I love social media, it’s a fun way to keep up with my friends and family. Sometimes, it can be painful. Last month, a friend posted the love she has for her ‘soul sisters’ and how they all fit together and share many wonderful experiences. I read the post and I was not included in their group.
I have always felt I had a connection with their group, but apparently it was only on the sidelines and I was the only one who felt it. I cried after I read it, sad, lonely and loud cry. I am a tough person, but sometimes I feel very left out in life.
This has not been the first time that this has happened and no matter how I work to be the best me I can be, it hurt and I wanted to respond to the post with ‘hey, where am I in your circle?’ ‘Why wasn’t I included?’ I did not, but I wanted to.
I’ve realized over the years that I’ve been a back-burner friend to many. I used to call people out on their behaviors because it hurt so much, and I felt like if I said something, they’d realize their error and somehow through a small miracle of love and light, include me or at the very least validate me. I wanted to be seen too. Now, I am not sure what to do, I thought of messaging this person privately, but I’ve done that before and it’s backfired, I feel lost, alone and jealous.
Lost and Left Out
Dear Sweet Lost and Left Out,
I received your email two months ago and I had to sit with my response and my own feelings of left out, alone and jealous. Your email is so tender in that you are hurt and yet, your courage shows through. You are strong, and I see your vulnerability peaking through the words. I feel the sadness and the bravery it took to write this email and press send.
I understand how in our face forward, quick connecting and social media friendly culture we can feel lost and left out. It is something that I struggle with and I know many others struggle too. It is difficult to be real and vulnerable on social media, in a genuine manner that is authentic and truthful.
People can exploit their victim-nature on social media, and many respond deeply to that, feeling if they acknowledge the victim, they assuage their own feelings of lonely, lost and unseen. It is not healthy to assuage others in a surface manner. We are only affirming their victim-nature. I allow and accept where the person is, and I hold space for their status or shares. I do not offer “light and love” or “hugs.” I just acknowledge and witness.
Then, there are the posts that you encountered. Where you are reading along and FUCK-SHIT, you realize, you were somehow not included. You may think, “wait, what?”
I have encountered these posts too.
I have watched women I know, and love, walk away together into other rooms to talk about whatever it is that I am not privy too.
I have sat and listened to friends discuss getting together and doing things, where I was not invited, wondering to myself as they talked, why I was not included.
What was wrong with me? What did I do?
I have gone to my friends and asked if I’d done something wrong, or offended them, as I cannot imagine that it would be them not including me, but it was or has to somehow be a flaw in me, that would preclude them from including me.
I am the reason why, I am somehow not worthy of friendship and inclusion. Note: the world does not revolve around me, I am seriously not that important in the big picture, but rejection digs deep to our hearts. The paragraph below offers insight into how this low self worth is created.
Earlier in my life, I had a husband (I’ve had more than a few, a story for a later date) and he kept a bag/suitcase under our bed. When he was upset, angry, hurt or wanted to escape to the life of another woman, he would grab the bag, fill it quickly with clothes, as he kept everything else at the ready, and he would leave.
THIS. FUCKING.HURT. TO.MY.CORE. I would cry, scream, kick, throw, be hurt and jealous, lonely and lost, all in the same moment. I was unseen, invalidated, lonely, hurt, sad, broken and had no idea what to do. Thus creating rejection, fear of abandonment and low self worth in one felled swoop.
Today, I view these situations differently and my self worth with greater regard.
Not with anywhere near perfection and grace, but with authenticity.
I sit with these feelings, as un-fucking-comfortable as that sounds, it is and it can feel even worse, I won’t lie.
I observe my feelings of hurt and my feelings of left out.
I allow myself to feel the feels and to acknowledge my own hurt.
I realize that my hurt is a trigger from other times in my life that rejection, pain, and fear happened. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that I experience the feeling of alone and left out.
Rejection is the core of the issue you speak of, that in not being included, it hit the heart directly at rejection.
I imagine my gentle-heart Lonely and Left Out, that you can find places in your life where you were jealous, felt alone, left out and betrayed. Where you felt aware of your own burdens and troubles. And they all felt at their core rejection, when you wanted to be seen.
Rejection bring up to the heart, all fears of abandonment, betrayal, not being worthy, not feeling seen, validated or understood. It is not an easy emotional suitcase or train car to work through, as we are complex in our dealings with ourselves and each other.
Our tendency is to react, we feel the need to say something or we may die the death of 1000 paper cuts.
Here’s why: the amygdala is where jealousy resides in the brain. It is the part of the brain that also controls basic emotions of fear, pleasure and jealousy. So, when we suddenly realize we were left out, it can feel deeply visceral to us. The amygdala is there to protect, serve and monitor our memories and how we process such.
Your ability to acknowledge the amygdala and it’s mighty force is what can help to push back the fight/flight/freeze response.
I breathe in… almost suck in my breath, I realize I have a trigger, a soft spot covered by a scar that is tender, a memory that is in this new moment. I breathe to allow space, and honor my fear and amygdala as it warns me of my impending rejection.
I observe my feelings. Allowing them, not pushing them into a box to be buried, but acknowledging the scar from which they rise from and not reacting to the scar, instead tending to the scar and its sudden pain.
I work to not react to the situation.
I have experienced first hand what happens when you react, and I am here to share that it’s not a good outcome. Ever. It creates drama and confusion. It has NEVER been the salve that soothed my scars. It is from that place of low self worth that it sources from and serves your already rejected heart.
Turn your energies back to you, allow yourself to be creative and loving to you.
Reach In. Cry. Walk. Cook. Shower. Bathe. Go outside to nature. Spend time with your loving fur kids. Spend time with your loving two legged kids. Watch a movie. Read a book. Write shitty poems or epic poems. Write. Read. Journal.
Reach out. Call, text, or drive to meet that person in your life you trust the most and who loves you, it’s NOT going to be any of the folks in the post that you discovered. Trust me. It may be, your parents, your partners, a true,, deep friend, a four legged friend, even a trusted colleague or neighbor. Just trust them and your intuition about them.
I’ve come to understand that life is not fair, we are not given guarantees of love and friendship.
We have no guarantee of love, friendship or inclusion, the other side of that is no one is given that guarantee. No one. We are all in this rejection boat together, learning to row to our own shores.
Whatever I do, I don’t ask them now, if it’s something I’ve done.
Chances are, it’s not. I’ve learned the world does not revolve around me and my feelings. My self worth is better for the not asking and the confusion that will ensue as I try to explain why I asked and only end up sounding ridiculous and even more awkward, as the truth, to state it, is that I feel rejected and hurt.
Learning to accept my own feelings and myself has also increased my awareness and compassion to accept others, right where they are, I do NOT need to change them, make them see me, add to any form of their existence. I can just acknowledge, accept and move to the next right thing.
You will find your tribe, or in the stronger heart that you are, you will create your tribe. Whichever you chose, they are there, waiting for you, don’t wait on others to include you, allow them their presence and move into your own energy and presence.
My misfit heart, greats your misfit heart in love, loss, and peace.
If you have a question for Dharma you can mail her at : firstname.lastname@example.org
She may not have answers, or answers you are looking for, but she will respond with love and compassion. Authenticity and peace.