Even for the most beautiful and rich, poor and friendliest, the sting of rejection had at some point found its scorpion tale deep within our very beings. We’ve all been there where its easier to get laid than to get to know or be known. We have all been part of a conversation that went into the direction of “its not you…its me…” And we knew what was coming. We knew we were being pushed away; that we aren’t good enough; that we didn’t make the cut, and boy, did that cut us.
We’ve all had those days when we felt at odd with everyone around us so much so that we pinky promised ourselves to never reach out and attempt to be part of something- anything, ever again. And yet, not long after, we find ourselves taking our hands out our pockets, lifting our heads, and say something like, “Hi, my name is Ivor”, and hope that the conversation won’t end with what you do for a living. There’s something awfully pretty about being human, and that is to put our hearts and souls at risk, and being vulnerable over and over, no matter how many times we’ve been rejected, through love, friendship (friend-zoned), business, or creativity.
But when we fear vulnerability, and step away from it, we ultimately step away from being loved. We step away from a possible opportunity for others to get into our lives; under our skins; into our stories; hugging us; taking us to dinner, exposing us to adventures, and ice-cream, and walks on the beach.
But some of us fear being open and honest with people because we’ve been let down one too many times in the past, and by closing ourselves up, we eliminate the possibility of being rejected and hurt. The reality is that by trying to eliminate being rejected, we are, in actual fact, pushing ourselves further and further away from the beauty of being loved and known.
For long I believed that vulnerability is a sign of weakness, and its dangerous and uncomfortable to keep putting myself out there. And so I had built walls around my heart, unlike those of Jericho, it wouldn’t come down, even when the truth circled it seven thousand times.
In prison, one of the first things they taught me was to let people see THROUGH me but not INTO me, almost like being an open book but have nothing to read inside. it was a survival mechanism because your smallest weakness could be your biggest enemy. For five years I lived with that. When I came out of prison there were numerous, genuine opportunities for others to love me and for me to reciprocate with love of my own, but I could not accept it. I couldn’t understand that not everyone will reject me; not everyone will use my vulnerability against me.
I realised that you simply cannot give love without opening yourself to accept it first. How else would you be able to explain what you are giving?
Living loved is risky.
Accepting love, even more so.
It opens us up to be rejected all over again.
But these are risks that we gladly take over and over again, because we are human.
We survive rejection.
We can survive anything.