The Art of Not Projecting

The grass always looks greener on the other side.  It’s easier to see someone else’s glass as half full and yours as half empty.  It may be more applicable in some situations than in others.  When you have an area of your life that doesn’t satisfy you, then that situation is likely to stay in the forefront of your mind.  This leads to looking to the outside world for the answer on how to remedy the situation. We see how someone has that part of their life just right and how you’d really like to be in their place. Then you wouldn’t have to deal with this challenging situation. This is a tendency that we all fall into, sooner or later.  And often unconsciously.

Yet, we never truly know what another’s version of reality is.  Even if the person shares about his/ her life, we ultimately add our own coloring or judgment to the situation. We think if only we had that car, that amount of money, such a great job, such a loving partner, that kind of physique, etc, then we would be truly happy.  In these moments, we fail to acknowledge that everyone has their own karma.  Karma means action, and by acting, we produce results.  These results accumulate and lead to further actions and consequences.

We need to learn our own lessons.  We have our own destiny in life.   And if we were to step into someone else’s shoes, they may not be as comfortable as they appear from the outside.  There are definitely details that you have not taken into consideration.

People often say, “You’re so lucky because you…..” (fill in the blank).  While the recipient may be grateful for the compliment, this gets tiresome after a while. Undoubtedly, the person is assessing what you have stated and thinking how fortunate you are to have a situation that they do not perceive as ideal in their own life.

Next time such a projection arises, take a moment and pause before you fall into a state of lack or jealousy.  Acknowledge what is going well in your life.  If you see something that is working well for a person, it may be more constructive to ask that individual for guidance on how to achieve that state or how to maintain it.  Ask the person about the lessons that they learned along the way and what they had to go through.  Listen and learn.