Emotional pain and hurt often stems from the rejection of our love. It takes a lot of inner strength to give and receive love. You have to soften and open to a bigger energy. You need to let your guard down and be willing to be vulnerable and share your heart with someone. There’s a high risk in that. “If I open myself, will my love be received or rejected?”
When your love is not received, you can feel rejected and hurt. When that happens to me, my internal commentary goes something like this, “My love is not good enough. I’m not good enough.” This negative self-talk comes from patterns of hurt, shame, and ridicule from my childhood. It also comes partially from never being taught how to receive feedback without collapsing into feeling like a failure.
Positive Psychology has a slogan,“Learn to fail or fail to learn.”I love this because it points to the fact that in order to receive feedback, even when it’s given with love, you need to be ready for it. You need to be able to love yourself in the midst of the feedback. No matter how negative the feedback is, we all need to learn how to receive it without collapsing, without giving up on ourselves, and without doubting or abandoning ourselves. This is no small task and can take a lifetime to develop.
These insights and more flooded in as I flew out to Grand Rapids last month for my 40th high school reunion. This was the first reunion I had attended. In the weeks prior, I felt a kind of low-grade anxiety. Even though I was looking forward to reconnecting with friends, my smaller self was freaking out. […]