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I received this email from someone the other day:

“At work there is this arrogant person who I find very annoying. Because you have taught me to see that there is no one “outside” of me, she must be a mirror for my own unconscious arrogance. I know I have the power to shift this, but where do I start? What is the core issue?”

Here is my response via email and Skype:

As I contemplate your question, Joni Mitchel’s classic song, Both Sides, Now comes to mind here. Her lyrics describe the futility of attempting to see the truth of life from a dual perspective, concluding, “I really don’t know life at all”!

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all



To know the truth of life beyond the dual nature of the limited mind you will want to look deeply into both sides of any troublesome polarity. I see you are owning the projection of arrogance outside of you. That’s a start. Congratulations. The ancient teachings of the East teach us that the opposites of the world are inextricably tethered, so if you are seeing arrogance outside of you and are being triggered you must also accept that the opposite of arrogance – worthlessness – is inside somewhere as well. When we are in a push/pull dance with the opposites of the world we are unable to see what is true beyond the egoic and illusory; we are unable to see our true nature as a timeless, spiritual beings.

Down near the bottom of our dark void of negative states of mind and lurking in the unconscious, lies worthlessness. Because it is fundamental to our human egoic imprint into separation from Source we each have shades of it that must be cleared on our journey home to Self. Worthlessness becomes a program that can be triggered as we begin to make it real in childhood from negative messaging from our adult caregivers and teachers. Typically, it runs deep with many layers that require unraveling. Because both you and your co-worker have uncleared issues around worthlessness you are drawn together through the process of polarity in which opposites attract each other. When we are unable to see and own our unconscious feelings of worthlessness we will push them into the unconscious and act out the other side, which often manifests as arrogance and/or entitlement. (We see this being played out in our world now by our President “big league!”, as well as by most extreme leaders in the world with a Patriarchal consciousness.)

Conversely, when we are feeling worthless, inadequate, small, less than etc., we are pushing into the unconscious the opposite states of mind and our tendency to be arrogant and entitled. If we are heavily identified with worthlessness, initially, its opposite may be difficult to see and own. But you must proceed with the assumption that it is in there somewhere! What’s essential to accept is that you are both sides. Accepting that you have become identified, consciously and unconsciously, with both sides of any polarity is the first step in opening a portal between the opposites that leads you come to know your true nature, which is beyond duality.

Clearing the egoic dance between arrogance and worthlessness in your patterning requires that you make what is unconscious conscious. To do this make four lists: 1. My desire for worthlessness 2. My fear of worthlessness 3. My desire for arrogance 4. My fear of arrogance. Feel deeply into the energy around each state of mind. If you are having a hard time coming up with reasons for one of the lists it is because it is particularly unconscious to you. Meditate on it and ask inwardly to be shown what is not being seen. Remember to accept that all four states of mind are in you or you would be creating a different relationship with this person.

Making the unconscious conscious is a powerful and eye opening process. But to reconcile the opposites underlying your programming you must call on that part of you that is beyond the limited egoic self by surrendering all that has been seen and named back to Source. When you feel complete with your lists make a prayer offering your lists up asking for all of your conscious and unconscious patterning to be cleared and reconciled. Make an inner commitment to heal the layers of your childhood wounding around worthlessness. Remember, there is nothing outside of you, and when you have reconciled the schism of worthlessness and arrogance inside of you your world will reflect that integration. The arrogant person will cease to trigger you and your relationship with that person will eventually shift into one more aligned in heart and Truth.

I hope you find this helpful.

(For more on mirroring and projection please see the post “It’s all You!” from  October, 2016), and for more on the the Worthlessness Program read “Seeing through Worthlessness” from April, 2010 on this blog.)

I received an e-mail from someone recently who is beginning a new career that requires “clear thinking and efficient decision making”, but is feeling stymied by her continual self judgement: “the self critic (is) always on my shoulder, a constant turbulence beneath the surface… if I don’t have success over this, I will not be able to continue this job.”

Here is my response:

The inner critic that haunts you at work is an internalized parental authority figure. And this ghostly persona is tapping into a program of ‘worthlessness’ that was instituted over time throughout your childhood years. Read the rest of this entry »

On a phone call  the other day, a student shared how she wants to be in her heart, but notices her judgments – her habit of judging others for qualities they do or do not have – keep getting in the way. “They seem to have a life of their own”, she complained. “How can I stop?”

Here is my response:

Our judgments seem to have a life of their own because they are unconscious to us, and they spring forth from this unseen part of ourselves because they are not grounded in our awareness, because we haven’t seen and accepted that they are part of us. In truth, there is nothing outside of us, and the judgments we have onto others are projections of unowned aspects of our own personality. The world mirrors back to us these unowned parts of ourselves that we have pushed away.

There is a couple who live across the street who are very private. When I see them at all, it is usually in their car pulling in or out of their driveway. They seem to have blinders on, never looking up, or around, sending a message of not wanting to engage. But that’s okay with me. If they ever choose to say hi, I’m available for that.

I have another neighbor who has a problem with these folks. He says he cannot stand those people.

“Why not,” I ask?

“Because they are so unfriendly; they are not nice people,” he responds with disdain.

So how do we explain the two different responses to to our neighbor’s behavior? It could be said that my friend has a conditioned belief that unfriendliness is bad, and no way is he that. He is not bad! He is seeing in these neighbors a trait in himself that he has denied and pushed into his unconscious – and what lives in the unconscious gets projected out. The world is mirroring back to him his own unowned personality trait.

Our judgments arise out of our conditioning about good and bad and right and wrong. They are polarized. And it is this polarized view of seeing the world that separates, that colors our perception and keeps us from seeing truth and the intrinsic nature of people and things. When we pull in our projections and own them, we create an integration and a healing and the world is seen just as it is, reflecting back to us our new-found wholeness.

The key to this healing is to see the world as a mirror. Even if we are unable to see this initially, in order to initiate our process of integration, we must assume that this is true. Then when we catch ourselves doing judgment, we can stop ourselves in our tracks with a little reminder: Everything I see is in me. In this way, a process of self-inquiry is initiated. The next step is to ask yourself: “How do I do this same irritating behavior?”; or What exactly is this issue that is unresolved in me?”

Your answer will lead you to find your humility and compassion, and your equality with others. You will see that there is no “outside” – that everything is you. And you will find your heart.