Man, Rejection, and Heartbreak

Guys, we all know the hardest thing for us to do is to admit when we hurt. Especially when it comes to rejection and heartbreak. But it’s something we are gonna face whether we want to or not.

Heartbreak. No one wants to go through it, but we can’t live a life without it. It hurts, just not emotionally but physically too. I now know this from experience. I’ve been through some heartbreak. Not gonna lie it was quite difficult. In talking with a good friend, who’s been through similar things, he shared an episode of South Park with me. Before you say “Really? South Park?” Let me explain. In the episode two characters experience heartbreak. One just loses himself throughout the episode and eventually joins the Goth Kids at school and per the stereotype they all write about how painful life is. At the end of the episode the two characters run into each other, the Goth Kids invite the second to join them and write about how painful life is. The character said something profound.

“Well yeah, and I’m sad, but at the same time I’m really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It’s like, it makes me feel alive, you know? It makes me feel human. And the only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt somethin’ really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good, so I guess what I’m feelin’ is like a, beautiful sadness. I guess that sounds stupid.” ~Butters 

Ever since watching that episode I’ve been thinking about the phrase “beautiful sadness” and what it means. I think it means that what we feel and why it hurts so much is because what we had before was good. We wanted it. We enjoyed being in that relationship and we were giving everything we had.

Another friend eventually took me on a lengthy car ride around town that included french fries and a talk with me about my recent and past experience with rejection. I had been dealing with a breakup and a group of friends who abandoned me.

During this car ride she did most of the talking and I listened staring out the window taking in what she said and responded with what I felt. It was one of those talks that the friend comes down with truth that you need to hear. (Her bark is worst then her bite.) She expressed how she was tired of hearing that I wasn’t doing well and my complaining about things.

I had felt like there were things wrong with me. But that was far from the truth. She told me that people had pushed me away because they saw something in me that they were missing. So to feel better about about themselves they pushed me away.

While dealing with all of this I continuously questioned my own self. Why would they leave me? Am I not good enough? Did I do something wrong? Did I not do something? I lost sight of something far more important, what I thought of myself.

‘This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.’’ ~Shakespeare 

I felt broken and lost. It had even felt as though God himself had left me. As we know, that’s never true. God is always there and waiting for us to return to him.

I found myself, sometimes still, asking and wondering why am I not good enough. I constantly have to remind myself, that I am good enough. It’s a constant struggle of self-confidence. It begins with being good enough for myself.

This is hard for me to say, I was 29 when I had my first date. The date lead to my first relationship. Five months in, I was head over heals in love with the girl. I knew in the pit of my stomach that I wanted more than to just date her. I wanted a future. Only to my dismay, it wouldn’t go further. After five moths of dating, she ended the relationship.

At first I was understanding and was generally okay with it. I was upset that my first love was coming to an end. Still, I told people that I was “ok” with it. However just a couple months after I found myself in shattered pieces and completely broken. Eventually I found myself in counseling for not only the breakup but for other relationships that had suddenly collapsed around me. I felt completely unwanted. The first girl to ever want to date me left me and people who were supposed to be friends just didn’t care or attempt to show they did.

As I approach eight months since the break up, I still find myself struggling from time to time. I still have those days where I feel worthless, unwanted, and unloved. Of course thats not true.

When I submitted to write for Project Wednesday I also signed up for the weekly email. The second email I got was titled “Are you Okay” something inside myself said that this email was for me. I opened it and started to read, which wasn’t such a great idea. I was at work and began to well up with tears. As quietly as I could I took a deep breath and slowly let it out.

“This email is for you. This email is for the individual who lives through their own hardships.’’ ~Project Wednesday “Are you Okay?” HKP

Those who are close to me would tell you that I’m harder on myself than anyone else could be. I’m sure it’s the same for most of us. I can go on and on, beating myself up over events that happen to me and when I feel like I’m losing control. Or when I’m not doing as well as I know I can and should be.

“Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can.” Project Wednesday “Are you Okay?” HKP

I’d beat myself up the most when I wasn’t where I thought I should be with everything or when I found myself constantly falling down. The words “Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can” are comforting. You and I are after all just human. In no shape or form are we perfect. We are always doing the best we can with what we have.

I know how difficult it can be to feel unwanted an unloved. It doesn’t just hurt emotionally, it hurts physically. To the point where you can’t even cry because you are so drained from the pain. I know how hard it is to constantly remind yourself that you are loved.

The best advice I can give you is be patient. When you feel like its to much take a deep breath and take it one piece at a time. Even when it feels empty, pray. Find something that redirects your mind and energy to something more positive. Look yourself in the mirror and give yourself a smile. Not a photo smile, but a “hey good lookin’! How you doin’?” smile. Trust me, it sounds awkward, it works.

Most of all, if you start to feel overwhelmed, reach out for help. Talk to someone. I assure you, you are not weak, you are strong, courageous, wonderful, beautiful, smart, and you will come out of this.
God bless you.

Niall Covington
Born with a genetic disorder, Niall knows what it is like to be knocked down. He has been there several times and he has been able to get back up because of faith and a small number of friends. Seeing others getting knocked down, Niall offers a hand whether he has just fallen or is on the way back up himself. Volunteering as a summer camp counselor for children, teens, and young adults with the same disorder, Niall hopes to inspire them to overcome life’s road blocks. For Niall, writing for Project Wednesday is an opportunity to reach more people, and to help more.

Beautifully Imperfect

Have you ever dropped a mug and it broke? Either the handle snapped off it or broke in half and into pieces? Usually you would do one of two things, pick up the pieces and through them away. Or pick up the pieces and glue them back together. Of the latter of the two, once the glue dried and the pieces are once more a whole mug, the mug takes on a new look. The cracks wrap around the mug and it appears unattractive. The beauty it once held has changed. The way we look at it has also changed.

Now we let the mug sit in the cupboard, it becomes unused or rarely used in side home projects. Holding screws or nails in the garage, dye for Easter Eggs, and other such things.
What about ourselves? Have we ever been dropped? Perhaps broken? In A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway wrote:

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places”

Think for a moment. Back to a time where you felt broken, even when you were broken. Shattered even. Remember how you felt like you’d never be the same? How you just wanted things to go back to how they were before? Our pieces laying on the floor and we had no idea how they’d ever be put back together?

The world breaks everyone. We all break at some point. It’s how we pick up the pieces and put them back together.

Kintsugi is a nearly 500 year old Japanese practice of repairing broken dishes or pottery back together with lacquer mixed with gold. Kintsugi actually means “golden joinery”.

The practice of this art is focused on the hidden beauty and power of life. Wth three parts:
• Making the impossible possible
• Preparing the medium and adhesive
• Re-experiencing each broken piece

Let’s apply these parts to ourselves. I know, we all know what it’s like to feel broken. The thing to remember is that it’s not impossible to put ourselves back together. Hemingway said that after a person is broke they are strong in those broken pieces. So does our Lord.
If Jesus was ever broken, it was on the cross. How often does God and Jesus tell us to come to the cross? Why else would we turn to the cross.

In the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, which goes along with the idea of Kintsugi, looks at the acceptance of imperfection. Beauty that is imperfect. There’s not a person on this earth that is perfect. If anyone says different, they’re lying.

Can you think of anyone who looks at all of our imperfections and sees nothing but beauty? Do I even really need to say it?
God!

Take a moment and look at it this way:

We fall, we break, we pick up the pieces of ourselves and come to the cross. Perhaps it’s the faith in the healing of the cross that is the lacquer that brings our pieces back together. Of course, just like the mug, pieces here and there will be missing. But the lacquer (cross) fills these voids.

You might be asking “where’s the gold in all this?” I bet you already know the answer.

If the cross is the lacquer, than Jesus must be our gold. The love Jesus has for our imperfection is what fills us with gold. We prepare ourselves for Jesus by coming with all of our brokenness and imperfections to him and laying it all at the foot of the cross. It’s also in prayer, we fall to our knees in the chapel and let it all out. Lift up all of our pain. Say “Jesus, I am broken and I need you.”

The hardest part of it all is re-experiencing each of our broke pieces. It hurts like a steak knife to the heart. We have to, we need to look at all of our pain and know what it is. See the pieces that broke so we know how to heal and put it back to its rightful place.

You may be broken, but you have so much beauty to you.

Be filled with gold.

Be Beautifully imperfect.

Niall Covington
Born with a genetic disorder, Niall knows what it is like to be knocked down. He has been there several times and he has been able to get back up because of faith and a small number of friends. Seeing others getting knocked down, Niall offers a hand whether he has just fallen or is on the way back up himself. Volunteering as a summer camp counselor for children, teens, and young adults with the same disorder, Niall hopes to inspire them to overcome life’s road blocks. For Niall, writing for Project Wednesday is an opportunity to reach more people, and to help more.