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The Mirror the World is for Me

‘Invested in ego, we defend against change.

Divested of ego, we work cooperatively towards change’

–          David Richo

I have embarked on a journey that is being painful, helpful, and rejuvenating. I am realizing that what triggers me in other people says more about me, than the person in front of me.

The Other Being a Mirror of Me

Many of us have heard the expression: ‘When you point a finger out there, three fingers are pointed to you.’ When we blame others, feel irritated by others, and see their shortcoming, we had better pause and see those same characteristics in ourselves.

When I feel upset or irritated by someone’s moodiness, arrogance, carelessness, unkindness or lack of sense of responsibility, I often deny those elements in me. But if I sit down and dig deep, and examine the different parts of my life, yes, I recognize that, I too, am moody, arrogant, careless, unkind and irresponsible sometimes.  And when I do so, I feel a sense of relief: I am human, and so are others, and I can meet them wherever they are. It’s amazing how healing this realization is.

Why does this matter? Because denying certain parts of ourselves (even the ‘less good’ ones) has undesirable effects. By turning towards ourselves with tenderness and care, embracing more of who we are, coming home to our greater wholeness, can aid in our continuous growth as human beings, helping us to have healthy relationships with others.

The Psychology Behind This

I learned about the so-called process of Shadow and Projections when participating in a transformational leadership programme that meant so much to me.

What I learned is that the basic idea, as psychologist Carl Jung describes, is that we are unwilling to face some parts of ourselves, and so we blame these parts on other people.  Whenever we are taking a position of being righteously better than someone else, then (we can argue) there is probably the so-called shadow at play.

It may be that in our past, or even in our childhood, we may find out that we are rewarded for certain behavior, and may be reprimanded for some other (for example, being angry). From those experiences, our negative emotions get stored somewhere in the body/ mind. We stop being able