Inquiry: It is better if they don’t project on me.


It is better if they don’t project on me.

  1. True?
    I can find times it feels true. (Reactive, unpleasant.) I can find stories that tells me it is true. I can find others who agree. But that doesn’t make it true.
  2. Sure?
  3. What happens when I have that belief?
    • I try to avoid it. If I present something I know is an easy projection object for others, I try to make myself anonymous, as I do on this blog. Otherwise, I try to avoid presenting anything that makes for a too easy projection object.
    • How have I lived my life because of this belief?
      • In my teens and early twenties, I was on my way to be a quite successful artist. I was accepted into a very prestigious juried exhibition, as the youngest in its more than hundred-year history. I was in the media. I was a hand picked personal student and assistant of a world famous artist. (Represented at the Met, selling each painting for enough to buy a large house.) But I noticed what all of that did for my relationships. How old and new friends started treating me differently. How they projected all sorts of things on me, and changed how they related to me because of it. I saw how people did the same with my teacher, to an even greater extent. And I didn’t want it. It was a big part of deciding to leave art, even if it was the most painful decision I have made. If being a projection object in that way was the price to pay, I didn’t want it.
      • Now, I choose to be anonymous on this blog because I know what I write about here is an easy projection object as well.
      • I have decided to not work as a therapist, or train to become a teacher in what I write about here, also for the same reason. It makes me into an easy projection object, and I am not interested.
      • I try to appear as normal as possible, in every way.
    • When did I first have that thought? Probably when I noticed how people started to treat me differently after becoming a media figure.
    • What feelings do I get to avoid because of the belief? I get to avoid opening my heart to those who project on me. Their pure innocence. The hopes (and sometimes fears) they project on me.
    • What am I not able to appreciate because of that belief? The beauty, and necessity, of the projection process. When people project on me, or anyone/thing else, they get to know that part of themselves out there, which is much easier.
  4. Who would I be without that belief?
    • OK with people projecting on me. Appreciating the process. Interested in finding ways to relate to it, skillfully allowing it and then inviting them to find it in themselves. An open heart to myself and them.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • It is better if they project on me.
      • Yes, I can find that. It is a natural process. It is how they become familiar with a particular quality they are not able to find in themselves yet. It is how we all learn about ourselves.
      • It is better that they project on me, because I recognize it as a projection, and I can help them find what they see in me in themselves.
      • It is better, because it invites me to explore my beliefs around it, and also find ways to relate to it in a more skillful way.
    • It is better if I don’t project on them.
      • Yes, that is true. I tell myself a story about them, which is nothing but a projection. I don’t know what they are doing, but I know that I am projecting.
      • I can notice my beliefs about them, and take these beliefs to inquiry. (I can notice the telltale signs of stress, a viewpoint to defend, a sense of separation, tension, and so on.)
    • It is better if I project on them.
      • Yes, as above. It helps me see and get familiar with a quality more easily, when first see it in others. Then, I am invited to find it right here.
      • It is better if I notice that I project on them. It is better when I notice the stories I tell myself about them, and about myself and the world in general. I can notice the simple signs, as above.

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