Sending back projections?

 

A friend of mine talked about sending back projections. Other people put their projections on us, so we can notice and send them back (visualizing?).

First, what happens when we take on other people’s projections on us? We make it into a belief about ourselves. So although it may make sense to try to “send it back” we can’t really. We can’t send back a belief we have about ourselves because we made it ourselves. And we cannot will it away.

To me, it makes more sense to work with these beliefs about myself the same way I would work with any thoughts with a charge.

First, what’s an example of this projection-made-into-belief dynamic? Someone may have low self-esteem. They identify with beliefs and identities telling them they are not good enough and so on. So they project that onto us to feel better about themselves. And we may take on that projection through making it into a belief about ourselves. There is nothing inherently wrong or bad about this. It’s natural and understandable. Although as with any belief, these beliefs about ourselves may be stressful and limit how we live our lives.

And how would I work with it? One way is to examine these beliefs more thoroughly, for instance through The Work or the Living Inquiries.

Using The Work, I may examine thoughts such as: He is a jerk. He tries to put me down. He is insecure. I am not good enough. I am less than others. They will see me as not good enough. They won’t like me. They won’t accept me. They won’t love me. All of these, and whatever other thoughts I have, are gateways to really get to see the dynamics of the mind around this issue for me and find what’s more true for me. The thoughts become a valuable gift rather than a threat.

Using Living Inquiries, I may ask myself what the triggering situation says about me. For instance, I am not good enough. I am unlovable. I am less than others. I can explore how my mind creates these identities by combining thoughts and sensations. I can find the earliest memory I have of feeling that way and look at the thoughts and sensations creating that memory and anything associated with it. And in this way, the charge goes out of the identities and painful beliefs.

And although neither of these approaches explicitly talks about projections, that’s exactly what’s going on. Through either of these approaches, we identify, explore, and own projections, and the charge goes out of them. They are not only rendered harmless, they become a valuable asset and genuine gift.

Mild synchronicity: When I wrote this, I happened to listen to Michal Jackson’s Man in the Mirror.

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Initial notes….

  • sending back projections?
    • what does it mean? take on someone else’s projections on us as a belief about ourselves
    • cannot “send back” a belief
    • need to examine through inquiry, allow to fall away
    • ….

  • Sending back projections?
    • some folks: others put their projections on you, and you can send it back (energetically, visualize etc.)
      • makes sense to me in a very limited way, but not really
      • makes sense if don’t know how to work with projections, examine, find clarity around, then may be temporarily helpful (although, again, not really)
    • for me
      • find the truth in it + examine the thoughts, find freedom around the thoughts (usual inquiry way)
      • they become source of insight + charge goes out of them, not a problem anymore
      • seems more honest, thorough + make use of, find value / gift in
    • ….

projections – (a) helps me notice something out there bc is also here, (b) project out something not there but here

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A friend of mine talked about sending back projections. Other people put their projections on us, so we can notice and send them back (visualizing?).

This makes sense if we don’t have good tools to explore projectins and it can give some relief. But if we do have access to good tools, it makes more sense to work with these projections as we would any thought with a charge.

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(And, using projection language, projections are noticed and owned as part of the process.)

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Initial draft….

A friend of mine talked about sending back projections. Other people put their projections on us, so we can notice and send them back (visualizing?).

From a conventional view, that makes sense. If we don’t have effective ways to explore projections, it can give some temporary relief to imagine sending them back. It can give us some sense of distance to these projections.

To me, it makes more sense to work with these the same way I would work with any thoughts with a charge.

First, what are some examples? Someone may have low self-esteem. They identify with beliefs and identities telling them they are not good enough and so on. So they project that onto us to feel better about themselves. And we may take on that projection. It’s understandable, natural, and there is nothing inherently wrong in it. Human culture and society are full of projections of all types, and we take them on in different ways.

So I can notice this, and “send it back” in whatever way seems helpful to me. The upside is that it can give some temporary relief. The downside is that I may reinforce the idea that these projections have truth and power in them and that I need to get rid of them by “sending them back”. I also miss out on the opportunity of seeing through it more thoroughly. And I miss out on the value and gifts of these projections.

Mainly, it seems a bit futile since if I have taken on projections someone else has put on me, they have become a belief for me. And I cannot get rid of a belief by “sending it back”. That’s wishful thinking.

Again, to me, it makes more sense to examine these projections more thoroughly, for instance through The Work or the Living Inquiries.

Using The Work, I may examine thoughts such as: He is a jerk. He tries to put me down. He is insecure. I am not good enough. I am less than others. They will see me as not good enough. They won’t like me. They won’t accept me. They won’t love me. All of these, and whatever other thoughts I have, are gateways to really get to see the dynamics of the mind around this issue for me and find what’s more true for me. The thoughts become a valuable gift rather than a threat.

Using Living Inquiries, I may ask myself what the triggering situation says about me. For instance, I am not good enough. I am unlovable. I am less than others. I can explore how my mind creates these identities through combining thoughts and sensations. I can find the earliest memory I have of feeling that way and look at the thoughts and sensations creating that memory and anything associated with it. And in this way, the charge goes out of the identities and painful beliefs.

And although neither of these approaches explicitly talks about projections, that’s exactly what’s going on. Through either of these approaches, we identify, explore, and own projections, and the charge goes out of them. They are not only rendered harmless, they become a valuable asset and genuine gift.

Synchronicity: When I wrote this, I happened to listen to Michal Jackson’s Man in the Mirror.

Note: In the first few paragraphs, I have used the language the “sending back projections” idea was presented in. We take on projections and send them back. But what’s really going on? Someone projects something on us, and we make their projections about us into a belief about ourselves. When we see it that way, it becomes pretty clear that “sending back the projection” doesn’t make sense. We cannot choose to not believe something. We cannot will it away. Instead, we can investigate it thoroughly enough so the charge in it lessens or falls away.

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