Ever notice how the people closest to you can also trigger the heck out of you?
She’s so selfish.
He’s so rude.
She’s a know-it-all.
But, here’s the deal: Every characteristic we don’t like in someone else, exits within us as well. As the old saying goes – when you point a finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you.
We all possess every human characteristic and emotion. There’s nothing we can see in another that we don’t have within. As children we began to assign good or bad, right or wrong to certain aspects of ourselves. As we grew, we learned what we needed to hide in order to receive the most love. And, we also learned how to overcompensate for the rejection of these qualities.
When we can’t be with certain qualities in ourselves, we reject and disown them – and then project them out onto others. And then the people around us reflect these disowned qualities back to us. These disowned qualities are all the things you emphatically say you are not.
How do you know if you’re projecting? Projection sounds a lot like judgment. So if you are activated by someone’s behavior, it’s likely you’re in projection.
We’ll continue to be tested until we’re no longer triggered. So, in order to neutralize the charge, we actually have to own and integrate these disowned qualities within ourselves. The soul is longing to be whole…reclaiming, integrating and making peace with these rejected pieces of ourselves is the path to wholeness. When looking for these qualities within, it’s important to remember that we may not exhibit or express them the way someone else does. So, we’re looking for the aspect beneath the behavior.
- Think for a moment about someone close to you.
- Now, identify the specific quality in them that triggers you – the quality under the behavior.
- Ask yourself, “Where is this same quality in me?” (Remember, you might display it differently.)
- Ask yourself, “How do I overcompensate for the rejection of this quality?”
- Accept this disowned quality. Say, “I am X.” Not easy, but we can all be X from time to time.
- Embrace this quality and find the gift it offers you.
I’ve got one.
- My ex-husband
- Lazy, under the behavior of not working
- Sometimes I binge-watch my favorite shows
- I overcompensated for a long time by being an over-achiever
- “I am lazy.” (This will probably sting at first – which means you’re on the right track. But you’ll get more comfortable with it as you own more aspects of yourself.)
- My laziness allows me to rest, rejuvenate and replenish.
Now you try it!
Can you think of a quality, displayed in another, that you’ve made bad or wrong and have decided you’re not that? Remember, we point that finger out when we have trouble owning these qualities in ourselves.
Here’s the great news: You can do this exercise whenever you’re triggered – which for me, and most people I know, is just about daily. Each time someone reflects one of your disowned qualities back to you, you have the opportunity to own it bringing you one step closer to wholeness, self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness
Are you ready to see the gift in your projections? I’d love to hear about your takeaway here in the comments!