Wild Horses … The Rolling Stones
If you find yourself getting upset with something or someone (for example, when you feel like you’re being taken for granted), dig deep and quite likely you will find that at the root of your upset is a feeling of rejection or more appropriately, a fear of rejection. To understand this fear, let’s consider the flip-side of it, which is acceptance. Another way of expressing the fear of rejection is to say, ‘the fear of non-acceptance.’
It’s one thing to feel rejected … you didn’t have the qualifications for the job or I don’t want to date you because you’re not my type. You can recover from these experiences, But it’s entirely different to feel unaccepted. ‘I don’t like you!’ ‘You’re not good enough!’ ‘You’re not a worthy person.’ This can be devastating, particularly for a child.
Why is this so?
The need for acceptance is a basic condition. Like the young mischievous colt who yearns desperately to be accepted back into the herd after being run out by the lead mare for being a nuisance. For a child, it is a sign that ‘I am loved.’ If my parents accept me, they must love me.’ This is crucial for the child’s self esteem and psychological development. In order for a child to grow up feeling good about himself, he must feel loved, wanted, accepted and appreciated, particularly by his parents. A child who is harshly punished, constantly ignored, criticized and ridiculed will likely grow up feeling unaccepted.
For an adult, it is a condition of the egoic mind, driven largely by the unresolved emotional pain we carry from our childhood woundings. If we grow up feeling unaccepted we will seek acceptance from wherever we can find it to feed our sense of lack … friends, lovers, social groups, athletic teams … and sometimes we find it in inappropriate places, like criminal gangs and abusive relationships. The need for acceptance is why so many teenagers succumb to peer pressure. It also poisons relationships when the neediness becomes too much to bare.
The need for acceptance is also evident with people experiencing a chronic illness. We don’t want to feel different. We want to feel normal. Michael J Fox talks about it in his book, Always Looking Up. (The irony is that the illness is likely the result of the unresolved emotional pain that is at the root of the need for acceptance.) We don’t want people looking at us like there is something wrong with us. It makes some want to run and hide … literally.
We also don’t want to become a burden for fear of … you guessed it … rejection … aka, nonacceptance.
The truth is, the need for acceptance is borne of unconsciousness. It’s because we don’t understand the truth of who we really are … spiritual aspects of God, living in oneness with all that is. If we truly understood this, we would never feel unaccepted because nonacceptance doesn’t exist in the spiritual realm … can you imagine not being accepted in heaven? It’s a condition that leads many on a journey of awareness and understanding … and this is awesome!
If you find yourself trying to please others or if you feel angry when you don’t get what you want from your significant other, chances are that you are seeking acceptance. This awareness and the knowledge that we are all here to learn to let go of our emotional pain will help to dissolve the wounding and free you to create your own heaven on earth.
Have an awesomely accepting day!