“I Know You Are But What Am I?”

“I know you are but what am I?” Do you remember hearing this come back growing up as a kid?? This phrase got under my skin so much when it was said to me, but I also remember feeling pretty invincible when I used it against others. Now as an adult, I see the power in this rhetorical question and the meaning it holds. Although I’d never use this comeback to someone now (that would be hilarious if I did), it aids me in understanding that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and perceptions of the world and that any information they extend, is merely a reflection of their own thinking, and vice versa.

Understanding this concept of human projection was mind-blowing for me because I’ve always been the type to take everything so personally. I would accept what other’s said as truth, and would redirect the source of my validation outwards instead of inward.

We use each other to understand different parts of ourselves. The way in which we communicate and express, is directly correlated to how we are feeling at the current moment and the thoughts we choose to act upon. When we can understand this concept and hold our ground when interacting with others, there is so much more ease in dealing with our day to day. Instead of giving our power to others, we can retain that energy source when we don’t take what other’s say personally.

A little self disclosure, I’ve always had a really difficult time growing up with my mom.  She is a Brazilian fire bomb with a lot of emotion—And as much as it was nice feeling as though she cared for us, we would also fall susceptible to her unpredictable wrath. When mom was in a bad mood, my sisters and I would be the victims to her uncontrollable emotions, hearing the worst of things. As children, we believed these things to be true of us and carried them into our adulthood. I ended up studying psychology in college and went on to getting my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy where I began learning this concept of human projection. But it was really only until I began delving into my spiritual practices, that I began seeing this concept being played out in the world so very clearly.

By being aware that people are only acting our their inner worlds to us, protects us from not taking what is theirs. I like to see it as a protective bubble we can put ourselves in. Try it. Visualize yourself shielded by a bubble—you can see what everyone says and does, but nothing can penetrate your bubble. Imagine the words they say bouncing off of your bubble and going directly back to them. Because that’s all it is.

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