What You See…

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?

Absolutely. 

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!

When I see a loving being…  I now know that I,  too,  am a loving being!  When I see an assertive female,  I know that I,  too,  can stand up for myself!

Namasté – …

The   (beautiful, smart, loving, assertive)  spirit in me…   recognizes  and  honors  the Spirit in You”

How IT All Began….

img_0914How to eliminate war for one human being: You!

Worth reading – from Off the Web! (edited for readability)

“Hurt feelings or discomfort of any kind cannot be caused by another person. No one outside me can hurt me. That’s not a possibility.”

Someone asked Katie:

  • What’s the best way for someone who has suffered – such as a child who was beaten or a person who was raped – to make sense of this philosophy?

Katie: Identify and question what they were believing in that cruel situation as it was happening.

When children (or adults, for that matter) believe the thoughts they are thinking during and after a painful event, they suffer. It is not the painful event that causes their suffering once the event is over; it is their thoughts about the event.  This is hard for some people to hear, but if you take a closer look, it is obvious. The event is in the past; the thoughts are in the present – thoughts of shame, anger, humiliation, depression, unworthiness, resentment, and so on – and it is only in the present that we live.

Children have no way to question these thoughts, so they can’t help but suffer over them. It’s not their fault that they suffer. They just don’t know that suffering comes from believing our painful thoughts. This is why without inquiry, it’s so difficult to overcome a trauma during and after the fact.

The things that upset us will stay with us as long as we still believe what we were believing in that situation.  Whether in childhood, or yesterday – time doesn’t matter. Inquiry can break the spell.
The Work is not a philosophy. It’s a way that will let you discover that all suffering has been a misunderstanding.

  • Should a person ignore or glide over such things?

I was never able to do that. The way I became free was by not ignoring or gliding over such things. I had to face them, to look back on those terrible and seemingly unjust situations that I suffered as a child, and as an adult, to write them down and question the thoughts I had at the time. I had to travel back and to see in my mind’s eye that situation, no matter how terrible it was, and to fill in a ‘Judge-Your-Neighbor’ Worksheet. I had to fill out one Worksheet for each situation. I do this by remembering as much as possible of what I was seeing, feeling, thinking, and believing in those moments. I used to suffer when those images would arise in my mind, and now I don’t. In fact, all those old memories bring a sense of compassion, freedom and gratitude, and never suffering.

Of course you should suffer when you remember your those situations –  since you are believing your thoughts.
Our children learn fearful and angry beliefs from us, and they, like us, have no choice but to live what they believe. What are we teaching through our own negative, fearful beliefs?

My job is to end the injustice in my world, the war inside me, and that has made the world a better place, since there is one less violent, angry person in the world now.

If I am at war with reality, I’m continuing in myself the very thing that I want to end in the world. A sane mind doesn’t suffer. Through inquiry, you can begin to eliminate war for one human being: you.

For more information on The Work of Byron Katie, go to TheWork.com

Why Knowing Yourself Helps All of Your Relationships

identityMapOne goal common to many types of psychotherapy  is to learn about yourself… who you are – your inner self and your outer self  – at present and how you got there.

Yet knowing yourself may be one of the hardest tasks you’ll ever attempt.For many of us, a myriad of obstacles spring up when we attempt it.

If you tend to be intellectual or philosophical,  you might get mired in questions such as: “Who is the me/self that is assessing the me/self?”

If you tend to be emotional, you might get bogged down in less-than-positive emotions around the issue.

If you are more likely to be spiritual, questions such as “Why am I here” or “Why was I created” can sometimes stymie self-knowledge.

But knowing yourself is important to all your relationships, helping you fine tune your sense of humanness. One aspect of Self is how you “take in” the world – how you experience life. (Check out the MBTI personality test for more about this)

Parents and Kids

Effective parents, for example, know themselves. Self-awareness without self-centeredness, is an important ingredient in any relationship but essential to healthy parenting.

In order to deeply understand what your child needs, to really “get” where your child is coming from, and how he experiences the world around him, it’s essential that you know who you are: what makes you tick, what brings you down, what uplifts you, what turns you off.

When we know who we are, we are more open to seeing beyond the surface in others.
But in order to understand who we are, we have to take the time to do so. By learning more about who you are and how you feel about yourself, your child, and life in general, you’ll be able to interact more effectively—and lovingly—with your child. (The Parent-Child Dance: A Guide to Help You Understand and Shape Your Child’s Behavior)

Work 

You have to know what makes you tick in order to find satisfying work. You also need to have an appreciation of what makes others tick in order to create satisfying work relationships. This can be on the smaller scale, for example, you don’t need to know everything about that person in another department who you meet once a month, but knowing the person you are teaming with on a project can be vital.

The best time to pay attention and really listen to your coworkers is during get-togethers after work.You may see a sense of humor you’ve never noticed before, or learn about the personal pressures they are under. Carry your knowledge through to your work relationship so you can be supportive, as well as tap into their talents and interests.

Friendships and Personal Relationships

Sometimes we can be a little obsessed with having our own needs met. And sometimes we can push our own needs to the background, so much so that we forget who we are. Striking that balance requires paying attention and learning all the ways in which you cope, deflect, or deny.

Knowing yourself doesn’t mean that you cannot change yourself. You have to know yourself well enough to sense whether change will enrich your relationships, emotional well-being, and life in general.

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Why Knowing Yourself Helps All Your Relationships | Therapy Soup–