Most of us fall into the trap of taking on the projections of other people, especially our loved ones. We take things personal that have nothing to do with us and become emotionally enmeshed to the point of wanting to fix them just so we can feel better. We forget that we are not in control of our own lives, leave alone that of another. We forget that their issues have nothing to do with us, and are a reflection of their relationship with themselves and their current life.
Feeling insecure about ourselves and, lacking healthy boundaries, we permit them to project their inner conflicts onto us and pull us into their chaos. We lose perspective and are unable to separate ourselves from their emotional drama and their projections onto us. Rather than focusing on healing our own self-defeating patterns and behaviors, we make it our job to soften the consequences of their actions that would actually enable them to notice their unhealthy behavior, and learn their lessons.
It is difficult for those of us who have been other people’s scapegoat all our lives not to take things personal. From earliest childhood on, we have been so used to being blamed for everything around us and shamed for who we are. When someone acts out in anger, we automatically assume that we have done something wrong or that we are inadequate and not enough. We make ourselves small or invisible, and doubt ourselves. We take on their blame, spoken or unspoken, and the energy of their rage, even if it has absolutely nothing to with us, just to discharge the situation. This is a trauma response, a survival mechanism to protect ourselves, and it unhealthy for us now as grownups.
In childhood, we learned that the outer world is right and we are wrong. We were systematically taught not to trust ourselves, and to look for validation from the outside. But we are adults now, and we must learn to not let other people’s moods and emotional issues knock us into a shame spiral. We are no longer helpless, and self-abandonment is no longer a valid option. Most of us didn’t have a voice as children, but we do now. And we must learn to stop apologizing for who we are, and not allow ourselves to be bullied.
We teach others every day how to treat us. It is a mistaken perception that we owe anyone our lives. We are no one’s doormat. And we are not responsible for how another feels. That is entirely their responsibility, and their emotional behavior is an indication of what they need to heal within themselves. We do not have to take it on, even if they present a good argument for why they see us as the cause of their issues. This clarity enables us to simply not take their energy and their projections. “Nice try, but no thank you.”
To step out of these patterns, we need to learn to set healthy boundaries, and allow others to live their lives according to their truth. We must learn to trust ourselves again, our gut feeling and intuition, disentangling ourselves from the perceptions and behaviors of others. And we have to stop manipulating our perceptions to suit our need to codependently coddle another – while abandoning ourselves. It is time to change our childhood patterns that we adopted growing with wounded people who dumped their issues onto us. We owe it to ourselves to respect and honor all aspects of the self, to heal our deep sense of unworthiness, and grow beyond the continual repetition of childhood survival mechanisms. Once we have awareness, we can implement the changes.
Imagine what your life could look like if you didn’t feel that you owed others your life and needed to carry their burdens – if you didn’t need their approval, and their expectations meant nothing. What if you were actually, and always have been, free to live your life according to your own truth, not theirs? What if you could be free from the limitation that others have projected onto you all your life, and rise to being your authentic self?
Take your power back and focus on yourself. There may be much to heal within you, but you are not broken. You can learn to love and honor yourself, and take the scattered pieces of your heart and soul, and with compassion and tender care, build a new foundation for a life that nurtures you. Forgive yourself for all that seemingly went wrong, and for having been so harsh with yourself, having so little faith and trust in yourself. Embrace yourself with love and gentleness, and heal the wounded inner child that you have pushed aside for far too long.
The answers lie within you. The abyss of pain and your Divinity are not far apart, and if you avoid the one, you cannot reach the other. You have the strength and courage to open all the places within yourself that you had rejected and stuffed away. Trust yourself. And trust the Universe. You will not go there alone. Mighty help is supporting your evolution and awakening. Allow the crumbling of the old, the not knowing, the vulnerability and rawness. Outside of your comfort zone is the only place where you can grow and finally move forward. Do not let the past hold you hostage any longer. Find your will and do what you have to do. When you face your fears head on and let the limitation you have lived within dissolve, you step into a new world that loves and adores you and has your best interest at heart.
And from this place you will be able to recognize the projections of others from a mile away, and not volunteer to take them on. You will be centered enough that the triggers and storms of others will not knock you down. And you will have strong, healthy boundaries, detachment, and compassion so that you can choose to hold space for another without taking responsibility for what is not yours.