The Unbearable Ferocity of Rejection

by Alan Johnston, Pottsville, Australia

Scene 1: – Trees all around and the sweet sense of dusk settling in.

Men are talking with each other in an open-hearted, honest way. Sharing the kinds of unbearable rejection they have all felt and the ferocity of the life-responses that followed. The respect and caring is palpable. There is no blame to speak of – although it may be mentioned in passing. I, for one, am deeply grateful. The healing grows week to week. And as a man who has had minimal male friends in half a century, I begin to love these men and comprehend what brotherhood feels like…

Scene 2: – The front bar of a Northern Rivers hotel. Some kind of contact sport is on a flat screen high in a corner.

Men are slur-talking with each other through the thick lens on the bottom of a schooner. This distortion flows through the room. Blame and complaint are commonplace. The wife/partner/missus/little woman – well, they’d had a gutful. ‘Others’ by the very word are distanced, resented, even reviled. The laughter is often at their expense. The ferocity of this life-response oozes deep hurt. Unbearable.

389 thoughts on “The Unbearable Ferocity of Rejection

  1. I love the cinema scape you offer us here Alan. As one who has often experienced the talons and tendrils of this rejection monster at play in my life, it is beautiful to see it unmasked. Worse than any alien in a sci-fi film, these thoughts and beliefs we have just lead us apart and away from the truth. Like you, I know that only by coming together we deep understanding and tender care, can we begin to unlock these false imprisoning fears.

  2. Scene 1 – I read this and feel an ease in my body- I know this to be a true way and I appreciate it all. Scene 2 – feels very familiar but takes out the truth of how a man can be and behave. This fills a picture but is void of true essence.

  3. Palpable difference in the scenarios Allan; I would like to join scene 1 please. Whilst rejection is a huge issue for men, it is also there for women.

  4. Scene 1 & scene 2 clearly illustrate to me that in every moment there is a fork in our pathway and we have a choice which way we want to follow… do we want the drama of emotion and numbness to rule us or the clarity of wisdom and brotherhood.

  5. At our core we all seek brotherhood as that is our natural way. Yet scene 2 shows how distorted things can be. In that scene you can feel that there is still the seeking of connecting and brotherhood, only they don’t have forgotten how.

  6. Men learn how to survive rejection. They harden and turn such hardening into a sign of who they are and, hence, a drive for their movements. That can go on for the entire life. Yet, this is not the only way to relate to rejection. When healing is part of our lives, it does not take long for the hardening to start being eroded and to start exploring what does it mean and how does it feel to relate without it to the world.

  7. And thus not a clearer picture can be offered for the choice to live a life in true connection with each other, or the choice to live in complete and reckless abandonment of this. Love it Alan – you are both a master of words and observation.

  8. To feel this difference and to know we all have a choice in the depth of relationship we can have means the two examples do not come close. The majority of humanity choose separation from self first, a place they can hide who they are and then thicken this armoured coat by blaming others for the life they lead. Rejection hurts and so I query why we go on to deepen the well of hurt and bitterness by not re-connecting to self and to others.

  9. Alan I love what you shared in Scene 1 – it feels great that men started to talk in that way together . . . it could help that more man find their way back.

  10. Goodness gracious Alan, you summed up so much in a few words. I winced at the 2nd scene because it’s so true with all its deep hurt oozing as you say. Your first scenario about beginning to comprehend brotherhood brought a huge smile and felt deeply moving. You have also expressed clearly that there is not a great deal involved to switch between scenes but the outcomes are profoundly different.

  11. This pretty much sums up our dual plane of life, energetically speaking. We have the choice to be open and connected to a divine source that impulses the love we are from and unites… or … we can go in the opposite direction and align to a source that seeks to divide, compare, compete and be ignorant to the fact that we are all connected and divine.

  12. How very freeing it is to let go of the blame game and to be able to take total responsibility for the consequences that arise from the way we are living. When the blame is gone the door is open to honesty, equality and brotherhood. To feel the energy of honesty and brotherhood in the first group makes me smile but to feel to feel the energy of separation and blame in the second makes me realise that this is how the majority of humanity live and we accept it as normal; no smiles for this scenario.

  13. Such a contrast this is. Living in the denial of and hardening up to hide our deep hurt, or allowing our vulnerability to be felt and expressed. Women are the same, obviously.

  14. An honest account of a landscape walked by many men in Scene 2 and yet Scene 1 shows how not only men but women too can surrender and speak from their hearts about what is really going on for many in society today and that opening up about rejection can really inspire another to speak with honesty too and let the walls of protection begin to come down brick by brick. Thank you Alan.

  15. It is very clear that it is through our togetherness that we support and inspire each other to bring honesty to our lives and truly heal, so as to reveal the greatness of who we are where Brotherhood is understood and known to be our natural way of being. This is where our power lies as can be felt through the different scenarios you have shared. And the choice is always ours as to whether we are willing to be open to love, share love and let ourselves be moved by love.

  16. Love the scene 1 you have described, that is a more supportive way to live for oneself and humanity, where as scene 2 feels very disturbing, unsettled and very disturbing to ones life.

  17. We can either run from the pain that we feel or we can face it head on with the absolute knowing that once it is addressed in full, it can own us no longer. Scene 1 is in favour of this. Scene 2 is in reaction to it.

  18. What a snap shot, what visual writing, what a stark contrast. What an amazing experience for you as a man and why do we not ask for more, why do we accept the shallow pub interactions as normal?

  19. What a way to compare the truth and thats which is not true. It is so clearly felt that we can keep ourselves in the fortresses we created in fear of rejection, or be honest and talk about it. I know the first one is my way of connecting healing our hurts along the way.

  20. And also the support we deny when we choose to shut down and leave ourselves, it is almost truly unbearable to feel this fact, that which I so well know I can have but choose to avoid. It is crazy but I know I am not the only one. Honesty is key and allowing support is what is needed.

  21. Scene 1 is living the brotherhood of who we truly are Scene 2 is the hiding, the separation from self and others, the anger, and the deep held hurts. Two worlds seemingly so apart, within one world the other world is only a gentle breath away.

  22. Scene 1 feels real and true sharing and openness, living the brotherhood. Scene 2 feels loaded and heavy, no truth just hiding away, lots of anger and resentment and lots of deep hurts. They are both different worlds one can choose and very simple, by connecting back to oneself and choosing what feels true in the body and not trying please others or fit in.

  23. Clear evidence that you don’t find love at the bottom of a beer glass while watching a sporting contest.

  24. When you can connect in your body to how devastating rejection it was/is for you, when you discover that it is the same thing for every other man and be able to listen to their stories with an open heart, your eyes get transformed and what used to be a common daily scene ceases to be seen as before. The real pain becomes more visible even if the camouflage is a good one.

  25. Strange to think many man would find scene 1 the most challenging at times and the most boring. I certainly did but this was after a heap of experiences and life lived in the stimulation of scene 2. The consequence is we look at scene 1 and detest or resist it but it is the most gorgeous and most beautiful and worthwhile way of being with other men and women.

  26. I hate to state the obvious, but I will anyway . . . what a complete contrast in scenarios . . . I know which scenario I would be choosing and it would not be the pub!

  27. This short blog is like a painting to me, the way you have written it Alan is so vivid and rich. And draws into stark contrast that the way we choose to live is deeply repulsive and the opposite of what we truly yearn for. As long as we stay stuck in the short sharp fixes we choose, we keep ourselves marooned in the desert of life, seemingly stranded and a million miles away from Love.

  28. For most men, scene two is the only scene that is being experienced. Yet deep down, all men know the potential of scene 1, which in itself deeply hurts.

  29. These 2 scenes are vastly different and I know which one I would be choosing, however I am sure many would prefer scene 1 but they have become so ingrained in their patterns that it is easier to stay in comfort and to choose scene 2 – even though in truth they crave the deeper connection and wisdom that scene 1 is constantly offering.

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