Art by James Jean (Instagram)
Projection has been my lesson this week. Admittedly, I have seen, heard, and participated in examples of it everywhere recently. I'm not proud to say it, I'm very guilty too. I'm working on it. It's been a bad habit that I'm desperate to break.
When someone is projecting, they might accuse you of doing something that, in fact, they are really guilty of. Sometimes, their deepest insecurities seem to stare back at them, as if from a mirror. And instead of recognizing it within themselves, they lash out at others. Such is the risk when one does not take time to self reflect with spirit.
So what do you do when someone is projecting on you? You know, after you say, "no I didn't," or, "I would never!" and they just won't budge. It's complicated. It's a struggle. But then, what isn't? My advice (and what I find can work well) is to stay calm. If you match their energy, things tend to escalate.
So I prefer the practice of listening. They get to say their piece, however illogical, and at least they have been heard. The hardest part comes with your acceptance. I'll have to create a whole blog post on this subject. It is equally complicated. I define it (in this case) as acknowledging what someone is putting out into the space around them and not holding onto their pain as it could become your own. It's okay that they have insecurities. It's okay that they expressed themselves. In most cases they probably hurt you. It's not okay for you to take responsibility or react to meet their energy. Revenge brings bad karma; it doesn't come from love. Give them love even if they hurt you. That is the practice of acceptance.
I've read that people will accuse someone of something that they themselves would do in the same situation.
I also feel compelled to include one last note: when someone tells you their experience of being projected upon, stop and think. I've caught myself on more than one occasion this week jumping to conclusions with the victim. But why must we name them victims?! We are all people and we are all expressing ourselves. It is toeing the line to be gossip to engage in someone's pain. Especially when they're shoving someone's projection into their own baggage. I get so frustrated with myself when I fail to see the truth during these moments. But I trust that I can keep practicing and try to spread love.
Choose the love, no matter what.