My Projection of You Is A Reflection Of Me – I

“Where did you charge your phone?” – M

“There on the left.” – W

“Left where?” – M

“Near the custom. You will see it.” – W

We’ve been waiting for hours to board. All flights are delayed indefinitely. Our plane has been diverted to Sandakan to wait out the storm and crowds from later flights kept pouring in by the hour. There weren’t enough seats for everyone. Many sat in groups on the floor, many more remained standing, while others crowded into stores to kill time. With hardly any space to move, the rising level of noise and crying babies, everyone was getting restless.

delayed

Everyone, it seems, except me. I was quietly feeling good about myself. After making it to the top of Mount Kinabalu and back, I can do anything! I can totally handle this! For the first time, I am not annoyed at Air Asia or aggravated by the long wait. I am enjoying listening to other climbers swapping stories of their hike. I was even grateful that the delay had caused me to stray into a store and find a gem of a book by Paulo Coelho, ‘Like the Flowing River’, which I was now reading. I felt calm like a river!

By this time, my phone had died and I’d like to charge it. But I didn’t want to vacate my precious seat for nothing. So I’m staring at my cousin scrolling through her phone, fully charged. She had found the charge point. I wanted to know its exact location, but that was all the help I got.

“There on the left.”

“Near the custom. You will see it.”

What does she mean by ‘there on the left’? How am I supposed to see that hole in the wall in this crowd? Suddenly, many hours of perfect Zen gave way to instant irritation to the highest degree! It’s like Life wanted to show me, “So you think you’re so tough? Here, take this!” It was a test.

At that exact moment, these were my unspoken thoughts on rapid-fire, ‘Why can’t she talk properly? Why can’t she answer precisely? She gives poor direction! What’s wrong with her? She’s so damn lazy!’

My cousin continued scrolling through her phone in perfect calm, oblivious to my offended ego, which demanded an answer that instant.

But she did answer.

That was her answer. Why was I feeling so much anger, over such a small matter? When I asked that, I got myself an answer, in rapid-fire no less.

I realized I’m the one who is just sitting there, too afraid to move and find the charge point for myself, from fear of my own poor sense of direction!

Another cousin of mine had ventured out earlier to find a charge point. While she was charging her phone, W had gone off to find her, and in the process, discovered the charge point for herself. Nobody told them where it was. They found it on their own. Why couldn’t I do the same?

Who’s the lazy one now? Ooops! 

There’s no harm in asking for directions. But sometimes directions are just that. It directs you. It points you “THIS WAY” but the rest of the details is your adventure and up to you to discover for yourself.

I was too lazy to get off my seat and projected my laziness and poor directions on W. In truth, I feared my own tendencies of getting lost!

The first time I heard about the concept of Projection was from my friend Guillaume, in Berlin. As we were taking a walk, he shared, “We see the bad in others that we don’t want to see in ourselves… we project it out.”

At first, that radical idea struck me as bizarre! I’ve written about it here: Owning my Shadow / Taming my Dragon. After the initial shock, the truth of it began to reveal itself to me–and it’s still revealing itself till this day.

“Projection is a fascinating phenomenon they failed to teach most of us about in school. It is an involuntary transfer of our own unconscious behavior unto others, so it appears to us that these qualities actually exist in the other people.

When we have anxiety about our emotions or unacceptable parts of our personalities, we attribute these qualities—as a defence mechanism—to external objects and other people. When we have little tolerance for others, for example, we are likely to attribute the sense of our own inferiority to them.

Of course, there’s always a “hook” that invites our projection. Some imperfect quality in other people activates some aspect of ourselves that wants our attention. So whatever we don’t own about ourselves we project onto other people.

We see only that which we are.” – Debbie Ford, ‘The dark side of the light chasers’.

At the clear realization that I was projecting my own personal traits on my cousin, the hot flash of irritation vanished! I felt a little embarrassed for me of course. These kinds of awareness aren’t easy on the ego. But there was no more reason for anger, so I felt free and light as a feather!

I decided to leave my phone uncharged and happily continued reading instead. Perhaps I passed the test. Perhaps I really can endure anything after the climb up Kinabalu. BUT. My lesson for the day is far from over.

The hilarity of what ensues later must be shared in ‘My Projection Of You Is A Reflection Of Me – Part II. I’ll leave that post for another day.

For now, that’s all the humble pie story I’m sharing. Has anyone had a similar experience? What are your thoughts on Projection? Got anything to share? I’d like to hear it! Leave comments below! LET’S GROW… 😉

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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“The Thing That Is Blind Is Not Love But Attachment.” – Anthony de Mello

“It is said that love is blind. But is it?

Actually nothing on earth is as clear-sighted as love.

The thing that is blind is not love but attachment. 

An attachment is a state of clinging that comes from the false belief that something or someone is necessary for your happiness.

Do you have any attachments–people or things that you falsely believe you could not be happy without?

Make a list of them right now before we go on to study how exactly they blind you.” – The Way To Love, ‘The Blind See’ by Anthony de Mello

“…contemplate in horror the endless list of attachments that you have become a prisoner to. Think of concrete things and persons, not abstractions…

Once your attachment had you in its grip you began to strive might and main, every waking minute of your life, to rearrange the world around you so that you could attain and maintain the objects of your attachment. This is an exhausting task that leaves you little energy for the business of living and enjoying life fully…

So instead of a life of serenity and fulfillment you are doomed to a life of frustration, anxiety, worry, insecurity, suspense, tension…

And here is something else to ponder on: Each time you are anxious and afraid, it is because you may lose or fail to get the object of your attachment, isn’t it? And each time you feel jealous, isn’t it because someone may make off with what you are attached to? And almost all of your anger comes from someone standing in the way of your attachment, isn’t it? And see how paranoid you become when your attachment is threatened–you cannot think objectively; your whole vision becomes distorted; doesn’t it? And every time you feel bored, isn’t it because you are not getting a sufficient supply of what you believe will make you happy, of what you are attached to?

And when you are depressed and miserable, the cause is there for all to see: Life is not giving you what you have convinced yourself you cannot be happy without.

Almost every negative emotion you experience is the direct outcome of an attachment.” – The Way To Love, ‘He Went Away Sad’ by Anthony de Mello

“Now the tragedy of an attachment is that if its object is not attained it causes unhappiness. But if it is attained, it does not cause happiness–it merely causes a flash of pleasure followed by weariness; and it is always accompanied, of course, by the anxiety that you may lose the object of your attachment.

There is only one way to win the battle of attachments: Drop them.

Contrary to popular belief, dropping attachments is easy.

All you have to do is see, but really see, the following truths.

First truth: You are holding on to a false belief, namely, the belief that without this particular person or thing you will not be happy. Take your attachments one at a time and see the falseness of this belief.

Second truth: If you just enjoy things, refusing to let yourself be attached to them, that is, refusing to hold to the false belief that you will not be happy without them, you are spared all the struggle and emotional strain of protecting them and guarding them for yourself.

Has it occured to you that you can keep all the objects of your attachments without giving them up, without renouncing a single one of them and you can enjoy them even more on a nonattachment, a nonclinging basis, because you are peaceful now and relaxed and unthreatened in your enjoyment of them?

If you learn to enjoy the scent of a thousand flowers you will not cling to one or suffer when you cannot get it…

Attachments can only thrive in the darkness of illusion.

The rich man cannot enter the kingdom of joy not because he wants to be bad but because he chooses to be blind.” -The Way To Love, ‘The Eye of a Needle’ by Anthony de Mello

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture