I had the most intense experience last night. I was laying in the bath when suddenly it consumed me. Rejection. My entire life has been about my avoidance of it and my feelings surrounding it. Memories came flooding in as the tears began flooding out. It felt like I was birthing the emotions. My mouth gaped as sorrow emerged from my throat and escaped past my lips. It was the type of sadness that you feel to your bones. So much lost hope and lost opportunities. My life spent worrying about being accepted by others. To the point that I’ve hidden myself away. Exposing little pieces here and there to those that I thought might approve. Weird. Strange. Annoying. All the labels my peers had given to me growing up. I wasn’t allowed to come to the party. Photos of me standing by myself in a sea of other children. Distant. Aloof. Afraid to raise my hand in class. Don’t ask questions. You might look stupid. Don’t speak. You might be wrong. They will laugh at you. Pick at your skin so you have a reason to hide your body. That way you have an excuse not to expose yourself. Truly. Literally. Hiding my body beneath pants and cardigans. Hiding myself in every sense.

Every bad memory I could think of and all of my life’s decisions were born from this pitiful womb. Distancing myself from others. Marrying the first guy that seemed to care about me. Staying near my hometown for the first thirty years of my life.

So many hurt feelings and so much anxiety. Shy. Cold. I’m an introvert. That’s the label I’ve chosen to take on, but the truth is I have been rejected so much that I don’t trust people. I reject them so they can’t reject me. I’ve settled repeatedly in life because I don’t want to risk failure. I seldom try new things because I can’t stand to look foolish or not be good at something. What would people think? They’ll laugh at me. Just like my teacher and the students made a mockery out of me in art class when I gave my teacher the $20 art fee in cash…cash that smelled like cigarettes because my parents smoked. My teacher, a grown woman, announced to everyone that the $20 bill stunk of smoke. She had other students smell it and everyone talked about how disgusting it was. The smell of my home. How lovely. Thank you 6th grade art teacher whose name I can’t even remember and yet your taunts continue to haunt.

The first boy I had feelings for rejected me. I brought him gifts and tried to flirt with him. He told the teacher I was bullying him. I was reprimanded. My actions were taken as aggression. Another theme in my life. As is my fear of getting in trouble. Of someone not approving of my actions. It’s no wonder I ran through the halls of the mental hospital naked. Freedom for me was finally exposing myself and not giving a fuck what anyone thought. Other’s judgement no longer weighed me down. God how I wish I could be free again.

Tonight is a full moon and I’ve been reading a lot about ceremony and ritual. I’ve also bee reading my tarot cards every day for the past few months. I’m trying to nurture that part of me in a more structured way. So, tonight with the full moon I am going to put more intention around letting go of the need for approval…also known as my fear of rejection. Even as I type that I still have a part of me that is in denial. It’s funny because I have celebrated my weirdness and haven’t tried to hide it in it’s essence, and yet I have been hiding. Not being fully present and not letting people see me in my entirety. Even the muted shades of what I am have made people uncomfortable. How could anyone accept me in my full vibrancy? That’s where I need to be. I need to be more. More me. More willing to fail. More willing to look stupid and put myself out there. Risk it. Look rejection in the face and move on from it. Feel it and heal it. That’s the next phase for me. I know my life will be completely different if I can embrace this and heal from it. It’s time.