Today I decided that the road was going to be my personal growth workshop.
I decided to lean into a belief I’ve been cultivating over the last few years called The Mirror Projection Theory
This is the idea that my reactions to others are simply a mirror for me.
The person across from me represents some version of me. My relationship to them reflects the relationship with some part of me.
Today’s challenge was to reclaim every asshole driver as a rejected part of myself.
Everytime a car cut me off, I shoved my index finger out and belted out my prepared line.
“THAT’S ME! I’VE DONE THAT!”
As I yelled this, the truth of it shook my body.
A dozen moments when I had done something similar flashed through my mind. It was unambiguous. I was no different than the person I had been so ready to blame. The big energy of anger in my body drained out. Suddenly there was nothing to be angry about, there was just another ‘me’ out there, driving the way I so often do.
Why am I telling you this?
When we are face to face with people it’s easy to get caught up in the illusion of “the other.” We can start to believe our judgments of others. In doing so, we shrink their humanity down to a fractional, one-dimensional image of who they are. We limit our ability to more deeply understand and connect with them.
There is a tool I want to share with you.
It’s called Percept. Short for Perception, it’s a tool I use with my students for piercing the veil of illusion, the story that your experience is really about that person ‘over there’.
This tool can be powerful for you in moments of conflict, misunderstanding, and projection.
Step 1 is a sentence stem that can be applied to help us reclaim our judgments, reactions, and projections as a part of ourselves.
“I’m having_______ (another person) be the part of me that ______ (quality, pattern, behavior).”
Here are some examples:
- Right now I’m having you be the part of me that is stuck and resistant to receive help.
- Right now I’m having you be the part of me that is angry and resentful towards the world.
- I’m having you be the part of me that pretends to be happy and uses a smile as a defense mechanism.
- Right now I’m having you be the part of me that’s closed off.
- I’m having you be the part of me that withholds uncomfortable or painful feelings for fear of hurting others.
The next step is to get curious.. What is the wisdom and insight that these rejected parts could possibly offer you?
In our Relational Shadow Work series we often ask the group…
“Does anyone else have a part of themself that looks similar?”
When I ask this, most (if not all) of the group raises their hand.
We then dive into acknowledging and welcoming whatever parts have been previously rejected, and normalizing it as a part of humanity.
The best way to understand this process, is to come experience it.
You are invited to come join us for our next 4 Week Shadow Work Series starting on March 21st. *Due to the intimate nature of this series, there are limited spots and is by application only.