The presence of projection

To love something or someone makes us see the beauty of it, not the wrong. (Unknown Chief, Science of Mind, September 2010, p. 61)

There is a saying in the Talmud that we see things as we are rather than as the way they are. In psychological speak, we call this projection. We project on to others what we imagine we see in them and the only qualities we can project is that which we know. In other words, we must have that quality in ourselves in order to see it in another person.

I can’t name it if I don’t know it.

If I see a quality in another person, I must first assume that it is me, my quality that I am projecting on to them. I can also check with the other person by asking them. For example, I can say, “I see you are displaying (behavior) and for me, that behavior means (happy, depressed, angry, sad, joyful, irritated, annoyed, content, connected, bored . . . you get the picture).” Note: good judgment is required here and if someone is acting out their anger by threatening to shoot someone, run first, and ask questions later.

I need to always be ready for the person who is so out of touch with their feelings that they cannot identify or associate their behavior with their feelings. And there are people who are in denial that they feel anything at all.

As I live my intent every day to bring my true presence to life I am working to recognize the universal consciousness in me (God, the divine presence, higher power) and I am doing that by seeking the universal consciousness in others. If I can see divinity in another person, then I can find it in myself. As I am seeking to love someone even when that person is being everything but lovable, then I rely on the quote above – I look to find one beautiful thing about that person and focus on that. It is not easy because this method goes against the programming of my childhood but it feels more real.

The amazing thing about recognizing myself in others is that once I see the quality in me, then I can own it. Once I own it, I am in charge of that feeling or quality and, therefore, in charge of my behavior.

I look around at the beautiful people in my life, their generosity, their loving and giving natures, and I find that I love me a whole lot.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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6 Responses to “The presence of projection”

  1. holessence Says:

    “… run first, and ask questions later.” I enjoyed this sentence immensely, it made me laugh!

    “… and I find that I love me a whole lot.” And of course this sentence was the crowning glory of your post. Wonderful, wonderful, food for thought this weekend. Thank you!

  2. Barbara Kass Says:

    Hi, Laurie — yep, there are a few people that it is better to ask questions from a distance! It really is a reflection of who we are by the company we keep.

  3. Gil Says:

    I love the me I see in you! 🙂

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Gil — me, too 😀

      When I become aware of the labels and qualities I am placing on people, I also become aware of my own judgment and prejudice. Discovering how we project has really helped set me free of blaming others for the way our lives are evolving. Instead of displacing the quality on to other people, if I own my judgment and prejudice, then and only then can I change it.

  4. ButterfliesGalore-Kimberly Grady Says:

    Thoughts to ponder!
    Namaste comes to mind…..

    When you truly and honestly see the divine in another, your attitudes about them and yourself changes to something magical…..

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Kim – you have just stated my eternal quest: to truly see the divine in others and have it spread like wildfire. Can you imagine what kind of earth we would have if everyone looked at each living thing seeking the divine within?

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