Shadow Figures: Seeing the Past in the Present/Taking Back Projections

Do you ever catch yourself responding to someone in your life in a way that you responded to someone from your past that you feel and think hurt you or deprived you of love and appreciation in some way? We all do, right? Why is that?

 

We tend to bury our pain and feelings of rejection experienced in the past or in childhood (this tends to receive a lot of flack). Then, we make people in the present pay for those buried emotions and even the grievances that form as a result of them. Shadow figures are talked about in Chapter 13 of A Course in Miracles, but not so openly in Course “Circles” or outside of psychological contexts. But this topic should be a more prominent source of discussion in my opinion.

 

I know that, in hindsight, I have seen myself being punitive or reactive towards people in my life in the present in situations where I really am responding to someone or something that person from the past said or did that I interpreted as harmful or hurtful. Again, we do this sort of thing all the time and are mostly unconscious of this behavior.

 

We may respond to our spouse or partner in a reactive way when we are really “telling off” a past lover, friend, or even parent. We need to become more conscious of when and how we project these images onto people in our life now. Much could be said about this topic, for it is a common problem. But really, how do we avoid making our friends, acquaintances, and loved ones “pay” for what we perceived as hurts or having been wronged in some way in the past?

 

We need to see everyone as guiltless. And we need to release the past. That includes recognizing grievances and pain we have stored in our minds and bodies. If we see everyone as innocent and as a Son or Daughter of the Divine, we see past “errors” or “attacks” we perceived had the ability to hurt us in some way. What we need to do is adopt a way of seeing and believing that we are invulnerable and cannot be hurt, not by people or occurrences from the past, not now, and not in the future either. The solution is simple, but seems often an insurmountable feat to try to accomplish.

 

We need to forgive. Everything. Always. That starts with recognition of how we keep allow ourselves to be imprisoned by people from our past, and see just how much we let that carry over into the present. It certainly isn’t going to be easy. And it doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes we are going to blow up on someone we love, here and now, and it may take doing that to realize we are still chained to the past. Love and forgiveness. Practice it. Do it. Keep doing it. Free yourself and others. Do it now. And ask the honest questions before you feel like saying something volatile. Such as, what am I really feeling and am I extending love or acting out of fear of reliving the past in some way? Recognize. Release. Realize. Let go. Surrender to the now. And extend love consistently. You can’t go wrong. And finally, take back your projections you have superimposed onto people in the present, whether you know them well, or just have a casual encounter with them on the street or at work. It’s worth it to become more aware of how we respond to others. It is just one key to unlock the door to contentment and happiness as well as peace and acceptance too.

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How Will You Use the Power of Your Mind – To Extend Love, or to Project Anger?

Our minds are inherently powerful. That is because our minds are One with Divinity’s One Mind. We either extend or project what is within outwards. It is so easy to ‘hurl’ out onto other people or into the world we think we are seeing what we don’t like about ourselves, what we feel guilty about (especially this), or what angers us. Our egos, the puppet masters behind the primal guilt we all carry around within us, think they can free the split mind from torment and the perceived threat of punishment from the Divine Source, we think we ‘threw away’ in the act of separating from that Source, by projecting out the ugliness we are ashamed of.

 

Our True Nature is to extend Love. Projection is the opposite of that. Through the human condition, we crucify ourselves, fear attack from the Divine for what we thought we did to offend that Source, and thereby seek to be free of guilt and that fear, by projecting onto others what we feel guilty about. Primal guilt has everything to do with projection. We want to be free of what causes us to suffer, so in an attempt to get rid of the cause of our suffering, we make others pay and the world too. We project because we think we lack something and need to take it back from others. What we really feel we lack is the Love of the Divine. So, we compensate.

 

When we compensate, we do so neurotically, and it always leads to seeing what we want to disown ‘out there’, as I said, whether in others or in the world as a whole. It is important to keep in mind that the ego mind has a malevolent nature to it. It is out for its own good and has an authority problem. It thinks you are the ego and it thinks it created you, instead of you being created by the Divine. That is part of the root of the underlying problem which causes the ego mind (individual false-self) to mis-create.

 

The mind always expresses outwardly what is within. So, it will either project or extend. Extension is an act of creating from or seeing through the eyes of Love. If we feel Love at the core of who we are, we are going to Love others and see the inherent, eternal good in them. We see their innocence when we perceive ourselves to be innocent as opposed to feeling guilty deep down in our psyche. If projection is throwing away something we don’t want, extension is sharing something we do want and what we really are, Love.

 

Projection always leads to anger and is a form of attack. Extension comes from contentment, trust, and inner peace. Extension comes from knowing who we are. The offspring of the Divine. If extension is the sharing of our True Nature, then projection is the attempt to be free once and for all from our false nature and thereby all threats of punishment we think we deserve for having ‘attempted’ to usurp the power of the Divine and be special, or our own creator. This desire to be our own maker, once again is called the authority problem in A Course in Miracles. 

 

What ultimately will create the good, the holy, and the beautiful? The act of extension. Or anything that comes from Love and abundance (which we naturally want to share with others). Anything that comes from fear will ultimately lead to projection because we are acting out of lack or a feeling of scarcity. When we feel empty, we attack and try to get what we think we lost or need in order to be happy.  When we feel whole, we see only wholeness in others, because ultimately we are all one. Knowing this brings union and communion with others, a much more preferred state to be in. True Love doesn’t cause us to suffer, but fear will always lead to physical and emotional suffering of some kind that becomes too much to bear, so we will always try to get rid of it by projecting. We need to take responsibility for our ego, the part of our split mind that likes to project error, and give our miscreations over to our Higher Self to be undone. As A Course in Miracles says, “our ego can be forgotten at any time.”

 

As the author of A Course in Miracles says in Chapter 6 Section 1, The Message of the Crucifixion, “teach only love, for that is what you are.” Knowing that is the key to doing that. If you can Love, even when you are being persecuted, extension naturally follows and all temptations to attack out of anger are dissolved and released. This is True Power. Know it. Be it. Share it. This is the key to happiness and lasting joy.