Projections come in many forms. Are you going to allow what someone says to you, good or bad affect you?
Anyone out there ever read Parker Palmer? He's the sweetest guy, and smart too. Next to Henri Nouwen, he's probably my favorite author. I've been reading his book A Hidden Wholeness, and let me tell ya, it's remarkable. It's given me so many life tools and new ways to approach relationships and even new ways to approach myself internally.
How quickly do we get excited or high when someone pays us a compliment? I do not receive compliments well, but when I do receive them, it feels really good. And how quickly do we feel really low when we are put down or someone shares their negative opinion of us? Super duper quickly. I've always felt uncomfortable being tossed back and forth between compliments and put downs, but I could never put my finger on it. I knew I didn't like being swayed one way or another, but I didn't know why.
Parker Palmer helped me figure this out. Here is what he writes in his book A Hidden Wholeness:
"As soon as we succumb to someone else's definition or opinion of who we are, we lose our sense of true self and of our right relation to the world. It makes no difference whether those projections make us the hero or the goat: when we allow others to name us, we lose touch with our own truth and undermine our capacity to co-create in life-giving ways with "the other". Projections are endlessly distorting. We need to resist people's efforts to name us from the outside in."
I don't know about you, but I can relate to this in more ways than I care to admit. The modeling world, the work place, professors, family, even friends. Even strangers, the list goes on. And I think it goes above and beyond just projections. Aren't we gitty if something happens in our life that is maybe related to something "cool" or someone famous? I don't know something like when Joyce Meyers started following me on Twitter (hilarious, I know), for a minute I thought that was pretty cool. I thought I was on a different level than everyone else, I thought to myself, "She's following me?!" I must be something!!! But she does not know me from adam and I have no idea why she would follow me, and it wouldn't be on my own merit anyway if she saw anything worth following--apart from God I can do no good thing. (Besides, I was on Twitter a year ago for like 5 minutes--not a fan.)
Joyce Meyers or anyone else for that matter, not even another blogger who has 10,000 followers is better or cooler than anyone else. Viewing people in that esteem screws up my esteem, and it's all false. We are all worthy, equal, and loved by God.
I think we can all pray about receiving a peace and a strength in us so that we don't react so strongly one way or another by projections. I want to be a cool cucumber when it comes to this stuff. Don't you?! Easy breezy, and content! Bring it!