Some of us have chosen to follow a spiritual path rather than a religious one. I read an article recently concerning what is meant by “spiritual.” The article touched on many aspects of that way of life. The one that jumped out at me since it isn’t normally discussed in articles like this one – is the withdrawal of projections.
Projection is a psychological idea. Whenever I don’t want to own something as a part of me, I give it to you – I project it onto you. Let’s say for whatever reason I don’t own my normal, natural anger. I will tell you I am not an angry person. And, for the most part that’s right. However, I do get angry at times. If I can’t see my own anger, I give it to you. I criticize you. Look at that person, they are always so angry. I take the high road in my own mind and believe you are wrong to express your anger.
And, the way this whole dance works, I’m likely to attract people to me who do display more anger than most. It’s as though my inability to own my anger creates a magnetic attraction to anger out here in the world. I’m not exactly sure how a therapist would view this, in my own experience it’s as though I’m presented with people and life situations that force me to express my own anger. To claim it as mine and to withdraw my projection onto you.
Back to the spiritual path. It’s about taking responsibility for ourselves – all our parts. The ones we judge good and the ones we judge bad. Once you can accept you and stop projecting parts of yourself onto others, then you are on the road to seeing more clearly, being more real and accepting others just as you are accepting yourself.
It’s a very simple concept. And, very difficult to live. So, the next time you hear yourself criticizing another for some trait, stop and see if you accept that very trait in yourself. If not, I wonder why you so easily see it in another and find it difficult to see in yourself? No judgment, just some healthy curiosity.