Projecting

You only see in others what is present inside you. I thought it was a good idea to kick off this blog with a giant statement. Allow me to use the best example that I know of, me! As a child I had to be productive, I couldn’t afford myself a lazy day. In order to survive I developed my productive side and pushed away my lazy side. This was the major issue in my previous life, I couldn’t be unproductive. Of course I had wiped away much more shit under the carpet, but for the sake of the good example I’ll use only this one.

While I was running around being very productive, all life wanted was to heal me and merge my unwanted traits with my wants. Life has developed tools for that, relationships. First I fall in love with someone who loves her trait of being lazy. She will be an opposite for me, so that I can learn to fall in love with myself via her. And she can learn to love herself via me. This really means there is no happily ever after if you have suppressed parts of yourself. Because after the honeymoon period I had a lazy girlfriend and I didn’t love these sides of myself, yet I was treating her the same as I treated my own “bad” traits. This is when you fall out of love. Some spiritual teachers suggest we should treat others as how we would treat ourselves. I am saying we already do that. If you would talk out loud the way you talk to yourself sometimes, you would be shocked.

My brother in law works as a business coach and told me a trick, whenever you have to introduce yourself to a group, try to let the attenders describe you, without really knowing you. In that period I gave flirting workshops occasionally and I decided to give it a try. As people don’t always come in at the same time, I started to have a superficial chat with some of the attenders. When everybody was there, I asked them the question of what they thought I would be like. The first one started saying that he saw me as a relaxed guy who surfs a lot. The second saw me as a good dad with a few pats. The third saw a guitar player in me. After everybody finished, I thanked them for introducing themselves to me. The first one was indeed a surfer, the second one was a dad with pets and the third one played guitar. Now in this example they projected their positive traits on me. Probably because I acted friendly and likeable and because of the smile on my face.

Obese people, people with different opinions, ugly people and foreigners, and people on social benefits, on these groups we particularly love to project our negative garbage. In a recent study they asked people to associate positive and negative words on skinny people and obese people. Almost everybody associated words like laziness and numbness with overweight people. Yet most people can’t help being overweight, but our need for a black sheep remains when we suppress sides of ourselves. In my family my sister was the black sheep. Everybody could use her for releasing vital and unwanted parts of ourselves. My sister was beaten up, by my parents, but shockingly also by me. I was the opposite from the black sheep, the angel, they loved to project their perfect and wanted traits on me. This must sound great, but for me it was extremely difficult to live up to this. I had to be perfect otherwise I would have been treated the same as my sister and partly like my brother. This really harmed the relationships between me and my siblings. I was ashamed to undergo this treatment in front of my brother and sister, yet the only thing worse would have been to be treated like my sister.

The opposite happened at school, other children also like to project their positive and negative traits or pain bodies on different children. Here I was the black sheep together with my sister. We were being bullied, we were an easy target, we were too full of shame to really open up like a flower.

The example of productiveness against laziness is not a randomly chosen duality. It is the most present projection in our society. People who don’t feel good because of their own pain body are usually relieved to find a group to project their own hidden shit on. “Stupid and lazy foreigners, they only come here to profit from my tax money”. In this example you also find a negative thought pattern towards money. I believe this is what caused the Jews to be hated by the Nazis. The reason behind the fear for immigrants and currently the rise of extreme right politics. “ Be normal’ this title was used in several election programs in the Netherlands at the elections of 2017. Behave normal! What a great subject to mask away all the other subjects that are not attractive to talk about. Politicians projecting on different groups of society. A politician will talk bad about groups or other persons, whereas a statesman will never talk bad about any other group and tries to connect everybody. The first group is destructive, the second group is constructive. Be mindful about your own pain body before you complain about anything.

Now that I am recovered I love going for longer walks. The area behind the house is a very touristic area, it’s a Unesco world heritage site. It’s called Kinderdijk and is famous for its windmills. Many tourists come to walk the area for one or two hours before they have to see another item of their bucket list. The other day, I met an Indian couple, they were around my age, and they stopped for a little chat with me. She was saying how beautiful it was up here and that when they grow old, they want to live in a place like this together. The first thing that got my attention was, why only when you are old? But the second thing, that she really enjoyed the beauty of the landscape, was more interesting to me. You see, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. She wasn’t really experiencing the beauty from the landscape, instead the view allowed her to feel some of her own inner beauty.

All too often we make stories in our heads, that the expensive holiday made you see the beauty. But the expensive holiday never had that power, it just gave you a moment where you stopped, because you allowed yourself to stop.