I was raised by a single grandmother. My mom and dad never got married, and I only remember seeing them in the same room twice. I managed the pain of rejection by my parents by rejecting them and others first. I even walked myself down the aisle when I got married rather than being given away by my parents even though they both attended the ceremony. I remember thinking I wanted to show them what an independent and capable young woman I had become. Looking back, I see more hurt and stubbornness than a graceful demonstration that I could fly with my own wings.

I created my own cycle of misery. I didn’t make many friends in school. I gave the other kids reasons not to like me. I remember sitting in the dorm at summer camp stabbing a pizza box with a knife. I didn’t mind if they were scared of me. At least I knew why they didn’t like me. When I did find a group of kids who accepted me, I doubted their coolness. I dropped out of the Girl Scouts because they were too dorky, which probably meant they were nice to me, and I didn’t know how to act.

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.
–Groucho Marx

If you were rejected, it means you put yourself out there. You could’ve stayed in your cave with a jumbo bag of Cheetohs, but you didn’t. You gave it a go and it got up and went. You were brave.

There’s always the potential for rejection when you allow yourself to be seen and loved. That’s a necessary part of the bargain. You can’t be loved unless you make yourself available for love. Try not to get too chaffed by the rejection. The other person may not have even noticed they’ve rejected you. We’re all walking around as the center of our own universes. No one is really that concerned about you, which becomes quite liberating once you get over the ego bruise of it. It means you get to do what you want a lot more than if you’re worried what others think, so do whatever your weird self most delights in.

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd.
–Flannery O’Connor

The best we all can do is to show up as real and we feel safe being and let the universe dance with us. Or not. There’s no person or group that can keep us from following the deepest reality of who we are. I had a heart break when the one community I though most would love this very card deck… well, didn’t. My words were too controversial. I talked about sex. The moderators wigged out. Long story short, I left the community for the time being. No one from the internet showed up at my door demanding to confiscate my laptop and the markers I use for drawing cards. My work continued, unimpeded.

I’m still sad things when the way they did, and at the same time feel a liberation that comes from knowing I don’t need anyone’s approval to keep doing my work and speaking my voice. I get to put my work and myself into the world. Now, the world may well not give a damn, but I still get to work and that is all I can care about. Strangely, that’s become my new definition of freedom and though somewhat cold at first, it feels more real than anything else I’ve known.

See the light reversal > BELOVED