You don’t have to swallow your tears. You don’t have to hide how you feel or ignore your pain. You have to give yourself a hug, look yourself in the eyes, and say, I’m sad and I’m angry and I’m hurting. And you know what? That’s okay. My feelings are valid. I’m not broken or crazy. I’m wounded. But I can heal. And I’m going to be okay. Maybe not today or tomorrow or a week from now, but sometime soon, this is going to pass.
The decision to forgive may come fairly quickly but working through the pain and grief takes time. It isn’t that working through the pain means you haven’t forgiven, it means you are prepared to be kind to yourself and acknowledge your damaged emotions before you heal and move on.
And until it does, I’m going to keep taking care of myself. I’m going to eliminate the negative voice in the back of my head making me feel small and speak to myself with kindness. I’m going to let myself feel my feelings and do self-care. And I’m going to treat myself like a friend. Because if there’s anyone who deserves my love and affection, it’s ME.
When people are not able to communicate and connect with you in the way you need to, it makes you feel uncared for. And it’s so hard not to internalize that silence as a reflection on your worth. But the truth is that the way other people operate is not about you. Most people are so caught up in their own responsibilities, struggles, and anxiety that the thought of asking someone else how they’re doing doesn’t even cross their mind. They aren’t inherently bad or uncaring — they’re just busy and self-focused. Maybe their heart and mind doesn’t work like yours. And that’s okay. It’s not evidence of some fundamental failing on your part. It doesn’t make you unlovable or invisible. It just means that those people aren’t very good at looking beyond their own world. But the fact that you are — that despite the darkness you feel, you have the ability to share your love and light with others — is a strength. Your work isn’t to change who you are; it’s to find people who are able to give you the connection you need. Because despite what you feel, you are not too much. You are not too sensitive or too needy. You are thoughtful and empathetic. You are compassionate and kind.
When someone rejects you, that doesn’t make you a failure. It doesn’t make you unlovable or unwanted. It doesn’t discount all the people who love and care about you. And it doesn’t mean you’re inadequate. All rejection means is that the relationship wasn’t the right fit. And just because a connection was lacking this time doesn’t mean you can’t find a connection in the future. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been turned down by a romantic interest, a potential job, a university, your peers, or your co-workers—your worth as a person is not dictated by the opinions of other people. Not everyone is going to feel a connection to you, and that’s okay. It’s impossible to win everyone’s approval. So stop focusing on all the people who have rejected you, and start holding onto all the people who have embraced you with love and open arms. These are the people and relationships that matter. Let go of the rest.