Is What You Are …
“What you meet in another being
is the projection of your own evolution.” ~ Ram Dass
Projection is a term used in psychology – usually referring to aspects in the self which are undesirable – yet we react strongly and very judgmentally when we see them in someone else.
But Ram Dass isn’t only agreeing with that – What about the aspects of self that we do not recognize in ourselves, yet we admire in others?
Can those aspects be about us, too?
When I read a statement like, “See the best in others, then you can start seeing the best in yourself.”, I flinch. I disagree.
I think that the only way that could work is if you understood “projective identification”. Otherwise, we tend to compare ourselves with others and judge ourselves as coming up short. We actually feel worse about ourselves.
On a more positive note ->
What if – when you admire a trait in someone else – you KNEW it meant that you,too, held that exact trait? Perhaps the trait was suppressed for some reason, but it is your nature anyway – Your birthright!
My beautiful cousin, Catherine, is a good example. Her mother, also very physically attractive, shamed Catherine when she caught her admiring herself in the mirror. She called it “vanity”, and the way she scorned her left no doubt that such an act (looking at herself) was a very “bad” thing. Catherine never allowed herself to feel pride in her physical beauty… i n fact, she learned to abhor this God-given gift, causing her to slump her shoulders, and shying away from any attention.
Yet, privately, and from afar, she admired women who shared their beauty unabashedly – “Mary Poppins”, Catherine Hepburn, “Charlie’s Angels“… she felt a longing to be free from the fear of drawing attention to herself!