Self-Rejection is a feeling manifested from not being wanted or deemed imperfect that resulting in low self-esteem. We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded with messages of self-love and self-care while projecting ideas of beauty and perfection onto the very people that we are telling to love themselves as they are. Most of the time we believe that we exhibit self love when we fix the external imperfections that plague our existence. Although there is nothing wrong with fixing the exterior of our being it is imperative that we do the work to heal the soul by determining and managing what causes us to feel unwanted and unloved in the first place.
What made me feel unwanted? What made me feel unloved? Maybe it was when my family members praised the beauty of my younger sister who was lighter, with curly hair and in that moment she represented everything I was not. In that moment I wished that instead of recognizing our distinct differences that they would have said “you are just as beautiful Marrissia”. Maybe it is when a male family member decided that at the age of five it was okay to touch me, to make me do things to him that were inappropriate. Maybe I felt unloved because he did not stop until I was 9.
Could it have been be when my parents chose drugs over my well being ? Could it be when the kids in the school teased me about being dirty? Could it be when the boys idolized the swell of my breast and the expansion of my hips and roundness of my backside but disregarded everything else. My family and other people inadvertently taught me to internalize rejection, to seek perfection, to deny my body and to hate myself. Every time I think that I am going to hear the word no I am forced back into the childhood position of the little girl that needed love, attention and validation from her family. Rejection from people is often easier to detect because it hurts in the moment; you can feel when your dad walks away, you can feel the rejection when the guy you want walks away from you, you can feel the pain of rejection when your parents keep choosing drugs over your well being, you can feel the pain of rejection when you do not receive that call back from the job that you wanted, you can feel rejection when you are idolized for your beauty but asked to hide your brilliant mind.
#FreeFroFebruary started off as a celebratory event to spread, self love ,self acceptance and self empowerment for our girls. On the other end of the spectrum #FreeFroFebruary made me face a harsh truth; that although I believed that I had done the work to silence the voices of the people of my past, the only thing that I truly changed was the voice itself. The voice that I hear now is my very own .
Self-Rejection is subtle, silent and a simple dream killer. When rejection is prevalent you condition yourself to believe in the negative outcomes of everything before you even give yourself a chance to live out that experience. I chose friends and jobs while conditioning myself to believe that I should be treated as less than what I was worth. I spent years hoping that my accomplishments would provide the acceptance that I needed.
Self-rejection is being nominated for a golden apple award but allowing the deadlines to lapse because deep down inside you don’t believe that you will get it. Self-rejection is rejecting the love of others because you do not believe that you deserve it or worse you don’t even know why they want to love you. Self-rejection is allowing others’ perceptions and opinion to silence your voice. Self-rejection is having the gift of writing and telling stories but being afraid to share your gift because you feel less than perfect or you are consumed with the thoughts of how other people will receive your work.
Sometimes the most powerful aspect of a movement like #FreeFroFebuary is exposing your own inner turmoil and pulling back the layers of your own truth, even if it is the hardest thing you’ve ever done. On that note I am elated that somehow I was divinely positioned at EPIC Academy in 2017 because it was there that I decided that I wasn’t going to live a lie; it was there that my purpose was fully birthed. As I uncover this enlightening reality, it is my hope that I learn to turn my truth into triumph. SHE empowered me to stop hiding; to stop pretending and to stop sabotaging my life with self-doubt. It is my mom, my second mom, my sisters, my best friends, my SHE daughters, my co founders, my beautiful girls at North Lawndale College Prep and all of the young girls that I’ve met along the way who have given me the courage to live out loud.
-Marrissia R. Jones