Near the end of the movie Inception, there is a powerful dialogue between Cobb and Mal. Cobb is trying to explain to his wife Mal (which is not really his wife, but rather his projection of her that keeps coming back in his dreams) … anyways he is trying to explain to her that she is not real and that she is merely a projection of his.
He goes on to say that there is no way he could possibly imagine her “in all of her perfection, in all of her imperfection…” he could not imagine her “fully.”
She would never again in this life be simply, wholly, purely…Mal.
He realized that he could not stay in his dreams with the projection of her because a she was not truly there. Part of her was missing. The part that made her … well, her.
At that moment in the film, I nearly lost it.
Because sometimes I do this with others. In real life. I want others to be who I want them to be, rather than just letting them be who they are and and helping them become who it is that they long to become.
When I try to force people to live under my projection of them, I paralyze them (to a degree) in my mind and in reality …mainly I paralyze my ability to truly invest in them…at the purest level. When I do this, I put myself above them, I am their superior.
When I let people be who they are and enable their development, I instill value and dignity in them. I express to them that who they are is incredible. I help them understand that God has created them beautifully. When I do this, I put myself below them. I express that I am here to serve them. I am saying “We are all in this together.”
Also, I sometimes do this with God. At times, I want God to be a projection of mine. I want Him to do what I want…to come through in the way I’d like…to be who I want Him to be…
But the moment God starts doing this, he ceases to be God.
Because God is better at being God than I could ever project or imagine.
I need to let him be who He is in all of His perfection…purely. To come through in the way He sees best.
Finally, I do this with myself. I use a projection I have of myself (not good enough, never going to make it, not as amazing as others, etc.) against myself as proof that I can’t do something even if I try — so why try? Why go through the process of unnecessary humiliation risking at something I know I can’t do anyway?
What if my projection about myself is wrong? What is I am good enough, am going to make it, am as equally amazing as others, etc.? Then what? Then I’d have to give up my complaint. Then I would be responsible for risking and going for it. And perhaps, in the hard work, the success, the failure, the despair, all of it – in all of that I would find myself, and help others do the same?
The two options are clear.
The world of projections or the world of humanity.
The world of limitation or the world of possibility.
The world of being judgmental or the world of being curious.
Then, I could let others be them. God could be God.
And I could be me. Purely, truly, wholly, me.