Do you remember projectors in high school? Maybe I am dating myself, but in high school, all the teachers used projectors to show their notes or demonstrate a math or science problem. I would be surprised if they are still used today with all the advancements in technology.
What does a projector do? It projects an item onto a screen or flat surface. It takes what is laying on top of it and shares it for all to see. Do you ever project? I project…a lot.
I do not know if it is the time in therapy or time with God, but either way, I have come to learn about the art of projecting one’s feelings onto another. Case in point. Last Monday my husband came home from work. He was not as outgoing and bubbly as usual, so I asked him what was wrong. He said nothing and that he was just tired. However, I could tell something was wrong. So I persisted in my questioning. Needless to say, that got annoying. He could not understand why saying he was tired wasn’t explanation enough.
Analyzing the situation, I started reflecting on my day. I did not have a good day. My head was in a real down place. I realized my questions to Ken had nothing to do with Ken; they were a reflection of how I was feeling. I was projecting my feelings onto him. Naturally, since I had a bad day, that must mean he also was having a bad day. No, he was just tired from his day. Nothing less, nothing more.
How often do I project how I am feeling onto others? How often do you project how you are feeling onto others? Have you ever stopped to consider this possibility? I am now! So often I find myself critical, discouraged, ignored, and feeling less than when I am around others. However, what if it has nothing to do with others at all, and it is entirely a projection of what I am thinking and feeling about myself? Well, that is no good.
So I am challenging myself, and you are welcome to join me, to STOP projecting my thoughts and feelings onto others. How about I let them be who they are and feel whatever they are feeling, and take myself out of the equation altogether. The world does not revolve around me, though at times I am convinced it does. Moreover, that is not a good thing, in case you were wondering.
The more I delve into Discovering Me, the more there is to explore. Some of the discoveries are not pleasant – like projection – but I cannot change what I do not know. I am thankful for the revelation, and I look forward to projecting less and embracing more. Embracing who people are and how they feel, without assumption or projection. Oh, and I have not lost sight of the fact that I need to adjust my self-thoughts and self-talk. More to come on that!
- Have you ever projected how you were feeling onto someone else?
- Have you ever had someone else project their feelings onto you? How did that make you feel?
- Do you think projecting our feelings or even our thoughts onto others is just part of human nature or something we can and should avoid?
- What do you think the dangers are of projection?
Do you desire to know the truth about who you are, whom God created you to be? I invite you to explore that question. We can choose to stay unchanged, or we can make an intentional choice to change. I am intentional about change. Why? Because I believe my journey of discovering who I am, whom God created me to be, is to find truth and freedom in Him. I want to be everything that God wants me to be, but I cannot do that if I am stuck in old habits and negative patterns. So today the journey brings me to projection and the need to STOP IT!
If you get a chance, take six minutes and watch the Stop It video featuring Bob Newhart. It’s hysterical, but the message is poignant.