Dealing with Disappointment

This time of year is perfect for Lent. At this point, everyone is getting a little sick of winter. We are tired of waiting. We’re ready for the snow to be gone, for spring and flowers and sunshine to return. And yet, somehow, winter always lingers. It doesn’t just disappear, it gives way in fits and starts. We just have to wait.

Naturally, that waiting process can lead to some disappointment. Like, “I’m going to go for a walk in the sun! Oh – wait – it’s snowing again. Dance video time.”

There are many other disappointments that crop up/ For example, not making it to the next round of ABNA. Getting another rejection letter from a journal.

When I was younger, I handled rejection pretty poorly. I was like one of those plants that curl up when you touch it… when I was rejected, I totally collapsed into myself. And that’s still something I’m working on. Even though I have good self-esteem, even though I feel loved and worthwhile and valued, a rejection still takes me aback.

What I’ve learned is that every time I get a rejection I have to go through a mini-grieving process. Denial, anger, bargaining, despair, acceptance (DABDA for short). Now, this is nothing like the grief for losing a family member. If I had that kind of grief every time I were rejected… I’d need to talk to someone!! The mini-grieving process may only take 3 minutes.

Denial: “Wait, they sent this to the wrong person. My name is spelled wrong.”

Anger: “How dare they spell my name wrong!! Punks. They’ll be sorry they rejected this masterful piece of work.”

Bargaining: “Maybe I could resubmit. Maybe if I change every word they’ll like it…”

Despair: “I’ll never get into this magazine.”

Acceptance: “OK, they didn’t like this one. I’ll try again another time.”

The important thing is to move through the stages and to feel them and get past them. And the more I do, the less it concerns me if I get a rejection. It’s more like, “Oh, really? I forgot I did that… guess I can submit that somewhere else now!”

What I have learned since I was a little girl is that magazines, contests, etcetera are not rejecting ME. MY worth is based on something entirely intrinsic. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (and I don’t say that to boast, we all are!)

Psalm 139:13-15 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

No, They (magazines etcetera) are rejecting something I have made, and my handiwork will only get better with time and effort and patience. Waiting is hard but it’s part of the process.

Time to get back on the horse and… I mean, back on the computer and WRITE.

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