What is a projection?
No, it is not a judo technique that you can use to throw your partner on the floor.
Projection is the function of psychologically transferring parts of our past into the present. Often on other people. We all do projections during our life as they allow us to push away the parts of us we dislike toward the outside world, usually a person. By doing so, we make the other person guilty of the self-judged characteristics and this very act often gives us entitlement for aggressivity, criticism and shaming toward the guilty one. While externally-targeted judgments are projection, self-judgment would be a strategy of our inner-critic to keep us small.
Projection can be applied to anything, especially to beings or groups of being close to us such as spouses, children, pets, and colleagues.
Projection is always flavoured with catabolic and negative energy. There is no anabolic projection.
Projection is always associated with something we dislike in ourselves that we want to get rid of, something dark or unbearable for us to hold.
Projection is a type of defensive mechanism (among many others). Its goal is to maintain psychological homeostasis against our own internal psychological turmoils. Without that sort of mechanism, it would be very hard to become resilient and survive trauma, harsh words, emotional and physical abuse, lack of appreciation, and lack of love during our childhood.
On the other side, these mechanisms quickly become part of our ego tools belt and maintain us focused on the outside world. The illusion is so powerful that we faithfully believe to be the victim of the outside world. Our ego is conveniently satisfied as projection persuades the ego that the problem is outside.
Unfortunately, the reality is that it pushes us away from the real root of the problem which lies in us.
The projection mechanism is really smart to solve our past trauma. It is more efficient and easy than crying as it allows a quick dismissal of the pain, and overcome our feeling of helplessness and our need to feel loved.
Not acknowledging our pain and need to be loved is internally making us feel a pang of guilt often so unbearable that we externalise it by projecting our pain.
The projection is an unconscious act. We can’t help ourselves. By projecting our internal dislikes, we keep ourselves separate from the world and from the Truth.
This “natural” built-in resilience is essential to our survival but the trap is to stay an unconscious prisoner during our entire life as it keeps us from knowing who we really are and from opening and sharing our gifts with the world.