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For August 2012

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Aries (March 20-April 19)
There’s this concept from psychology that everyone would benefit from knowing about: projection. Projection is when you see your qualities, issues or challenges in another person. It’s called “projection” because it’s like having a light on your forehead that shines your material onto them, rather than being anything that comes inherently from them. This kind of transaction makes relationships difficult because when it’s happening, it verges on impossible for anyone to take responsibility for what is really their own, and thus open the way to have two people make their way through the world as conscious adults. This month, I suggest you listen to any accusation or claim you might make about another person and ask whether it has something to say about you. If you find yourself in any form of conflict, pause and do what’s called “withdrawing your projections.” Start with taking full responsibility for being in the situation, and take ownership of your responses to it. Give others the opportunity to do the same thing, without pushing them in any way to do so; your example is enough. You’re likely to discover that this reveals the conflict for what it is, and puts everyone in a position where it can be resolved. The problem with identifying projection is that it can be psychologically uncomfortable and vulnerable. It can feel weird to observe what you’re doing, much less admit it. It’s easier to go on projecting, which only pushes the conflict deeper.

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