I recently watched this amazing TEDx Talk by Jia Jiang on how he embraced his fear of rejection by challenging himself to ask for things that are likely to be turned down. He documented his 100 Days of Rejection on his blog with Youtube videos of each attempt. His asks are hilarious, ranging from asking to plant a flower in a stranger's backyard to sleeping in a mattress store. Along the way, he learned to manage his fear of rejection and discover how to turn a "no" into a "yes."
I am the type of person who thrives in structure and certainty. I am definitely a Type A personality and I score high on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a J, which means that I like order, planning, and control. My need for structure, stability, perfectionism, and long-term planning has gotten me far in life. I know that these needs came from an unstable, unpredictable, and sometimes chaotic childhood. Although this part of my personality has served me well, it also hurts me on a regular basis. When I become too rigid or stuck on being "right," I am more stressed and I tend to come across to others as a know-it-all. I have a tendency to lecture and argue - whatever it takes to prove that I am right. This interpersonal pattern then negatively impacts my relationships and leaves me feeling alone.
This week I have been thinking about forgiveness. I was inspired after listening to the TED Radio Hour episode on forgiveness. I was particularly moved by the TED Talk by Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger titled "Our Story of Rape and Reconciliation." Thordis and Tom talked about their shared experience as the perpetrator and survivor of rape. Thordis was 16 years old when her then boyfriend, Tom, raped her. He was an exchange student from Australia and he left for home shortly after the incident without recognizing what he had done. After 9 years, Thordis decided that she wanted to confront Tom and to find forgiveness. She said so powerfully in this talk, "But deep down I realized that this was my way out of my suffering. Because regardless of whether or not he deserved my forgiveness, I deserved peace. My era of shame was over." They talked over email and then met in person to work on reconciliation and forgiveness. Tom acknowledged then took up the responsibility and blame for his actions. They co-wrote a book about their experiences: South of Forgiveness: A True Story of Rape and Responsibility. The Dear Sugar Radio podcast titled "Dear Dad, It's Over" also touched upon forgiveness of hurtful relationship with parents.
"Because regardless of whether or not he deserved my forgiveness, I deserved peace."
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