Projection = Denial
Projection is the act of denying that you are creating the experience you are having. Instead of acknowledging you are the source, you get caught up in who “did it” to you. The most common form of projection is seeing in someone else a feeling that is actually going on in you. You fail to see own your sexual feelings, then suddenly you notice that you partner has a wandering eye. You fail to make a move toward freedom, then become obsessed with how much your partner limits your freedom. Or it shows up when you fail to own your feelings and project that someone else “made you furious.” Even if you can get two dozen friends to agree that he really did “make” you furious what is the payoff?
You make statements such as, “He’s full of himself and so arrogant.” “She’s so unbelievably poised and elegant, I wish I could be more like her.” “He’s always angry and hostile…what’s his problem?” “She bloviates every aspect of her life…it’s exhausting!” “He’s the most compassionate man, such an evolved soul.” I can’t even tell you how many times I have had internal dialogue similar to the above statements! Have you?
How freeing would life be if we could “own” our stuff, and realize that NONE of it is about the other person? SO LIBERATING!! If you could simply take 100% responsibility for creating everything that goes on in your life you would experience a liberation that would pale in comparison to the payoff you get by being a victim. My teacher and friend, the late Debbie Ford, wrote about projection as the framework for all human interaction and connection. In her book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, she refers to projection as, “…an involuntary transfer of our own unconscious behavior onto others, so it appears to us that these qualities actually exist in the other people.
When we have anxiety about our emotions or unacceptable parts of our personalities, we attribute these qualities -as a defense mechanism- to external objects and other people. When we have little tolerance for others, for example, we are likely to attribute the sense of our own inferiority to them.” The key phrase in that excerpt is, “a defense mechanism..” What are we defending? Our ego? Our insecurity? Our inferiority? Our own validation? When you think of projection, normally the first thing that registers is a negative connotation…but that is not always the truth. We sometimes project our light upon others seeing only their good qualities. You know when you look at a magazine and you think, “Wow, she’s flawless.” It’s easy to project your light on people like Oprah Winfrey…”How benevolent that woman is!” Psychologist Carl Jung calls this phenomenon “golden projection.” It is not seen as negatively as the darker projections of the human psyche, but it is still an imbalance of what really is Divine truth. What would our life look like if we could balance these projections of our own psyche? So, let’s start owning our stuff!! The more we suppress our dark, the more we shine away from our light. We are all perfectly imperfect, as the Japanese would say, “Wabi-Sabi.” Once we own our stuff, we can truly own our power, our light.
One of my favorite quotes from the Course in Miracles says, “In our defenselessness our safety lies.” You are the creator of the world in which you see- the good, the bad, the light, the dark …so join me in seeing life as it really just IS. Here are three simple ways to drop the armor of projection:
- Awareness- recognize the judgment and denial. Awareness is the greatest agent for change.
- Defenselessness- Own it – it takes courage to just admit your projections and take responsibility. In a relationship it takes two people owning 100%.
- Transparency- the more transparent you are, the less stuff “stuff” clouds your mirror. This is the path to authenticity.
Join me and my partner Dr. Lance Wilson as we teach these principles at our next Healing the Heart retreat in Southern California – April 22-24, 2016. Click here for more info.
“We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.” Marianne Williamson