Postcard from Asheville
Randy Siegel on Reclaiming Projections
Pay attention, Randy. This man is projecting your shadow. All the qualities you admire about him are qualities that you possess, but have yet to own.
I’ve taught the concept of projection for years, but now I was caught in the middle of it. In front of me stood a person whose mere presence challenged my self-concept. The rubber was meeting the road; it was time to practice what I preached.
Later that night, I listed the attributes that I admired about this man. There were many. He was:
Introverted; possessing a quiet strength
These are attributes I’m supposed to possess? I wasn’t convinced. I associated far more with their opposites:
As I reflected further, I began to understand that each of these negative attributes was wedged into my psyche by a limiting belief. For example:
I am not loving or lovable.
I am not smart.
I am selfish and self-centered.
If I could begin to entertain the possibility that I exhibit both the positives and their opposites, then wouldn’t these limiting beliefs lose their power? Yes, and at the same time, I’d gain a more accurate view of who I am.
The encounter with my shadow helped me remember a truth: reclaiming our projections—both positive and negative—increases self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-mastery.
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