I think the opposite of rejection isn’t acceptance, but rather unconditional love. In many ways we spend our lives putting up defences to avoid being rejected. The more layers of “protection” we add, the less ability we have to have meaningful relationships. Say I had ten blankets around me and someone wants to hug me, they don’t really get to be anywhere near me. Our fear that people will see us for who we are leads us to hide from the world. Real relationships are ones in which we are vulnerable and trust people to not completely destroy us. With it comes the freedom of being accepted despite our flaws, mistakes and faults.
Even if we share “this happened and I’m scared,” we have this tendency to want to pretend everything is magically okay after that. This is part of that same fear of vulnerability. Maybe we don’t want to admit how much something has affected us. Maybe we are afraid people will see us as weak, damaged, or pessimistic. Maybe we are doing it for the convenience of other people who are not able to process what we were saying. (I’ve learned when people say “handle your emotions” they are saying please hide them because I didn’t learn to deal with emotions and its making me uncomfortable.) In the end, real support comes from the people who stick around however long it takes us to improve and don't make us pretend to be better. They love us unconditionally.
I think ultimately people are scared of the moment we let go of the layers of protection and someone sees us for who we really are, hurts us and walks away (or runs in the other direction screaming). If someone doesn’t know us we can easily say, “well they know a part of me, but they don’t really know who I am" and therefore we avoid feeling rejected. If we show all of our selves and people walk away, its like they are saying we are not good enough as we are, and we are not worthy of acceptance. This leads some people to never trust again. Others trust again and again, but maybe hurt each time and eventually grow tired of the effort. I think the thing to understand is that we are created as we are, and we are who we are, if someone doesn’t see that it really isn’t about us. It’s about their ability to see God in everyone.
So if we can understand how much it affects us to be rejected, we should be able to turn this around and make it a lesson on how to treat other people. We should learn not to judge or criticize others, not to gossip or spread rumours. We need to accept each person as God, and hate no one. I remember one day my dad was talking about one of his best friends and how great he is. He goes “you know we used to hate each other.” I said “WHAT?!” He said “so I said to him one day, let’s talk. We talked and talked and talked and we didn’t hate each other anymore... I think people hate each other because they feel threatened.” I think it’s a matter of understanding where people are coming from, making an effort, getting to know them, and seeing their good qualities. In the lectures on mysimran.info, Simar Singh says “no ego, no animosity, no speaking against others, and don’t care about what others think” and “anytime you see someone see them and try to treat them as you would speak or act towards God.” So be your true self. I know it takes courage, and I know it’s actually pretty hard to let go of what other people think (I haven’t been able to do it yet!). Similarly accept other people as they are. Love them for who they are, and don’t be angry if they aren’t in the place to be able to return that love or be appreciative of it. I know I've experienced frustration when people don't reciprocate the effort you put into overlooking someone's annoying qualities. You spend all that time loving them as they are, and yet they can't do the same for you. But really their lack of reciprocation is where they are in their journey. You know where you are in your journey. Everything is God’s creation and to not accept or love it, is to not love God and to speak against Waheguru. You shouldn’t feel sorry for compassion, love, and empathy you give people. This is your love for God.
Sidenote: I've been trying to write for a while but i've got insomnia and i'm having trouble concentrating! I'm hoping to write more religious history posts soon because I know people enjoy a mixture of different types of posts. Our youtube kirtan channel is public https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaJVqGlOz5r_yLZk2KkcenQ so you can just subscribe for updates there if you'd like. I'm slowly trying to make it so that all the shabads are in both playlists so you can learn all the shabads i know basically. Uploading has been slow because i'm new to youtube plus it takes me a really long time to be able to record how to play the shabads and I have been busy with other things. I kind of just wanted to record the shabads for myself so I wouldn't forget because at this point I think I know close to 100 shabads, and I figured I would share them in case someone else wants to learn. I never really expected anyone to subscribe so it's pretty cool to see people are actually learning from it! (It kind of turned into "Oh I guess people are actually watching it so I better slow down the keys and make them good!")