When it comes to reconstructing the steps of our personal growth path, we tend to focus mainly on ourselves, when in reality the greatest sources of learning reside outside, in trusted people. There are countless legends that have taught us since ancient times that what we see in others reveals sacred information about who we are.
There are many ego psychology studies that claim that external reality acts as a mirror on our mind. A mirror where our various qualities, characteristics and aspects related to our essence, to our deepest being, are reflected.
We talk about common situations of everyday life, when it happens to notice something in others that we do not like, feeling a certain rejection or even disgust. Well, we are faced with the law of the mirror, which establishes that within us reside, in some way, the qualities that we do not like so much. What is at the origin of this phenomenon? Today we will talk about the function and origins of this law.
Is the defect we perceive outside or inside of us?
The law of the mirror establishes that our unconscious, aided by the psychological projection that comes into play at certain times, leads us to think that the defects we perceive in others exist only “ outside”, and not within us. Psychological projection is a defense mechanism by which we tend to attribute unacceptable feelings, thoughts, beliefs or even actions to other people.
Psychological projection takes place in the face of events that involve an emotional conflict or a threat, internal or external. When our mind perceives the existence of a threat to our physical and emotional integrity, it tends to send the impulse to reject the disturbing element, attributing it to objects or subjects external to us. In this way, apparently, the threats remain outside.
Projections occur with both negative and positive experiences – as when we project our inner reality outward without any filter, constructing the truth from a purely personal point of view. A characteristic phenomenon of psychological projection occurs during falling in love, when we attribute to the loved one some characteristics that exist only in us.
Law of the mirror: we project our reality around us
The law of the mirror comes into play when we claim to “know” another person well, even if in reality we do nothing but project our own reality into them. In these situations we tend to project the vision of ourselves onto the concrete image of that person, depending on how we perceive it.
Being aware of what we project onto others allows us to understand who we really are. Acquiring a constant awareness of this mental mechanism helps us to regain control over what is happening inside us, so that we can take charge of it and work on the aspects that we would like to maintain or transform into positive.
We cannot fail to remember the fact that we often tend to take seriously whatever we perceive through our senses, regardless of the elements of subjectivity and interpretation linked to personal perception. We therefore accept this way of perceiving reality, but we do nothing but create negative distortions that will generate discomfort in relationships with the people around us, as well as with ourselves.
To use this natural resource – projections – in a healthy and full way, in order to promote proper personal growth, the answer is found in meditation. This practice will help us draw a line, teaching us to see things for what they really are. Without ever forgetting that “ observing says more about the observer than about the observed ”.
“Yet I saw him… My spirit in torment was now a reflection of your spirit. My whole soul stretched out in yours, and in it it appeared like a clear mirror “
-Pedro Antonio de Alarcon-