I Love You. Go Away.
It’s not you. It’s me.
I swear it’s not you. It’s me.
Well, it’s a little you.
Who am I kidding? It’s so you.
In fact, if you weren’t you, we would still be us.
Does this sound familiar? Have you been the recipient of this peppy little oratory? It’s called rejection, and if you have a pulse, you’ve probably experienced it.
Someone once told me that life is merely a series of rejections until we reach the end when life itself rejects us, and we die. He wasn’t a glass-half-full kind of guy. But he had a point.
Rejection takes many forms: The baseball team, the credit card, the college, the club, the clique, the loan, the job. All of these and so much more are fraught with the danger of rejection.
But then there’s the mama of all rejections. The bone-crushing, soul-sapping, mind-blowing, heartbreaking rejection. And it usually starts with these words: “I love you.” And it ends with: “Go away.”
Well, maybe not those exact words, but the meaning is clear. A moment ago, I thought you were the love of my life, but now I know you’re the mistake of my life. In other words, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
And there we stand, the rejectees, our mouths hanging open, our hips bruised from being blindsided. We didn’t see it coming. Didn’t you just say how wonderful I am? Wasn’t love mentioned just hours ago? Didn’t I recently hear something about being beautiful, perfect, a soul mate?
And after we recover from the initial shock and can draw breath again, we might negotiate: I don’t have to be me, we might say. I can change, be a whole different me. Anything not to be rejected by you.