Watch What You’re Projecting

05/04/2013 22:14


By Mary Cook, M.A., R.A.S. (OMTimes)

When we don’t know how to address and resolve problems and pain, we attract more of the same.  When we neglect to support and develop joy and natural talents, we forget we have them.  When we fail to listen to our instinctual wisdom, it falls silent.  Not taking responsibility for our health and happiness holds us hostage to the influences of others.  Basically turning away from our real selves and our internal processes leads to a life based on projections of what we want and don’t want and little to no satisfaction or fulfillment.

Everything we deny in ourselves we see in outward forms in our life.  If we deny anger, we attract and focus on angry people.  If we deny our own lack of responsibility, we have continuous altercations with people who are irresponsible.  If we deny pain, we react to others pain with codependence, irritation or avoidance.  Denying our hopes and dreams makes us cynical, suspicious and envious of those who work toward their dreams.  When we can’t find the good in ourselves, we think the world is withholding our treasures.  If we deny love within us, we complain that nobody loves us.  If we deny self-hatred we have rageful reactions toward others.

Projections empower other people, places and things well beyond what is realistic or healthy, and then we have no idea how to meet our own needs and wants.  Habitual ways of thinking and acting wear a deep groove in our minds and become the only life we know.  When our thinking is primarily negative, we change positive experiences into negative by believing this won’t last, it can’t be trusted or requires too much effort to maintain.

People sometimes think the key to changing negative patterns is through affirmations and forced positive thinking.  This only works if we are also understanding and resolving past feelings, thoughts and behaviors that are harmful.  Positive thinking that covers up denial and fear only brings more issues to deny and fear.

Compulsions are an end result of projections whether running from or toward something.  We don’t know how to control chaotic thoughts and feelings so we compulsively clean house or attempt to control others.  We don’t know how to relieve pain and experience joy so we drug ourselves to do the job.  We don’t know how to comfort or nurture ourselves so we overeat.  Then we get houses that are never clean enough, people that don’t do as we wish, drugs and food that fail to satisfy and ultimately try to kill us.

The solution lies in taking back our projections.  We can ask ourselves what is it that we hate, fear, love and yearn for within us.  When we spend too much time obsessing over people, places and things, we must firmly redirect our focus to our own attitudes, beliefs, feelings and actions, both negative and positive.  When we identify a problem, it’s important to understand it as fully as possible and ask where we can grow and what steps to take to get there.  We need a deep and honest self-appraisal with the intent to understand, learn and improve ourselves and our lives.  We need to commit to different action that is specific and beneficial to our taking healthy responsibility for our well being today.

Mary Cook is the author of “Grace Lost and Found: From Addictions and Compulsions to Satisfaction and Serenity”, available from Mary has 36 years of clinical practice and 29 years of university teaching experience.  She is available for telephone and office counseling, guided meditation, and speaking engagements.  Learn more about Mary Cook by visiting WWW.MARYCOOKMA.COM   on Facebook   

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