Mirroring v Projection


To my knowledge, everyone on Earth has a shadow aspect.  It’s a part of the human experience.  The shadow aspect is represented by the negative polarity, the yin.  It’s the part of us who harbors guilt for perceived mistakes and errant ways.  It’s the part we hide (hence it’s the part in the shadow).  It’s the part kept in secret, which harbors information/experiences we are too ashamed to face, so we pack it away and try to forget.

It’s impossible to forget completely, because the entire evolutionary process of life on this beautiful is all about remembrance.  Like Carl Jung said, “What you resist, persists.”  That which remains unresolved or in the “shadow” will continue to rear it’s ugly head, until we face it, shine Light on it, and accept it as a part of our experience.

There are two ways in which our shadow is reflected to us: Mirroring & Projection and the difference between the two are subtle but important to understand for spiritual growth and development.  Projection occurs when someone has an unresolved issue, usually subconscious, and because they cannot see this wound in themselves, they project it onto others.  For example, let’s say I have been through a trauma and have a deep wound related to abandonment.  Let’s say I am in denial about this, because I want to avoid the deep pain and hurt I actually would feel if I faced it.  So I bury the wound deep within my unconscious mind.  But it’s still there, lurking in the shadow.  It becomes the system from which I operate in my consciousness.  Then, let’s say my partner wants to go hang out with friends at a bar.  Due to my own fear of abandonment, I tell him he is a worthless husband (which actually stems from my true feelings of self- that I am worthless in relationships because I hold this belief that everyone I love leaves me; therefore I am unworthy of love).  In this case, the lashing out is not really about the husband going to a bar to hang out with friends, but truly about my own insecurity, which I have projected onto him in this situation.

Mirroring can also occur subconsciously and happens when someone else reflects something unhealed back to us.  So, using the same example as above, let’s say when the husband hears the words, “You are a worthless husband” and he experiences any emotional reaction or body sensation, even though it is a projection of the wife’s original wound, she is also mirroring something unresolved in him.  Perhaps he has been harboring guilt about not being supportive in one area or another.  Or perhaps he has an insecurity wound as well (for example a parent in his childhood called him worthless, and there is a part of him who believes that to be true).  When we become more consciously aware of our mind/body, it becomes easier to discern what is “ours” to look at versus what is “other”.

In either case, anytime we feel triggered, meaning we have an emotional and/or physiological response, it’s “ours” to look at and reflect upon (mirroring).  If we feel neutral and/or there is no body sensation associated, we can discern that the other person is projecting their stuff onto us and nothing is being mirrored to us.  We can cultivate spiritual boundaries for those instances someone is projecting onto us (and there is nothing being mirrored to us in the projection) and remain firmly grounded, maybe even blessing the other person, who may not realize they are doing it (on a conscious level).  Regardless, in both instances, the other is teaching us- either where we have stuff we need to look at, or how far we have come in our own process.

When people first get started on their journey to wellness and/or spiritual growth and development, they may not know what their wounds are.  This is the purpose of mirroring in relationships.  The mirror allows our wounds to be reflected back at us.  It’s actually a huge gift.  If you’re curious about what your original wound is, there are two good ways to get some answers.

1.) Take a journey or meditate to discover your wound.  Take the below-Earth path to the unconscious realm and ask a trusted guardian angel, animal Spirit guide, or loved one who has crossed over to help you.  You can have it play out like a movie on a screen for you.  Know and trust in your heart that it is safe for you to see what you need to see in the moment.

2.) Do some journaling.  Think and reflect on the things people say and do that rub you the wrong way.  Then evaluate and question why.  What is unresolved or unhealed within me, which feels pained by this, then start stream of consciousness writing whatever presents.

Once the wounds are realized and neutralized, understanding is gained, (the resistance pattern is broken) and the issue no longer persists.  In my own experience, I have noticed a boomerang effect whereby the issue will pop up one last time and I will feel nothing, or notice it is something that used to really bother me, but doesn’t bother me anymore.  Once the boomerang effect occurs, I am in full realization and the issue never presents again.  I presume this is due to the karma being completely neutralized thanks to the understanding; the lesson comes to completion and Light has been shed on the darkness, chipping away at the shadow, and allowing a person to polarize more positively.

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