Know Thyself to Love Others Better and Avoid Projection as a Defense Mechanism
by Dr. Ioana Popa
Here is one of my favorite Bible verses, that summarizes my life's work: 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Matthew 22:36-39 NKJV
This is a favorite verse for many Christians, and in our shared faith, many of us hyperfocus on serving God and others, but we sometimes miss the last piece - loving our neighbors as ourselves.
We do this out of fear of being indulging, self-centered and prideful - and that makes a lot of sense!
Nonetheless, without taking care of ourselves and having self-compassion, we end up 'projecting' onto others our unwanted beliefs, judgments and impulses.
This is a widespread psychological phenomenon, which I will unpack today, along with several Bible verses that would shed some light into what to do next.
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