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PROJECTION

Make a list of the positive and negative qualities you see in others in your community. Don't use names. Some qualities bother you a lot, don't they? Other positive qualities almost make you envious, maybe.



Read Matthew 7:3-5 And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite! Take the beam out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the speck out of your brother's eye.


They say that when you point your finger at another person, one finger is pointing at the person and 3 fingers are pointing at yourself.

You might think... better not to judge. The reality of projection is illustrated here. We cannot see ourselves as we are, only our reflections in our perceptions of other people. Other people, and, in some sense, the world outside, are a mirror for us. What we notice in other people is that WE are.

"Projection is seeing something unconsciously experienced on the inside and placing it on another person," explains Timothy Yen, PsyD, Bay Area, California.

Pick one thing that really bothers you about another person and hold it up as a mirror, as information. Embrace the new aspect of yourself that you've discovered. I get really annoyed by people I perceive as angry. What does this say about me? It tells me that I have anger too, maybe more. Maybe I don't want to acknowledge it, but there it is in the mirror of the other person.



Do this also with an aspect you admire in another person. That, too, is your mirror. Accept that positive aspect of yourself as well. This happened to me once in Pecos NM, USA. It was a snowy winter. I was so excited to see snow from the classroom where I was studying Spiritual Companionship. I had not seen snow in many years, living in Guatemala. After class, I went for a walk beside the Rio Pecos in the snow. I was almost singing from the beauty I was enjoying, taking a few pictures, but really savoring the beautiful scenery. Suddenly I realized that I was projecting and the same beauty I was seeing existed within me as well. What I was seeing was like my inner landscape.




Take your role in the positive and negative qualities you see in others. Reflect on these qualities as your personal mirror, as information you can embrace, as your own moment of healing and integration. You may want to spread out your reflection over days or weeks, to better integrate it. It is always a good idea to keep a notebook with all reflections and new insights. It helps us a lot to reintegrate our projections and to know ourselves better.


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