The hazard of being an artist is that, often, those that could hire you may reject you. And the experience can feel like an attack on your confidence, immune system and the very thing you have to give, your art. But the process is actually a strange kind of opportunity to experience your strength, clarify what you have to give, and grant you the grace of intentionality recommitting to your goals.

In my experience and on every level, anyone that cares about accomplishing a goal, when kept from achieving it, experiences loss. You may immediately feel threatened to protect the very part of you that needs to be kept alive, your talent.

However, there waiting in the very experience of rejection, lies a gift that may not take us where we thought we were supposed to go, but forward with a new understanding and a deeper appreciation for where we actually arrive.

Our response to rejection maps the direction of our journey. We are rivers flowing downstream looking for the larger lake we long to become in the expression of our art. And in that travel, we will bump up against rocks and boundaries, and sometimes things will look like stops. There will be times when our very determination will discover that we must push our aim in a new direction and risk flowing into mid-air off a cliff, like a river that turns into a waterfall. The water takes the risk of falling off the stones to land in a lake of opportunity to serve the life of those that touch it.

The lesson feeds the river. When we let rejection stop us, our river can easily dry up, evaporate and keep us from the beauty that awaits for us beyond. The lesson fuels the journey and keeps us optimistic that we will find our home, and way.

We must grow from every rejection and allow it to shape our success. We must build ourselves with strength and determination to find the place in our art that will nourish and serve. Rejection must be experienced, for it is part of a process that refines us as the boundaries of learning shape us.

When we move into acceptance of the journey, we gain an advantage and the necessary edge to rise up to the next opportunity. When we allow ourselves to be shaped by the lesson, we become useful contributors to the art. When we see the positive and bless the lesson, we are granted grace.

You’re welcome to share your experiences of the opportunities you have unearthed in the experience of rejection.