Grab some chocolate, girl. But the GOOD stuff, none of that drug-store junk, cause we’re gonna need it to read below. I have LOVED Vosges Haut Chocolate since my friend in high school (high school…so long ago…I’m getting old) told me it was her aunt who ran the amazing chocolate shop in Chicago. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen out of touch with that friend (facebook, you’ve failed me and my chocolate-loving ways). Anyway, on my recent trip to Colorado, I flew through Chicago, and was thrilled to find the most gorgeous little Vosges store in my terminal. Of course I bought a few treats. Now….read on….

Lately my life seems to be a bit of a lesson in rejection. Well, maybe not my life in general, but my work-life has been a lesson in rejection. Suddenly, I’ve become a cold-caller. {shudder} If you’ve ever had to cold-call, you know what I mean. The “we’re not interested, hang up” is the norm. They won’t even let you say your name. It’s rather discouraging. Or you do get to talk to someone, and they let you say your whole schpiel (made up how to spell that word), and then say the “we’re not interested.” Harsh blow.

And in other ways in my life, too, I’m sticking my neck out. You know the old saying, “A turtle only makes progress by sticking it’s neck out”? Well, they don’t say that sometimes when you stick your neck out, you move at a turtle’s pace. Yeah, yeah, I know, the turtle wins the race, but watching the rabbits run in circles around you is dizzying in the meantime.

So how to handle rejection?

* Take a deep breath. No, seriously: like, right now, take a deep breath. Feels better already, doesn’t it?

Then, tell yourself this: God has a purpose and a plan for me. And those are perfect purposes and perfect plans. He will get me where He wants me, and He doesn’t reject me.

* Don’t give up. Get right back on the horse. I psyche myself out when making cold-calls between the calls, so as soon as I hang up the phone, I pick it up again and keep on going. But if you need to step away for a bit, that’s fine too. Go for a walk or enjoy a sunset.

*Set realistic, small goals for your next steps, then up the ante. Five calls in the next half hour. Or, write three new cover letters today. Or, send out four more poems to editors this week. Or, better yet, make your realistic, small goal this: do not give in to fear for the next hour. Until lunch time. Today. Tomorrow. This week.

* Remember that now is not forever. It may feel like this is the worst thing ever. Well, you know what? Yes, cold-calling sucks. Rejection sucks. Especially when it isn’t warranted or isn’t coming from something you initiated (been there). But what is happening to you now is not going to last forever. Remember how I said earlier that life changes? Life is fluid. Things come and go. This will end, or dissipate, or lead you on to much better things.

* You are not determined by what other people think of you. You are not your boss’ opinion. You are not your students’ opinion. You are not that fancy-blogger’s opinion. You are not what others label you, unless you let yourself be that person.

* There are many ways to be happy. Okay, so maybe a door of happiness closed. I’m really, really sorry to hear that. But there are so many different versions of happy, as a dear best friend taught me.

* Be thankful and Praise God. There is so much left to be thankful for, I promise. Take a cricitally-grateful eye to your life. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Probably. But you know what I mean–scrutinize your life and find every little thing you can be grateful for–even if it’s (as I read somewhere) that you are horribly ill, but hey, guess what, your elbows don’t hurt. Nor does your earlobe. The skies are always blue above the clouds (don’t check my science on that one, I kinda made it up).

And if you are truly being unfairly rejected? Sleep on it. Don’t react out of fear, anger, or hurt. Write your response on paper, and let it sit for awhile. Take out any emotional phrasing. State your case and let it speak for itself. Pray and trust God.

You want to know a secret? Sometimes God closes doors. These new-fangled spiritualist types want to tell you that you can have ANYTHING and that God wants to give you EVERYTHING. I’ve been hearing a lot about that lately, it seems. Well, I’m not so sure about that. Our God gives and takes away. But never outside of that perfect plan and will. Yes, there is evil in this world, and it will affect you. But God still has your back.

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