The Law of Projection

On earth aspects of self are reflected back to us. All that we perceive outside self is a mirror of something within. Therefore everything that we see outside ourselves is a projection. We take an aspect of self, for instance stubbornness, and imagine that quality is in those around us.

We project our stuff, both good and bad, on to other people and assume it is within them, often denying it is within us.

The truth is this:
You can only see yourself.
You can only hear yourself.
You can only talk to yourself.
You can only criticise yourself.
You can only praise yourself.

Everytime you say the words “you are” or “he is” or “she is” you are projecting something of yourself on to someone else. It may be “you are weird” in which case you unconsciously see some of your own weirdness within that person. When you say “she is stupid” you are projecting your stupidity on to her. Or it may be “you are wonderful” because you see something of your own wonder within them. If you tell others they are wise, but not do not accept your own wisdom, you are projecting your wisdom externally.

When we assume that someone else feels as we do, it is a projection. “You must feel awful about that” or “You must feel so delighted” are both projections. You are putting your feelings on to the other person. They may feel completely differently. “No one likes rice pudding” is a projection. So is “Of course she likes horses” said of someone you do not know.

Jill was unhappily married whereas Kate loved her husband and had a really supportive relationship. Jill often said to Kate, “You ought to leave your husband.”  She was projecting on to her friend the part of herself that felt she ought to leave her marriage.

We project our fears on to the world. Someone said to their partner, “You are a mouse. You don’t have the guts to stand up for yourself.” It may be perfectly true that he does not have the guts. Nevertheless, she would not perceive this unless some part of her was afraid to stand up for herself. Although she was a big macho woman, she was projecting a timid part of herself on to him.

“You have no sense of humour” merely means that the other person does not see things in the same way as you do. They may have a fabulous but different sense of humour. You are actually commenting on yourself.

It is more comfortable to imagine that someone else has the qualities we wish to deny are within ourselves.

If you bury your hostility and express it as passive anger you will project hostility on to those around you and will imagine people are aggressive whether they are or not. You will selectively imagine angry or threatening attitudes where none are intended or expressed. Those who project their hatred think everyone is out to get them.

A young lady complained that her partner kept saying to her, “You don’t know how to love.” When the Law of Projection was explained to her, she clearly recognised that her partner was talking about part of himself.  It may or may not have had anything to do with her. However, she explored why she had attracted that comment and realised that there was a grain of truth in it and started to look at the way she closed down her heart.
We project our insecurities and sexuality on to others. The person who is paranoid about the morality of others is projecting their own underlying immorality.

The boss who suspects all his employees are cheating him is projecting his inner cheat. As a consequence of this he may well attract cheats.

The wife who constantly accuses her faithful husband of infidelity is projecting her own lack of faith in the relationship.

If you hear someone saying of another, “She is an obdurate (obstinate) woman,” wonder about the obduracy (obstinacy) of the person saying it. Someone without that quality does not need to say this of another.

Because many of us do not own or believe in our magnificence, we also project our beautiful, gracious, powerful and brilliant parts on to others. Every time you think good things about people, remember that there is something of that quality within you. Otherwise you would not have seen it within them.

We project our love on to others. Also our kindness, our generosity, our goodness. The person who is innately kind will imagine that all around her are also kind.

The deeply generous person expects others to be so.

When a couple is in love, each is projecting their inner beauty on to the other. Seeing our radiance magnified and reflected in another offers a great opportunity for spiritual growth.

Being in love is a state of grace.

Projecting yourself on to someone else prevents you from taking responsibility for self. Most people do not even realise that what they are saying is actually within them. It is a powerful form of denial.

Projection can create a game of ping-pong. When two people are shouting at each other, each accusing the other of being in the wrong, both are projecting their own anger and fear.

The expression “a pot calling the kettle black” aptly describes the Law of Projection. Neither sees itself as black. Instead each sees how black the other is.

Your life is what you experience. Other people probably experience it very differently. So watch your projections and work on yourself. Understanding this law offers enormous opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.”

~ Diana Cooper – Law of Projection excerpt ~

In the world as we know it, many of us are experiencing deep pain in some form or another. To project it on to others is unfair, especially when the one in pain becomes spiteful or vengeful. It can destroy a family and a work environment. If those around them can understand that, then they can work on themselves and protect themselves from taking on that hateful energy. However, it takes effort to reach that point. Not everyone is thick-skinned, or has to learnt how not to take on that energy.

For the next few weeks, make a concerted effort to get into the habit of being more communicative, especially when you are unhappy or sad about something. Rather express it to others around you that you’re not feeling yourself and if you’re quiet, they aren’t to take it personally. You may find that when they understand why you’re “different” that it helps the situation so much more than if you’re snappy and dour.

Perhaps your neighbour has disgruntled you about an issue and now you don’t want to face them. You’re angry. Ask the angels to intervene and bring about an instance where you’ll have a chance to clear the air. This may happen sooner than you anticipate. Be ready for the interaction.

Every day is a new day and a chance to change things in your life. Anything that isn’t working for you, may need to be worked on. We need to learn how to detach ourselves from those projecting their issues on to us. Then and only then, do we become observers in our environments and don’t allow others’ dramas to affect us. It can make a huge impact on our own lives, and even others’ lives around us.