Rejection is interesting. I am embracing the blows of rejection along with everything else that they bring. Since returning home from prison, I am learning priceless lessons about rejection from many unexpected fronts. I no longer debate the excruciating pain that is born in the throes of receiving rejection. I agree that it can be extremely painful, particularly if the person or people walking away hold a special place in one’s life. I am re-learning to sit in the fire of the pain of rejection and get burnt for better or for worse.

Rejection hurts when it comes from thinking people. It hurts because it means that the one walking away has carefully reflected about and calculated the act. One has considered the benefits and disadvantages of staying, and then weighed them against the fruits of leaving. The pain is egoistic realisation that I am found wanting and undesirable during this scrutiny, thus leading to the other walking away, abandoning ship, dropping, shutting the door, withdrawal, rejection. Rejection signals that I am no longer good enough, no longer worth it, beyond salvaging… This stings.

I am intrigued by the varieties in approaches to rejection. It is interesting that while some people clearly communicate their intention to walk away, others just walk away. I am still debating which of the two approaches is more callous. It is also interesting that some people decide on their own to abandon ship but they then try to make the abandoned ship the one to be blamed for the abandonment. One decides to reject me, and then adding insult onto injury, one also pushes the responsibility of the rejection onto me. I find conditional rejection the most intricate form of sophistry. In this case, one presents ridiculous choices such as ‘choose between staying with your left kidney or having me in your life’, ‘choose between your dreadlocks or me’, ‘choose between your PhD or me.’ Null choices are not options.

Rejection stings because I never saw it coming. I have chosen to sit down and suck in all the fruits of rejection as a dry sponge does. I have chosen not to fight it. Precious jewels are purified with heat. Tasty foods are roasted, baked, steamed or fried with fire. Good bricks are strengthened with fire. Let this fire burn.