Monday, December 01, 2008

PROJECTION

I took Psych 101 and 102 in college, circa 1981-82. There was no teacher, the class was "taught" on television, and I managed to go to one of the sites where it could be viewed, a number of times, the number being three.

I regret that.

I've spent the last 25+ years trying to figure out what I missed, namely the work of Carl Jung.

The term "projection" has been bandied about, and I always had a rough idea what that meant - basically that the people that drive you the most crazy, are the most like you, or something like that.

As I retroactively learn about Jung and his theories of Individuation, Shadow, and Synchronicity, I have approximately one "aha" per minute. And maybe I wouldn't have gotten it back then even if I had attended class with a good teacher. Maybe at eighteen there is a limit to understanding that only is lifted when one goes through the second rebellion: Midlife.

Or maybe now I just need to get it in a way that I didn't as a teenager?

As part of my relentless search for surrender (very similar to my recent "aggressively letting go" operation), I am really trying to individuate, to re-claim those parts of myself that I've projected on to others: The good, the bad and the ugly. All. Of. It.

That's what was really "under" one of my recent coffee dates/Operation Fence Mending. I was able to look into the eyes of a person upon whom I'd projected all over the place, and say, "Okay, I'm ready to have those parts of me back. Thanks for holding them until I was ready."

So, here I sit with a bunch of aspects of myself that aren't all that "neat," but they're parts of me, none-the-less. I'm now working to let go of the labels I've attached to them, "bad," "scary," "dangerous," and just Eckhart Tolle (touch with gentle awareness) the hell out of 'em.

Literally.

13 comments:

Angie Ledbetter said...

Be sure to take pampering breaks from all that introspection. Aren't the "sore spots" kinda like a broken tooth or gum ache ya just can't keep your tongue from probing? Huggage for the journey!

(If you get a chance, stop by and take my quick Christmas quiz and check out the contest!) http://angie-ledbetter.blogspot.com/

Michelle O'Neil said...

Love.

Lori said...

It's that Midlife stuff that brings all these things back, isn't it? It's healthy to be flawed, in my opinion, and it's great to own up to those flaws, to wear them like merit badges. We've earned the right to have some quirks, even if others don't like them. Tough. Menopause and peri-menopause brings about this wonderful I-really-don't-give-a-shit-what-you-think attitude. It's refreshing. A license to be ourselves - isn't that what we all want and need? :))

Robin said...

Here is another piece I am working on - If you admire a person for certain traits then you must have some of those traits already or you would not be able to recognize them. (A good kind of projection, I think.)

There, can you make that thought into a coherent blog entry?

Lola said...

WOW

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

I am new here! What a great blog :) ♥ Hugs!

Maddy said...

I'm with you on the 18 year old. Admittedly there are great variations but I think a little real life experience gives us the perspective to slot more things together later, given time.
Best wishes

Jamie said...

Great post!

Kathryn said...

You have invited them to tea.

deb said...

"...just Eckhart Tolle (touch with gentle awareness) the hell out of 'em."

Too funny but I know what you mean. Every time I read something about Jung's ideas, I keep getting those aha moments as well. And all the books I've been reading lately have all been leading to the same place. Funny how the universe works.

deb said...

I hit publish by accident. I don't think you would have been ready for all of this stuff when you were younger, in fact Jung thought that it was unwise for young people to attempt to individuate themselves. We have things we need to do as young people that interfere with individuation, like leaving home, having children, getting married, starting a career. Except I kinda feel like I'm both a child and a middle aged woman. Maybe that's what middle age is for, to go back and do childhood right this time because it sure as hell wasn't very good the first time round.

Deb said...

Again, I'm so amazed at your courage and your persistence and your wisdom. I love these insights. I love you.

Jerri said...

Your very own Tolle-way. Drive it, girl.