A man or woman can suffer for years with inner torment when a message of rejection is driven into the heart and allowed to infect the core beliefs. Just as the lies go deep it can seem like healing for the wounds of rejection can seem so far away.

This is how it happens:

Someone verbally or physically hurts us, with abuse, rejection, neglect, or abandonment. Then we accept and agree with the lie that “I must be scum, because this person didn’t love or value me.” The lie gets reinforced every time we fail, make a mistake or someone mistreats us. We feel anger then we get depressed. Then we look for a way to cope because the emotional turmoil and pain are unbearable.

This is where many people will shut down their hearts. Others will medicate their pain with sex, drugs, alcohol, work-addiction, hobbies, family, or sports. Some even try to resolve the pain in their hearts by  putting massive expectations on their loved ones. The lie that they can’t be accepted as they are becomes reinforced once more when they cannot find healing through loved ones. This causes them to sink further into the cycle of depression, anger, and medicating pain the wrong way.

We blow up at every perceived slight, real or imagined. We are ready to go off at any moment and become a walking time bomb. We are left more miserable than before when our medication of choice wears off or is no longer fun. Others are left more empty, guilt-ridden, angry, and depressed when they take bigger risks and go for a more intense high.

Finally, they hit rock bottom. They get in trouble with the law, they lose their job, or their wife walks out the door. They are finally willing to take a long hard look in the mirror when the pain of the consequences is now more severe than the pain in their heart. It is difficult to get out when more and more problems arise if a person does not deal with their wounds of rejection. In addition to facing and feeling the wound in their heart, they now have to fight a very strong battle of addiction to their pseudo-medication. These individuals will remain vulnerable to repeated relapses if they merely skim the top of the weed and don’t pull it out by the root. These are the people who only deal with their sinful coping mechanisms while avoiding the deeper heart issues that lie beneath.

In order to truly live, and live a life of lasting freedom, love and joy the wound of rejection must be healed. If you seek healing from rejection expect a battle to ensue. You may even hear “You don’t want to go there… it’ll hurt too much. Do you really believe you’re anything but a piece of garbage? The love of God is for other people, not a screwup like you. Many people have said you’re worthless and there’s no hope… can they really be wrong?” The heat will be turned up from every side.

1. Someone you loved, respected, or desperately needed hurt, rejected or abandoned you.

Refuse to medicate this truth any longer. You were let down, and it was painful. Your heart has been empty and lonely for years, and you’re crying out for love and acceptance. If you’re seething in rage for what they did, own it. Talk this out with a trusted friend or counselor, and/or journal it out with your higher power.

2. Now take a hard look at how you interpreted what happened; what you internalized about who you are.

Ask for guidance and revelation from the Holy Spirit; this will be especially important. No Sunday school answers or quoting of scripture allowed here, that’s another way to avoid your pain.

Here are some lies that many buy into:

•I can’t get it right.

•I can’t please others.

•I am worthless.

•I am rejected.

•I cannot be loved as I am.

•There’s no hope.

•I am dirty; soiled. No one would want me if they really knew how filthy I am.

•I am ugly.

•I deserve what happened to me; to be rejected.

•God doesn’t love me.

It’s two different things between what we believe and what we know. What you believe drives your actions; if what you know doesn’t make it to your heart then you’ll be more prone to falling into sinful coping patterns.

Don’t hurry this step. It may take a period of weeks, or even months to discover your wounds. Talking it out with a trusted friend, counselor or writing out your thoughts may help. Sorrow may come when you dig into your heart in this area, don’t run from it. Allow yourself the space to grieve if you’ve experienced loss. A major part of the healing process is to feel grief. Admit these lies that you’ve believed, admit that they are not true and admit it out loud with a trusted friend or counselor. All of this brings the feelings to the surface so they can be felt one final time and the individual can finally break free.

There are no short cuts in life. Sometimes the only way out is through.