I’ve read and seen first hand the many many moms, teens, adults of all kinds who feel abandoned and rejected by family, friends, co-workers, spouses and maybe just a look from someone walking down the street. I’ve heard these feelings from others over and over. I want everyone to move from an abandoned mindset to an accepted mindset.
According to Claudia Black M.S.W., Ph.D., when children experience frequent loss in their life or feel neglected over and over, it creates a sense of fear and worry for the ‘next time’. When parents fail to give attention to their children’s emotional and physical well being, it fosters a feeling of abandonment.
When adults who experienced abandonment and neglect in childhood put their feelings into words they explained, “I was not enough”, “It was my fault.” They feel like they did something wrong in their formative years to warrant such neglectful behavior.
Children cannot thrive in an environment where their needs are not met and they do not feel important. They carry those emotions into adulthood and it affects their confidence, their relationships and their success when not overcome properly. They often have a sense of shame and an unhealthy view of the world where others cannot be trusted.
Dr. Black says emotional abandonment occurs when “a child has to hide a part of who he or she is in order to be accepted, or to not be rejected.” Some children learn to tread lightly around parents, not talk about sensitive subjects and make every effort to avoid conflict of offense. Children become withdrawn when attempts at seeking approval over and over fail or some kids overcompensate and become the best of the best to win approval, but never feel good enough.
Women who experienced that dynamic growing up tend to bring their mistaken thinking into relationships with family members or abusive husbands so they don’t have to experience their disapproving anger.
Strategies to go from Abandoned to Accepted 1. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has a purpose. Their purpose is not your purpose. God does not speak to you the way he speaks to others. We all have unique struggles, talents, possessions and opportunities that are different than anyone else. Don’t compare yourself to others. 2. Focus on the positive. Focus on the positive. 3. Be grateful. Being grateful can be a challenge, and it may take intentional effort. But I know for a fact that those who focus on being grateful are more at peace and happy. Be grateful. 4. What does the Word says? Delve into the promises God holds out. He is accepting. He is trustworthy. He never rejects those who chase after him. What does the Word say? 5. Don’t be a people pleaser. This is the fastest way to loose yourself and the mission and desire God has for you. When pleasing others you abandon yourself. Accept your path and walk it. Watch Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts for an example of this. Don’t be a people pleaser. 6. Accept people the way you want to be accepted. Really think about how you want to be treated by others and follow suit. Accept people the way you want to be accepted. 7. Find your tribe. Being with those who have common situations and circumstances are so encouraging and supportive. Find your tribe. 8. Take opportunities held out to you. There is no better feeling than to seize what is placed in front of you immediately. God cannot equip you when you say NO, but he will equip those who have faith and say YES in the unknown. Take opportunities held out to you.
Below are reasons you may feel like you do not belong. According to Jack Nollan’s blog in A Conscious Rethink, you may not feel accepted if you: 1. don't communicate well 2. don't listen to others with a non-judgmental attitude 3. don't try new things and grow 4. don't mature from your previous state 5. don't address deeper issues like depression or anxiety 6. don't seize opportunities right in front of you
Turn these 6 negatives into a positive!
There is only one way to move from abandoned to accepted and that is to take the first steps and try. If the strategy you try does not work, try again. Keep trying until you find a coping strategy that works for you and then add to it more. Also, don’t do it alone. So many people fail because they do not have a mentor, or friend, an accountability partner to hold their feet to the fire. Don’t just read this and scroll by! Write down your first step NOW.