“I’ve had just about enough of this and I’m not taking anymore!”  Do these words sound familiar?  I think if we are honest, most of us have either thought or uttered these words at least once in our lives.  There will come a point when we will stop saying “enough” and start saying “next.”  But when is that point?   It’s different for everyone.  For some, it comes when the pain of saying “enough” is overshadowed by the hope of change or the anticipation of what’s next.   

There is a strange comfort that comes in saying “enough” because of a painful situation.   Pain lets us know that we are still connected to someone or something else even if that connection causes pain. And strangely that connection acknowledges and validates us.  It’s like someone staying in an abusive relationship because the pain of an abusive relationship is nothing compared to the pain that comes from being out of a relationship and alone…and feeling disconnected. The pain that comes is not from being alone but from not having the emotional maturity to deal with the unresolved issues that cause feelings of disconnection: fear, shame, and regret. 

I heard a great motivational speaker say once that the best response to rejection isn’t “why?” but “next.”  Responses like “enough” and “why” still keep the one who has been rejected focused on the rejection and the one who rejected them. I know when I’ve said “Enough” about a situation I have a tendency to go over the reasons in my mind why it’s “enough.”  Even though I knew it was enough, I still had to recount why as a way of convincing myself that it really was enough.    

Focusing on “why” keeps you focused on an even more dangerous behavior of trying to understand or even justify the rejection. Figuring out “why” you were rejected doesn’t change the rejection….in many instances, it just prolongs you having to accept the reality of it.

Even though people have loads of advice on how to deal with rejection like “shake them haters off,” rejection is still one of those emotions that you don’t really know you are going to respond to it until it happens…and then you forget all those great words of advice because you are too busy trying to control your response to the rejection.  

At what point do you stop saying “enough” to rejection and start responding “Next?”   Saying “next” to rejection doesn’t mean that you are saying “yes” the next rejection.  It means that you are saying “yes” to the next opportunity.  Rejection is so damaging because it keeps our focus on past disappointments and failures.   Saying “next” keeps you focused (hopefully) on the remarkable things that will come in your future. 

Psalms 66:20 encourages, “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”  Saying “next” might be the best way of showing ourselves that we are ready to let go of the past.  Saying “next” might also be the best way of showing God that we trust his knowing what is best and next for us.