At the Freedom Extreme in St. George, I participated in a simulation involving creating boundaries. We paired with partners and each partner would instruct us how to move. If they gave us the hand motion to stop, we stopped. If they gave us the motion to move backward, we moved back. If they waved us forward, we moved forward.
Kami tapped my shoulder, an indication that she had chosen me to face Jacob in the center of the circle our bodies had created. She instructed Jacob to use the hand signs we had learned earlier, (“Stop,” “Move Backward,” and “Move Forward.”) to direct me where he wanted me to go. Kami then instructed me to “walk all over him.”
This instruction immediately triggered me to put up more walls and shrink inside myself. I didn’t want to hurt Jacob’s heart, I know what that feels like. But I “leaned into” it because I had committed to participate 100% in the simulations we would be doing.
I chose to do the opposite of everything Jacob signed. He signed ‘stop’ and I continued moving. He signed “Move Backward” and I went towards him. He signed “Move Forward” and I turned my back on him and walked away.
In retrospect, I measure my actions as subtle rejections of Jacob. When I moved forward, I rejected his strength and power. When I ignored his sign to stop, I showed that he wasn’t good enough for me to face him. When I turned my back on him, I not only rejected him, I abandoned him and classed him as someone unwanted, someone not worthy of me.
It took me several days to recognize that in this simulation I had inadvertently shown everyone present that one of the most powerful ways someone can reject me and cause me pain is to reject ME. Reject my strengths and my personal power. To then classify me as not good enough, not worthy of them, someone unwanted, to abandon me, and most of all, to turn their back on me, to reject me, and reject who I am. I allowed those present to glimpse this. How many of them did see into it, I do not know.
I do know and have often experienced the pain of rejection, on several levels. I have experienced rejection, felt and been ignored, unwanted, powerless, afraid, small, insignificant, insufficient, unworthy, (and more) all in negative ways.
From this experience, a wake-up call I had that I want to share with you is this: I need to be more observant and discerning of the needs of those around me who seek what I have sought (and still often seek). That being acceptance, love, joy, and peace, (among other things), and to act on what I discern in the way that my Higher Power has blessed me.
I invite you to join me. Look inside yourselves, look back on your past, and give special attention to the things you have sought that have influenced you the most, and how you found them, then go and find someone who is seeking what you have sought, and offer to help them find it. Offer with the intent to give of yourself and truly serve them. Offer them the gift of your experience, your knowledge, your love.
~ Genevieve R. Purdy