By Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew
I was talking with a friend this week about a loved one who is going through some significant trials. This young man has grown up without his mother and as a result, he has been angry and acted out because of his feelings. He has taken his anger out on his family and will not comply with their rules. I told my friend that it is sad that because he feels rejected, he is doing the same thing to those who love him and are trying to care for him.
I know rejection well. I was bullied profusely as a child. There was a group of girls that would not include me during recess in elementary school and found this game fun. While they laughed at excluding me, they were not aware of the impact their behavior had on me. This pain was difficult, and I experienced it in other areas of my life. I was able to heal from those mean-spirited words and actions I received, and it is not to say it does not hurt when it happens now. Recently, I went through an experience in which I was belittled because of my education. I would be dishonest if I said it was not baffling and painful to have someone disregard you without knowing you. It made me more sensitive to my words and how I make others feel because I know what it feels like.
For many of us, when we experience rejection, it is not that easy to turn it into a learning experience or a moment of self-reflection. Often, it is a pain that becomes rooted in our spirit and if we are not careful, the root begins to blossom into other emotions such as anger, bitterness, depression, and isolation. When we think about it, those who act out are just responding to someone who did the same thing to them. It is true, hurt people hurt people.
When we act out of our flesh, the consequences are severe. Galatians 5:16-24 reminds us that walking by the Spirit means that we are in proximity to God and God’s will for our lives. Verse 17 says, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are always in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want…..The acts of the flesh are obvious…” hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition….” We are constantly in a battle over our minds and our emotions.
All of us have been wounded and harmed in some way by others either intentionally or indirectly. We must make a conscious decision if we will allow those injuries to keep hurting us and others. It is not easy, but it starts with a decision as simple as what you choose to feed, the pain of your flesh, or the power of your possibility? There is a Cherokee legend that says a grandfather was teaching his grandson about life. He says, “A fight is going on inside me.
It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside of you and every other person, too.” The boy asks the grandfather innocently, “Which wolf will win?” The grandfather said, “The one you feed.” Watch what you eat. Watch what you feed. Watch what you sow. The consequences are generational.
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the author of three books and has recently launched the podcast, The Tapestry. Dr. Froswa’s Tapestry is about bringing people together to explore the rich, woven textures of our narratives. Our stories are impactful and in listening to the stories of others, we learn more about our own power, claim our purpose and pursue our passion. The fabric of our lives as women is strong, resilient and when we come together, we can make a beautiful piece of work to inspire, support and sustain our personal and professional lives. Visit https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-tapestry_1 to listen. Learn more about Dr. Froswa’ at https://drfroswa.com/.