Deconstructing projection in self development
The owner of a retail store writes the following letter to his provider:
“Four weeks ago I ordered a box of sweets. It hasn’t arrived yet. My supply is absolutely out of sweets. And because of you recklessness I lose money every day. But I think it is time for us, smaller sellers, to get used to the fact that you, the strong and rich ones, treat us like we are nothing… and the letter continues in the same manner for few good pages.
P.S.: in the mean time I found the box.”
It looks like a joke, but, by being honest with myself, many times I pretended to have lost the box only to display old unhealed wounds.
But no matter how much I would’ve wanted the interlocutor to be responsible for those wounds, there was no other way for me but to own them.
Owning our projection: a stage of self development
Why don’t we see the box in front of our eyes and blame the other for its absence?
Because, in our process of self development, it is the best scenario of displaying the places with wounds within us. And also, the best scenario of projecting outside of ourselves in order to suffer less.
So we cling on anger so we can avoid pain and a part in us knows this very well. It is the part that finds guilty people in any situation.
Indeed, maybe we wouldn’t have been able to survive if we had internalised all our emotional wounds that we suffered so far. From the toughest punishment in our childhood, to yesterday’s conflict with our boss.
And just like this, armoured with a justified protection mechanism, we decided to also throw the mud of our deepest wounds outside of ourselves. And for a while it seemed to have worked. For the moment, the burden was lighter.
And also, for the moment, we were justified to believe that the bigger ones humiliate us, the smaller ones. That everybody is against us. That nobody cares for us and look how right I am because not even the box of sweets didn’t arrive on time. Because everywhere there are only assholes. And we suffer because others don’t do their jobs.
It was the easiest way of not having to look into our souls. We kept our mind busy by searching for the box and blaming all those responsible in our minds, because of its delay.
And why do we still do this? Because we are not honest enough with ourselves to admit: yes, although I want that box to arrive, it is not about the box.
It is about the many occasions in which I felt so small and helpless and looked at from up high that it is hard for me to believe that somebody will ever take me seriously.
So why would you take me seriously now when I depend on you and I need you to send me something on time? So I will continue to stay small and to continue with the same story. Nobody can prove me it is not so. You would have had this occasion by sending me the order on time. But here it is, my theory is confirmed. I cannot be who I am and do what I must do because of others…
This speech is so seductive that sometimes we pretend we don’t find the box for our whole lives.
Our “joke” from the beginning of this article ends with a moment of honesty. The box of sweets is in front of your eyes, and it is a lively proof that the stories in our heads and the truth of a situation are much too often parallel situations.
We know two parallels never meet, but we can defy mathematics. The story and the truth can merge through sincerity towards ourselves, through becoming aware of projections, through owning one’s own wounds and personal pain.