Projecting un-owned material

Here is another question from a student, although I don’t think there is much I can add! She has it all worked out already and has expressed it beautifully:

If I have a ‘conflict’ with s.o. , I believe that the other person just represents a part in myself with which I am in conflict. Because I am not owning it, I project it outside of myself. Now, is it the same with inner parts as well?

For example, if a male part of me feels weak and he sees a female part part of me that is strong and doesn’t see his own strength, you could say, the male part hasn’t integrated his own strength yet, but is seeing it in the female.(projecting it). But in the end, he has strength as well. He is already whole and doesn’t ‘need’ the female to be strong. He just isn’t seeing it yet.

You talk a bit about opposing inner parts which need to come together to balance. But this coming together, can it be understood like each of the opposing parts is realizing that they have the opposite’s strength, etc. in themselves and when they understand that, they merge… or?

I am just totally into the projecting concept and use it a lot with people. Every time I manage to bring the energy back to me, the conflicts moves on, gets solved, etc. It is actually quite fascinating:) And now, I am thinking quite a lot about the inner parts i.e. If the same ‘technique/idea’ is applicable to them. Especially with female and male parts. What are your thoughts?”

My answer:

Wow. I’m impressed. You have grasped the concept of internal conflict perfectly. Yes. When we have an internal conflict, we tend to project it outwards onto others and into our relationships. And often, these conflicts can take the form of male and female inner selves, simply because this so beautifully expresses the idea of yin and yang.

I agree- when I am in conflict with someone, I do the same thing (in my better moments) i.e. I look for the same character or personality traits inside myself and work on coming to peace with them, and like you, I have found this very effective: it seems to dissolve the antipathy, the problem, etc. It brings peace back.

Your story about the male and female inner selves, and the male not being able to see his own strength because he has projected it onto the female… yes, this is exactly the kind of thing that happens. As you say, he is already whole, he just hasn’t worked it out yet: it’s a matter of perception.

Years ago I had a strange dream about an immortal man and woman who were reincarnating together through lifetimes. Their sole focus seemed to be each other and they were in a battle. In the final scene of the dream, they were at a party. No one around them knew what was going on but finally, she had the upper hand. She seized the moment and struck, dismembering his penis and holding it aloft with a cry of triumph. But she had used all her strength to do this, all her life-force. As the energy drained from her and she collapsed, he caught her. Dying in his arms, she looked up into his eyes, finally realising that he had never wanted to fight: he had just been trying to protect himself. He loved her. He wasn’t the enemy. And he had been waiting a very long time for her to work this out.

This story is a perfect, if somewhat epic example of the battle that can occur when one self perceives the other as a threat and declares war. She seemed to think he had some power that she needed. It always struck me as interesting that as the female, she was more blood thirsty and aggressive than the male. In seeking his power, she became drunk on male power, and completely out of touch with her own femininity. She wanted to strip his maleness from him and own it, but when she finally accomplished this, she caught sight of the sacred feminine deep inside him that she had disowned in the process.

At the time, this dream helped me resolve some old wounds I had to do with men, sexuality and my own femininity. It helped me become softer and it improved my relationships, with both men and women. I stopped projecting the battle outwards and started owning it.

The lovely thing about working with male/female internal conflicts is that you can so easily work towards a sacred conjunctio, or ‘sacred marriage’; a coming together of yin and yang in love. In this marriage, as you put so beautifully yourself “each of the opposing parts is realizing that they have the opposite’s strength, etc. in themselves and when they understand that, they merge”: There is no ‘or’.

The sacred conjuntio is a big fat ‘AND’. Male and female. Night and Day. Responsibility and Freedom. Gentleness and Strength. It’s a reuniting of values or aspects of self that we have set against each other. “I can be this or that but I can’t be both”.

You can find wholeness within yourself (and your relationships with others) by doing mirror work. Have your male and female selves stand in front of one another and trade compliments. Or try an exercise Spirit asked me to convey to a client last week:

I asked her to go home and observe her son and her husband, and to look for what she admired in them, then to find this inside herself. By doing so, she will start to resolve the internal conflict between her inner male and female energies, and her relationship with her son and husband will improve.

The way Spirit conveyed this idea to me was by showing me two energy lines in her aura, that ran vertically through her right side, from head to toe. I held the top of the energy lines at the head while Spirit grabbed the bottom of them and give them a few shakes separated by a pause… much the same motion you would use when spreading a sheet out onto a bed.

One energy line was Reflection Purple, a plummy purple aura colour that also makes me think of mirrors, inner selves and personal growth. The other was gold, which makes me think of self-worth, treasure and ego. For some reason, the two colours were like a language and I suddenly ‘knew’ that she needed to do ‘light shadow’ work. Light shadow work is all about looking for the positive traits we aren’t owning, but are instead projecting on to others. The problem for my client was that she was not only projecting her light out onto her boys and not seeing it in herself, she didn’t think they could see her light either and she was grumpily starting to fixate on their bad points instead to make herself feel better.

Anyway, I hope that’s enough to help. I really don’t think you actually needed any help with this one ‘cos you got it all goin’ on already sista!