Why Bother To Stop Projecting Your Shadow?

My friend, Ben, a progressive Aquarius rising with Uranus on the descendant opposing finds out what he has projected, integrates it and becomes even more liberated.

It costs you when you give your qualities to the other. Also, I mention in here that my life was in tatters at the time of the recording and it was. You can see I have something beyond a mere poker face. Jeez.


22 thoughts on “Why Bother To Stop Projecting Your Shadow?”

  1. Great post! Are the signs opposite your sun-sign and those opposite your most aspected planets also revealing your shadow? What about Pluto’s sign?


  2. Okay, Elsa, I think I’m getting this . . . so what you’re saying, then, is that instead of you putting on someone else that *they* want they’re mom, you own/acknowledge/know/integrate that it’s you that wants your mome, and so that makes you more interesting?

    Hopefully I’m getting it!

  3. Yeah, Vita. I am not a one-dimensional person. I strive to be whole and not only own alll of my energy but use it as well. You see? I do not do this begrudgingly. I am very happy to discover who and what I am because it is liberating.

  4. That’s so interesting!
    I somewhat identify with Ben’s story. I always think of myself as very liberal, progressive, left-wing, open-minded but …when it comes down to it I have a few conservative attitudes sometimes, particularly in terms of relationships, and they surprised me.
    But after all, they are the Saturn in the 7th that is also a part of me.
    I’m not sure this makes me more interesting or appealing but I’ll be certainly More Me when I embrace this side and, consequently, more interesting, hopefully.

  5. Ahhh Elsa! I’m still trying to figure this out. I don’t even know what my shadow is…maybe it’s that I’m so contradictory?? I’m also trying to figure out what I project….I get lost in my thoughts when I try to think about this…I’m still not comprehending how this plays out in my own life.

  6. Well, yeah, I was referring to something else; that tendency to say ‘you are this 7th house’ in a negative way.

    To spin it positively, I tend to be a mother figure, which is weird because I’m a pickup-driving gun-owning quasi-redneck… intellesmectual.

    [‘But then being somebodies mom doesn’t bother me.’]

  7. Accepting your ‘Shadow Self’ is a life-long endeavor, seems to me. The AA’ers say ‘if you spot it, you got it,’ which is a simple way of reminding us about our own foibles. If, say, someone has a characteristic or mannerism that just bugs the shit out of us, that provokes a strong reaction (or even revulsion), then we know it’s time to take a long look at ourselves and what comes up will surprise us – most of the time we humans are unaware of that ‘shadow’ side of ourselves, but the quickest and easiest way to become aware is to see what we’re projecting onto others.

    For example, people who constantly interrupt others used to really tick me off – it’s so rude, and the behavior is basically telling others that what you have to say is more important than what they have to say. It took me a long, long time to see that I was a ‘serial interruptor.’ Didn’t matter what the subject was, how much I cared about it, sooner or later I was going to inject my two cents’ worth, politely or not. But let someone else do that to me, and my indignation knew no bounds!

    Becoming aware of, accepting and integrating our ‘shadow side’ not only makes us more interesting, IMO, but it also makes us more compassionate, tolerant, and humble. It’s very humbling to see yourself in the people who bug you the most. The best part is that once you’ve done the integration work, you’ve not only freed yourself from judging others, but you can let go of the behavior yourself, and be free!

    Thanks for this post, Elsa, it was the earlier posts on this subject that caused me to start reading and learning about the ‘shadow side’ we all have, and I’m still learning, but it feels great to let go of all that judgement and blame I was hauling around all this time, of myself and others. You are just amazing, you know that don’t you? Always so timely and accurate.

  8. i’ve also noticed that whatever is bugging me about someone else is almost always what i’m projecting.

    and it’s been very easy to spot this political season, because you listen to any group talk, whatever they say the “other side” is doing, they follow up with a version of it themselves, often within a few sentences. like total clockwork.

  9. “if you spot it, you got it” I like that idiom. I have to add it’s what ‘bugs’ me *and/or* what I admire out there or even envy. Excellence, talents & quality stuff also lay in the shadow (they were not valued at some point in the early environment/low self esteem). Is it harder to own up to these and easier to own up the shitty bits then? It’s tricky for me to not polarize this into good vs. bad rather then hey it’s just what it is, like Ben’s traits — no judgments involved. I try not to be so judgmental… sigh.

  10. Sometimes ppl confuse “shadow” with negative qualities… Shadow simply embodies that which is not consciously lived out and expressed. This includes “positive” qualities (e.g. being compassionate) if you normally don’t accept them as a part of yourself. Qualities you aspire to and desire can also be projected without noticing them in yourself.

    In addition to making your self-image more interesting, richer, and nuanced, (and I would say, helping you be more accepting and balanced) by recognizing projections, you help the qualities of yourself that already exist to be expressed more freely and in a way that is more integrated with your personal values and beliefs.

  11. My lovely friend Nancy sent me here…

    This is very good Elsa as so much Shadow is coming up these days. One thing I did recently during a debate and at times argument is take on the other person’s position and what I considered their less than ideal traits and positions.

    When I noticed that I was having fun “acting out” their position, and that I could do it easily, I found out how much of that was in me as well. I also found out they liked me much better. lol!

    Also, a more subtler point I discovered is that words and descriptions can generalize or focus in on one aspect of a person and\or a situation. No person or situation is ever that simple or one dimensional. Generalized talking and thinking causes unhappiness I have noticed.

    What one person means when they say something and another person hears is often very different. Especially when I consider that their life experiences\personality type are going to vary from mine. Take the words progressive and conservative. I imagine we all would have different definitions\experiences of those terms and what would be considered progressive or conservative in our ring of family and friends.

    Bottom Line Learning Here: In many cases I\we are not communicating about the person or the situation, we are communicating about ourselves, our past, and our experience… not really communication at all. We can even be using the same words but in our inner worlds they mean something very different which is why we are disconnecting.

    So asking questions to open up and understand what a person means and how they experience what they are saying will often add or reveal something in my life before pouncing. That’s what I am learning. This is quite a bit less painful way of discovering myself in others when I remember to do it.

    The days are arising where my face is not squarely in front of the fan when the foo foo flies. Now when the thoughts of self start to come up my face is more off to the side instead of the direct hit. Sometimes, it misses all together and I remember to really reach out and understand what is behind what other people say and do.

    Great Post!
    There is no end to the seeing, and I think your husband is seeing a very beautiful and conscious lady especially when she openly admits she is in tatters.


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