Rejection has many forms, but it should never be taken as a knock against who we are. People sometimes just don’t want the things or experiences we have to offer.
Most people want connection in its purest form. That pure, magical connection comes when people are real: real in their desires, real in their actions, real with others and most importantly, real with themselves.
Being real, you can never be rejected, because realness comes with no expectations. Realness has a foundation built on standards which are structural boundaries – not to be confused with limitations. These standards protect you from what’s not for you, while only allowing in what is for you.
When we think a person is rejecting us, they’re really rejecting an offering. Often when we feel rejected, it’s due to an unhealthy attachment to what’s being offered. When I used to disclose my STI status, for example, oftentimes I’d shut off my connectedness to my own realness and design this false image of who I was, usually in relation to the herpes stigma.
I’d never say out loud about myself, “I’m a dirty, promiscuous human who is unsafe with sexual partners. Will you have sex with me?” (Anyone who approaches disclosure in this way SHOULD be rejected.) Unfortunately, that is exactly how many of us go into a disclosure conversation. That’s how we present ourselves when we let herpes stigma influence our identity. Attaching to that going into a disclosure usually triggers the “ew” factor in another person, not because we are unworthy, but because we’ve already rejected ourselves.
Presenting your true self creates a kind of energetic attraction mechanism. Our receptors go out to those who appreciate, honor and feel our being, while at the same time repelling those who just don’t see us for who we are. It’s our responsibility to trust this force. Presenting an offering to another person is just giving them a choice which they can choose to accept or reject. That’s it. That is what’s accepted or rejected – not you, not me.
Courtney W. Brame is the Founder of Something Positive for Positive People, a hub of sexual health resources to navigate the challenges of a new sexually transmitted infection/disease. Resources primarily consist of the real experiences from people living with HSV (herpes), HIV, HPV and AIDS.