How does it look when we embrace both ends of the wanting-to-change-self/other polarity?
One end is to just notice the other as a mirror for myself. Whatever advice comes up is really for myself. And it only takes one, and a good deal of differentiated clarity, to be happy. This is what we do through the The Work, and it does work.
The other end of the polarity is changing the other, or at least wanting and trying to. This can work to some extent, but if this is all we do, it typically brings a great deal of frustration and is not ultimately satisfying.
Including both ends of the polarity
So how does it look when both are included?
Well, I work with the projections, find some clarity, see that the advice is for myself and take my own advice, and resolve the struggle right here.
At the same time, I may talk about it with the other person.
:: Reading our judgements about the other to the other
For instance, in The Work, we write a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on the other person, and then read it to her or him (if she/he is receptive!)
And what we find, most or nearly all of the time, is that what one person wants for the other (a projection, when it has a charge) is what that person actually wants for her/himself. For each of us, we both want the same. There is no difference there.
So the gift is triple (or more): The person writing and reading the worksheet get to become more familiar with their advice for the other (judgments) and apply the advice to themselves. The person listening gets to see that they – most often, want the same for themselves. And it certainly relieves shadow-pressures in the relationship, and opens for a deeper sense of intimacy.
:: Picking up a dream process in the other
In Process Work, there is a very similar process.
As a facilitator, I may pick up something “in the field” and bring it out through words or movement, and see how the other responds. Whatever I pick up about the other, may be something that wants to come out in them. I may be dreamed up by the other and our shared field, to bring it up and into the open. And the feedback from the other tells me if it is really about the other, or just about me.
So by noticing what comes up in me and bringing it out in the open, I offer the other the gift of seeing if it is also in them. On my end, I will of course relate to it in my own way, so it is also a gift for myself.