Shadow Integration 101: Projections
Projection allows us to see the parts of us we fear are unlovable and unacceptable that have been banished into our unconscious mind.
It's when we place our own negative (or even positive) traits, emotions, flaws, or impulses onto another in order to not have to face it in ourselves.
And we all do it. It's part of the human condition. And when we learn this, it can be liberating.
For one, we can stop judging ourselves for judging and instead harness it's power.
And for two, we can release a lot of energy we use trying to suppress parts, instead, we become consciously aware of them, which means we can CHOOSE how we act in the world. When we turn away and keep them in the darkness, they haunt us and come out in the most surprising ways.
Basic gist about projection - "you spot it, you've got it" or when you point one finger at another, three fingers point back at you ;)
This is why, when we judge another, it says more about us than it does about the other person.
As Brene Brown says, “...research tells us that we judge people in areas where we're vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we're doing. If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people's choices. If I feel good about my body, I don't go around making fun of other people's weight or appearance. We're hard on each other because we're using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived shaming deficiency.”
Our judgments are pointing us toward an exiled, orphaned, or disowned part of us.
This part of us is ready to be seen and explored by us (hence, why we see it in another - they act as a MIRROR for us - we project our unconscious mind onto them).
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”―
Here's what you can do to get to know that part of yourself and why you don't want to be associated with that aspect.
- How do I avoid being this way?
- How have I created my identity or persona around not being this way?
- Why am I afraid of being perceived this way?
- How does being not this way limit my life?
- How does it limit me to hold up the persona of being the opposite of this?
- Even if I think it's wrong, what do people who are like this get more of?
- What would be possible if I wasn’t afraid of being even just a tiny bit of this? If I could add one "drop" of this into my life, what might become available?
Tell us what you learn in the comments!
Want to go a little deeper and learn more about Shadow Integration? Here are four way:
- Read my blog post on The 5 Pillars of Gentle Shadow Integration
- Download my free "Shadow Work Starter Kit" with the golden shadow exercise where you'll reveal new things about yourself and a guide and worksheets to explore what the shadow is and why shadow work is integral to your journey to be more authentic and love yourself
- Watch my TikTok video about how the Golden Shadow gets formed
- Watch my TikTok video about "disrespect" and how to work with this shadow
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