I have been pondering a line from the character Elizabeth Bennet in the Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice on and off for quite a while now.
I cannot bear to think that he is alive in the world and thinking ill of me.
While she was saying it in regards to the man that she was in love with (but didn't realise it at the time) and ended up marrying, I see a generic parallel in my life in general.
I know that I shouldn't care about the opinions of negative people, but I have a tendency not to want anybody to think ill of me.
I've finally realised where my whole thinking was wrong.
Elizabeth Bennet cared about Mr Darcy's opinion of her because it actually mattered to her, even though she wasn't aware of why at the time that she made the statement. In stark contrast, the attitudes and opinions of people who think ill of me must no longer matter to me.
For years, even when I knew that I was being rejected, I sought approval and acceptance from people whose opinion I should never have cared about. That includes a wide variety of people, including family members who have chosen to reject me because I was honest about who I am. It even includes some members of the trans community who have gone out of their way to hurt me. The apparent reasons range from political differences to jealousy, but I've finally come to realise that the reason is entirely irrelevant, and I shouldn't even try to work it out. I simply have to disconnect myself from anybody who has chosen to reject me, irrespective of their reasons.
As a scientifically educated political moderate, I've been rejected by radical socialists and deeply conservative pseudo-religious people alike. At the same time, I have genuine friends including some at both ends of the political spectrum. We might not see eye to eye on many issues, but we are still able to not only be civil but to be friends. Hence, a political difference doesn't have to be a reason why someone would reject me, unless they are too narrow minded to be able to accept a difference of opinion.
So, from now on I am going to make an effort to ignore people who choose to reject me. I'm going to try not to even think about why they are rejecting me, but simply accept that they have successfully argued for their limitations. I'm not even going to bother feeling sorry for them any more.