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.

423 thoughts on “The Unbearable Ferocity of Rejection

  1. Scene 1 is the real change the world needs right now. If scene 1 was more common place the intensity and woe most struggle with in life would not nearly be so prevalent.

    1. Well shared Joshua – scene 1 is a rarity and yet without it, we seem to brand men as tough people who don’t know tenderness of feelings. But men do, naturally so. And scene 1 presents a foundation for allowing more of this.

  2. Alan, what two very different scenarios, scene two being all too commonplace and scene one being rare, but wow how life-changing scene two is – with men opening and up and being honest this feels like their natural way. This what I observe about young boys too; they talk about what has upset and hurt them and there is a closeness, respect and love for each other.

  3. Thank you for sharing Alan , I recognise both scenes , the first scenes has come into my life in resent times.
    ” And as a man who has had minimal male friends in half a century, I begin to love these men ”
    This has happened for me too , I can say truthfully there are men that I love as dear friends as a result of the first scene.

  4. Sadly, for most men and women the second scene is the normal way. But – scene 1, even though it may not be as common, is far more powerful, and the ripple effect of that connection and commitment amongst men is palpable. It transcends distances and boundaries we cannot even comprehend. It is only a matter of time before scene 1 becomes normal.

  5. Haha and while it’s funny to read it’s not so funny to watch. Scene 2 was life for me and while it didn’t fit exactly into what is presented it was pretty close and I remember walking away almost scratching my head and having a constant feeling of ‘there has to be more to life then this’. Days turned into weeks and those into years and you would turn up almost like it was the same scene on a different day. Much has changed since then and it simply comes down to how I am with myself, the quality I live day to day or moment to moment which has changed the view from 2 to 1.

  6. Just reading this I could feel the space that is lived in scene 1 disappear as I read scene 2. Scene 2 offers no room for love to be, it’s full of all that is not, perhaps conveniently so.

  7. There is so much more to life when we open our hearts and drop our armour and share what is really touching us and going on in our lives.

  8. The difference between dealing with life and everything we feel, experience and know and not dealing with everything. I think the biggest difference is purpose, in scene 1 we are happening to life, there is a purpose and a willingness to deeply understand life and grow and learn from it, whereas in scene 2 life is seemingly just happening to us, and without the willingness to understand comes the blame and judgement.

  9. The contrast is so stark and yet both are equally possible and anyone, no matter where they’ve been can choose that first one, where we open up, deal with our hurts and share and be us in life with ourselves and others.

  10. When we open our hearts to one another, and share of the hurts we have accumulated along the way, the protection dissolves freeing us to discover that we are of the same tenderness in essence, and can then begin to explore living the power of this innate quality. Otherwise we continue to be incarcerated by the walls of protection we have erected, that keep us from knowing who we are.

  11. Scene 1 is what we all seek, even when playing out scene 2. In scene 2 we’re still looking for brotherhood and it only adds to our hurts more that we don’t find it.

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