Updated: May 23
When it comes to rejection, I'm psychic. Anything someone pulls on me is not something I haven't prepared myself for. It's like that lesson in Driver's Ed about WPS: Worst Possible Scenarios. You sit there in a boring classroom and come up with a WPS on the road. The point of the exercise is to create the WPS you could be in as a driver; then navigate what happens after. Do you call Insurance? The police? Your mom?
WPS work with rejection too. For me, that exercise makes more sense for sorting through a personal rejection than a car crash.
My WPS Story:
"What?" I began to hyperventilate.
He looked at me for a second, then averted his eyes while he said it one more time: "I want to breakup."
The room felt like it was spinning. I wanted to ask so many questions: Why? Where is this coming from? What happened? Did I do something wrong? We were fine this morning. We were fine 2 minutes ago. What happened?
It didn't matter how many times I made him repeat himself. His answer didn't change. Not the first time. Not the second time. Not the 16th (and final) time. I dropped to the floor in despair. Normally I'm prepared. I'm sheltered. My walls up and my castle is well guarded.
Except this was not a normal time.
For the first time in a LONG time, I had let my phlegmatic stonewalls lay to ruins. Like I said, normally I'm well-guarded. So this was not normal. The situation quickly left my control. There was a short term gain though- two weeks of happiness. One question still haunts me today: were those two happy weeks worth the two painful months that followed?
One question still haunts me today: were those two happy weeks worth the two painful months that followed?
To be completely honest with you, I'm not sure. The part of me that knows the brain-splitting echoes of pain says yes. The part of me that knows the stillness of peace says no. Despite the opposition of opinion, both parts agree on one thing: the boredom of loneliness is better than what comes after short-lived feeling.
I know what the silent echoes of pain can do. I understand what it is to hope against hope that something, ANYTHING, will spark a feeling that isn't emptiness, sadness, or self-deprecation.
I also know how scary the stillness of peace is too.
Anxiety tells me that stillness is too good to be true, and that I need to find the flaw in the system before it implodes on me. I did not trust the stillness that came after the unforeseen breakup. This led to a very destabilizing, tiring, and wearisome two months.
God tells me that stillness is too necessary to be disrupted, and that I need to find peace in the emptiness before the emptiness swallows me. If I had trusted the stillness, found God in the emptiness, and rebuilt myself in the brokenness, I would have saved my heart and mind a lot of hurt.
The enemy's greatest trick is making us believe that emptiness is a product of rejection. Emptiness isn't a product of rejection- stillness is. The stillness is a resting place for rejuvenation.
The lies of the WPS
The most popular narrative for the Worst Possible Scenario is that rejection is the cause for emptiness (which we mistake for stillness), and therefore, it's bad. It's bad because it makes us feel empty. Feeling empty is bad. So, rejection is bad.
See how cyclical that thought is? There's no resolution! There is no escape! There is no hope in this thought pattern: rejection causes emptiness, emptiness is bad, to feel empty is bad, rejection is bad.
Rejection is bad because rejection causes emptiness because emptiness is bad it's bad to feel empty so rejection is bad.
Woah. Grammarly alert: Unholy run-on sentence above!
Unholy is right.
Confronting the WPS
In order to navigate what happens after the Worst Possible Scenario, we need to rewrite the narrative. The unholy, run-on narrative you just read above is toxic in it's fallacy. We must correct it if we have any hope to cope with rejection in a way that is remedial for the long-term.
The correction begins with the state of being: emptiness. The state of being is not emptiness. It is stillness. By replacing the word here, we are starting a brand new thought pattern! Stillness is not bad. BOOM. Thought cycle defeated.
The state of being that you think you are stuck in is not emptiness. It is stillness.
You and I: 1 and WON.
I'm gonna leave you to finish that thought cycle, but I won't let you go without a prompt: Stillness is peace. Peace is good.
"Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:7 NLT
If you haven't finished the thought cycle yet, here it is: Stillness is hard to understand. Stillness is peace. Peace is good. Peace guards our hearts. Peace guards our minds. God is peace.
I love you all. I'm cheering you on.
ALL the peace,