Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be. Although the possibility of gross deception is infinitely greater here than in our perception of the physical world, we still go on naively projecting our own psychology into our fellow human beings. In this way everyone creates for himself a series of more or less imaginary relationships based essentially on projection.
C. G Jung
We can often feel divided and conflicted. We wish to integrate all the contrasting parts inside ourselves and develop a greater harmony within, a sense of direction that is solid and does not change from week to week. The first step in achieving this is to listen deeply to our own interior intelligence and find out what it is seeking.
Sometimes we notice that we are projecting onto others, or onto some outside things, the search for happiness which need to be anchored within first. We can see this if we pay attention to our daydreams or our fears. It can happen that an interior need becomes attached to another person or to our job or some plans and ambitions. In other words, we expect that the other person or the outside event fill in the missing parts of ourselves, rather than looking to do that work within ourselves first. We project the unconscious stage of our development onto another, and then act as if that person is what we imagine him or her to be. Frequently, however, the person is actually a mirror of our needs, which we have not yet come to recognize in ourselves. And as I have said before, our relationship with others reflects the current level of our relationship with ourselves.
It can be a great liberation to become aware that our projections actually represent our interior unlived capacities. We turn within for what we sought outside, recognize our needs and hold them gently. We start to grow, because a part of us which was hidden is now coming to light. Sooner or later in life, we all have to come face to face with the question of who we really are. If we do not run away but hold this question in ourselves, it can be the beginning of the greatest adventure in our lives. We can find the missing pieces inside ourselves, and in this way let go and move on to becoming whole.