Most of us incarnate as human beings because we have unfinished business. On the energetic or spiritual level we are carrying energy or “pictures” that we need to release. These pictures are either the result of past actions or things that others have handed to us. They involve judgment, either good or bad, which is what holds them in our space. We are born be able to get to a place where we can get out of judgment and thereby release these energies or pictures. This gives us an option or options that we didn’t have before, and another piece of ourselves as spiritual beings, another part of our spiritual freedom.
To facilitate this process Spirit helps us (as spiritual beings) to set up situations that allow us to work on these pictures. The exact dynamics depend on your picture of the relationship of your conscious self (as a spirit in this body), your unconscious and/or higher self (your full spiritual self), and Spirit. In any case there is a mirroring process, in which situations or people come into your life that activate the pictures that you (as a spirit) have incarnated to process.
Thus (as one possible example) if we are working on an aspect of self-love, we may be born in a family that fails to give much love, or even attacks us in one way or another. As we grow up there may well be other places where we also experience a lack of respect or appreciation from others. Our relationships as adults may feel one-sided, or we may be unappreciated at work. Since we are all unique and infinitely creative souls there are many variations, but they all put us in a place where we must find love inside rather than outside.
Since, as incarnated spirits, we have usually forgotten the larger picture, it is common that when we are hurt or fearful we project our experience externally. Projection is a natural ego-level protection device, which also happens because there is always a matching external aspect which is generally easier to see than the internal aspect. Other people are not perfect beings either, they have their own pictures, projections, and processes, which we are in part mirroring for them. However, focusing on the other person’s part will not generally help us with our process.
Projection is, rather, a way of giving our power away. If our situation can only get better if someone else does something, or changes in a certain way, then we have given all power over the matter to them. [There is always a caveat at this point about stepping out of abusive situations etc. That sort of action may in fact be part of taking your power back.] When we acknowledge our part in a given situation, we begin to take our power back, to change a “problem” into an opportunity for change, healing, and spiritual growth.
It is important not to simply change the trap, to go from “they are doing it to me” to judging ourselves. Deciding that if we are responsible for what happens in our lives that we must somehow “deserve” what is happening to us, we have replaced one level of being stuck with a worse one. Self-judgments can hold us much more strongly than the judgments of others. We have simply internalized the external aspect, reinforcing the original picture, rather than beginning to let it go.
Focusing inside is where we can really affect things, as in the end we can only change ourselves, or what is in our space. As we clear the internal blocks and invalidations, we reclaim a part of ourselves and gain a corresponding freedom. Loving ourselves we become free from the need to have others love us.
Once the internal work has been done, often the external situation will also resolve itself or go away, or we can move on and leave it behind. It is no longer useful for our process and Spirit/we cease to call it in or create it. Think of the analogy of a radio set. While we are working on something we are tuned to a certain station. When we are done we re-tune to other stations and although the original signal may still be there we no longer receive it; are no longer sensitive, or reactive, to it.
Finally, remember that while Spirit helps to set us up, Spirit is also ever ready to help us as well. Spiritual beings, other people, animals, etc. may all step forward to assist us, but they will not, can not, do the work for us. We have to be open to assistance, on some level to ask for it, and be open to working through our own pictures and self-judgments. Recognizing what we are trying to learn, how we use projection, and owning that process empowers us, begins to open the door more fully to help from Spirit, and starts us on the road to healing.