The projective style of dream work has opened a whole new level of perspective for me. The primary tool is projection. The dictionary defines projection as:the attribution of one’s own ideas, feelings or attitudes to other people or objects; esp the externalization of blame, guilt or responsibility as a defense against anxiety.
We are all uniquely blind to our own shortcomings, but are easily able to spot others’ deficiencies. Lately, I have been paying more attention to how I respond to others, and the thoughts I have about them. I know that this is an elegant way for me to quickly identify where in my psyche I still have work to do.
Try this the next time someone irritates you or disappoints you or upsets you, or betrays you. Ask yourself where in my life am I (irritating, disappointing, upsetting, or betraying) myself? It is not as easy a task as it seems. It requires unstinting honesty.
I also need to say that it is not only about the negative things we perceive in others. More importantly, it is often the positive things we perceive in others that we need to see in ourselves. (This is called the Bright Shadow).
Becoming more aware of the thoughts we have about people helps us become more aware of how we perceive ourselves. We don’t have to have someone else tell us, we just have to pay attention to where our mind goes while we are in relationship with those in our world.
Sometimes, I don’t like what I find, but it gives me something I can focus my conscious attention on, and begin to transmute. Intellectually I understand it is all part of the Hero’s Journey,(the part where we slay the dragon) but that doesn’t make it any easier.
The progress of my work with myself manifests in the dreams I remember. It still fascinates me how consistently relevant these nightly messages from my highest wisdom source are. These gentle ‘report cards’ give me hope and encouragement as I continue my personal journey towards wholeness. I do this work with the awareness that as I do the work for myself, I do the work also for the collective. It is, after all, how we will heal the world’s collective wounds.
Have courage. Open your heart, and listen to what your dreams tell you. ~Paolo Coelho
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