple lesson, being grateful, and makes it applicable to almost everyone. The challenges that the author shares are similar to my own, so I made a personal connection. However, she allows thankfulness and gratefulness to replace negative thoughts and emotions. It has inspired me to be the best version of myself. This is a “must read” for anyone who needs believe in themselves and hope for a better tomorrow. -Nicole Hylton
I cried so hard that day because I felt the sting of rejection from my own kind, or at least those with whom I thought I had something in common. Being at a pivotal age in middle school, this crushed my world. I began to have a chip on my shoulder whenever people would call me “White girl” or “Jungle Fever.” I began to resent my own skin color. I was determined to prove my Latin heritage, or at least to try.
As a teenager, I found myself struggling to find my sphere of influence. But I wasn’t White enough to be accepted by my Caucasian friends, I wasn’t Black enough to hang out with my African American friends, and according to the kids in Puerto Rico, I wasn’t Latina enough either. I second-guessed my significance. Who am I?
My boy crushes who rejected me made me angry and insecure. What was wrong with me? Was I not good enough? I vowed when I entered highschool things would be different and I wouldn’t let anyone else hurt me again. In highschool, I flipped the script. Instead of being the pushover, I was the one doing the pushing. I not only became a bully, I started pushing boundaries I shouldn’t have. Instead of getting rejected, I was the one stamping rejection on their hearts. My grades started off great but soon tumbled along with my identity. I had taken lots of mental notes in elementary school and I used them to mold my new image for highschool and get revenge. I hid my pain behind a façade of comedy and a bubbly personality.
This hiding had my personality split in two. I would be one way at school and another way at home. I was good at living in two worlds at the same time, but let me tell you, it caught up with me. I got lost in between them and found myself slipping into a world I didn’t like and becoming someone I didn’t know. I became very needy and dependent on another’s opinion of me. My mother used to yell at me and say I didn’t need friends, and I would disagree. Again, I asked the question, “What was wrong with me?” I was looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places.
We all experience rejections, but some are able to handle it better than others. The level of rejection and its proximity to your heart will also influence your response. Based on your environment or how you were raised, your ability to overcome these challenges will differ. A confident adult in a controlled environment will be able to handle rejection better than someone who is neither.
This is not a “get out of jail free” card. It doesn’t give us an excuse to stay timid, angry, envious, and insecure because of how we were raised, or to blame our failures on circumstances beyond our control. When you know better, you do better. As God told Cain, you can overcome it. You still have the ability to change. That’s why I love reading self-help books. When you stop learning, you stop growing, and when you stop growing, you start dying. You should always be in a mindset to learn.
How do you do overcome rejection? Read more in my book…
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“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson