During the course of my life, I seem to find myself getting rejected by women, in both platonic and romantic situations, in progressively more unbelievable and outlandish ways. Whenever I think I’ve been rejected in a particularly shocking way, a few months later someone comes along and rejects me in an even worse manner. By the way, I’m not being sexist here. I’m sure that other combinations of genders have just as many outrageous rejection stories.
The other day, I was having a conversation on Facebook with a close female friend, regarding a guy she likes, and whether or not it would work. I said, attempting to be snarky, “Well hopefully he won’t do this,” and then proceeded to describe a scenario in which he behaves toward her in the same hurtful way that a former love interest once behaved toward me. My friend knew exactly what I was trying to do; she replied, “Did you just put me into one of your past situations again?” I said yes, of course. She replied, “You’ve got to stop doing that. It’s only holding you back.”
She’s right. It’s a harsh truth to hear, but she’s right.
Why is it so hard for me to let go of past hurts? I think it comes down to the lack of justice. The people who have treated me wrong (men, women, friends, love interests, acquaintances, strangers, everyone in general) get to move on with their perfect happy little lives, leaving me bruised and wounded, lying on the side of the road like a piece of trash. What they did was wrong, and it’s not fair that they can get away with it. I know this is a vastly oversimplified perspective, but on the gut reaction level, it feels like I’m doing everything right, and I’m miserable, whereas those who do everything wrong reap all the rewards of life. I told something like this to someone else recently, not the same friend I mentioned above, and she pointed out that those people who do everything wrong probably aren’t as happy as I think they are. I just don’t see the consequences of their decisions. However, even if I did, that would not change the fact that I’m miserable.
Life isn’t fair. Some people are jerks. And there is nothing I can do to change that. If I am going to interact with other human beings in any way, I am going to leave myself vulnerable to being hurt. There are times when I have seriously questioned if it was worth it, or if I should just go become a hermit and live in a cabin in the forest. But I don’t think that is the best solution either. I just have to find a way to let go, a way to stop allowing these past hurts to continue to destroy me from within. Everyone walks a different path, and it is up to God to deal with those who, from my limited human perspective, appear to be rewarded for doing everything wrong. And it isn’t like I’m claiming to be perfect either. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in the past, even if they aren’t the same kind of mistakes as the others in my circle.
It will take a lot of hard work to change almost forty years of this kind of thinking. A big part of it will involve prayer and Scripture. I will need to place myself in more positive situations. I may have to have some difficult conversations with people still in my life who have hurt me, and I may have to cut others out of my life entirely. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. All I can do is keep taking steps in the right direction.