Tuesday, October 18, 2016

varying degrees of rejection and control

When I was in grade school, we had a yearly writing competition. I wrote a few stories, but twice my stories were rejected because the school felt that "my parents had told me what to write". 

Another time, I made a digital poster for Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers long before the movie came out. This too was for a competition. If I won, my work would be used for promotions of the movie. I spent a week compiling around seventy high resolution royalty free images in a collage. These images created a seamless representation of an eerie middle earth mountain pass. My entry was later rejected because I was told, "If i was using stock images I needed to alter the image in some way". I actually had to send them proof that it was a collage and by that time it was too late.

I have had images of myself rejected on websites for, "not being an image of me". I once had a manager tell me that they weren't going to hire me because I was, "too professional" during the interview. I had an art teacher accuse me of tracing artwork when I had drawn the artwork freehand. And this list continues.

Of course, I have had the usual rejections. Rejections of friendship, Rejections of affection. Rejections of love. However, my previous examples of rejection taught me something. 

Rejection (in most cases) has nothing to do with what a person has done wrong, it has to do with what an outside person perceives and prefers.

This knowledge isn't particularly helpful when you are struggling with that unrequited love situation or when you are left behind in some way. Let's face it. Life can really hurt. At the same time, we can remind ourselves that not everything is in our control. We can understand the truth of rejection and use it as a tool to be persistent in our dreams. Conversely, this way of thinking can allow us to let go of what is unhealthy for us. 

Control of ourselves might be possible. But, control of anything else is illusory.

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