Fear of Rejection

QA167 QUESTION: I have a fear of rejection, which is so strong that it doesn’t let me express my positive feelings. Can you elaborate on that?

ANSWER: Yes. I would put it this way, my friend. As so often where man sees everything the other way around, it is exactly the opposite. It is just because you are afraid of your good feelings and expressing them that you become so vulnerable and so dependent on the acceptance of others.

If you can look at it from that side and develop it from that side, you will see what happens. Number one, you can – in your meditation, in your work, in your approach to yourself – assume the point of view, “I will risk rejection. I will allow myself to have the natural, spontaneous, good feelings as they might potentially exist in me already.”

Therefore the courage will develop in you to take a risk, to not take the personal vanity so seriously. For it is much less important for yourself, for your own well-being, to be accepted than it is that you have your good feelings, unafraid, knowing that this is your treasure and your strength. And to have the security of masculinity, in your case, with a woman – with femininity.

To the degree you develop this robustness and resiliency to be true to the potentiality of your good feelings and let this potentiality develop deliberately, to that extent you will lose all fear – whether this be fear of rejection, fear of being inadequate or whatever it may be.

Humankind, in general, is in such a tragic position because it always puts the cart before the horse in all questions, and therefore becomes so confused. The struggle and the groping on this Path is precisely to learn, little by little, by these steps, to tentatively, here and there, see things in their proper way.

The more you experience that good feelings are no danger, the more you will see there’s nothing to fear. There’s nothing to fear. That is the way you can come out. The other way you cannot come out, because the other way you remain perpetually dependent on your surroundings. And you have to invent all sorts of means to control your surroundings.

As you know from all my teachings and lectures in the past, there are many ways in which to do that, and none of them work. Because you have no real power over the surroundings, no matter how hard you try, no matter what these subtle games are that are invented in order to directly or indirectly do so.

If instead you use your emphasis, your concentration, your endeavors, your strength to develop that in you which is the key to all you ever need – the capacity to feel and experience – you cannot go wrong.

For through this openness of feelings you reach the core of your spiritual self where not only the bliss exists but where also the wisdom lies – the wisdom and all answers you will ever need to know for yourself and for your life.

 

QA176 QUESTION: Recently, I’ve discovered that the only type of relationship that I can have is one where I’m rejected. On the other hand, I’ve discovered that I can’t get involved, like with girlfriends, on a very deep level. And I have a difficulty involving myself also with my child. I can’t let myself go, really, with him and have fun. When I’m away from him, I can think about all the things we’re going to do together, but then when we’re together, I hold myself back.

ANSWER: With this, there is only one answer to that: your tremendous fear of your feelings. Do you know why you are so afraid of your feelings? Instead of taking a theoretical answer, true as it may be, it would be much better if you arrive at this answer yourself. Do you know why you are so afraid of your good feelings here? Of course, you are also afraid of the negative ones, but what you describe here is the intimacy and warmth and directness of human contact, and the pleasure of your own body.

QUESTION: Well, I think I’m afraid of rejection.

ANSWER: This is not the only feeling. No, no.

QUESTION: No. I don’t know then.

ANSWER: It is quite the opposite. You court the rejection in order not to experience the pleasure.

QUESTION: I do what?

ANSWER: You court or provoke the rejection or rejecting situations in order not to experience the pleasure. Our next lecture [Lecture #177 Pleasure – The Full Pulsation of Life] will deal with pleasure, and the universal importance of it – the universal, cosmic meaning of it.

It is a very important juncture when a person realizes this: “I fear pleasure.” Now, this is not a theoretical thing, because in theory you do not do this. But your actual emotional and physical reactions testify to this. And if you observe yourself, you will see it is that way. You can only come to it indirectly, and this has to be accepted. You have to accept that you deny it.

Very gradually the acceptance has to come by committing yourself in your meditation that you want it, that you want to open to it. You have to also accept that there is this level in you that denies it. And it is not even so much always a question of finding the misconceptions why you deny it. At times it is just as important merely to know that you deny it, to know that you reject it, instead of thinking you do not reject it – it is the circumstances or it is another person or whatever.

Just realize your fear of pleasure as a primary self-awareness and then meditate and commit yourself to pleasure. Meditate that you would want that your unconscious level where you deny it should reorient itself, should acclimatize itself to pleasure. You also have to make room in your mind for its legitimate importance. And you have not done this yet.

It is still something somehow frivolous a little bit. It is something you perhaps accept somehow but not really even mentally. Therefore, you cannot even make the mental commitment to it. And this mental commitment must always be the first step in order to affect eventually a reorientation on a deeper emotional level.

 

QA190 QUESTION: I am still very much involved with the happenings around me at my job, although I don’t have a position now where I am directly involved and where I have to make decisions. Nevertheless, when things happen around me, I get very much emotionally stirred up by it. Can you comment on this? Why do I still do this in this way?

ANSWER: Your progress has brought you to the point now where you can just begin to fully see the defenses and how strongly you hold onto them. This is why other people have this tremendous importance for you so that you have to present the front, that you cannot even contemplate as yet to live without this appearance you give to others.

You have made very significant inroads, but they are only sporadic in your group, and then you immediately go back to carrying your presentable image to the world. The reason for this – the fear of being exposed, the fear of showing your vulnerability – is also this anxiety you have in connection with others. Can you see this?

QUESTION: I can see that I have an anxiety.

ANSWER: No, but can you understand the connection here?

QUESTION: Can you clarify this a little more?

ANSWER: What is it exactly that you do not understand?

QUESTION: How I’m anxious about my defenses – that is what I don’t understand – and how other people make me anxious in this way?

ANSWER: Every time you are anxious in such circumstances, there is a fear in you that others will reject you, that you cannot really be yourself.

QUESTION: Right, I can see that now.

ANSWER: There it is. The more you can concentrate in this work to spot this, to admit it – first to yourself and then to those with whom you associate in this work – the more you express it and own up to it and admit “I feel this right now,” then you can go further to “what is its meaning?”

Then you can use the meditation to, again, focus on being you rather than being what you think you ought to be in order to be accepted. This is still very strong here.

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