An individual and his views were being rejected. I did not want to watch, but I had to. Having been through the experience more than once, I had first hand insights.
The emotions I usually think about first are ones of righteous indignation. I am confident that I am right. I am certain that my perspective is the accurate one. While I know I could improve my communication skills, the truth should be powerful enough on its own to prevail! I am a knight. I can see the promised land.
Another group falls into a broad bucket of believing that it is not my fault. I recall the words I used to describe others. They are not ready. They cannot move as fast as they could and should. They have their own agendas. They have blinded themselves to the possibilities. My favorite was – they cannot hear. It wasn’t my fault. If only they…and the sentence ends with any one of the multiple choices.
The last bucket was one of pain, frustration, and hurt. It is more than trying and failing. It, for me, became personal. For a long time afterwards I struggled with my heart. It was hard to be honest. A feeling of betrayal was often close to my heart. As I looked around, I keep muttering to myself, “the street-talk gossip has me ‘criminally insane’! Behind locked doors they plot how to ruin me for good.” (Psalm 31.13)
I ran into colleagues from one of the institutions involved. We had a fun conversation, revisiting the challenges then that are still playing out now. As I reflect on the emotions I had slowly let go, I realized there was one that I have refused to acknowledge, accept, or deal with. In the processes of being right, selling my views, and dealing with the rejection, I became increasingly disconnected. In the end, it wasn’t the conflict, lack of agreement, or frustration that made the situation untenable; it was the reality that I was no long connected with the community.
Life is relationships. Being disconnected reflects brokenness.