Here’s an interesting thought: we can have different types of relationships. More specifically, we can have:
* relationships of projection
* relationships of interaction
Listening to this while driving along the other day, I never did find out who the person was who said that, or even what radio station I was listening to! But damn near drove off the road as my brain veered into the, “Well, that’s it exactly!” territory I love falling into from time to time when I hear others explaining what I’ve tacitly understood but never articulated.
I turned the radio off, and drove through a beautiful winter landscape mulling this over. Reviewing so many relationships with so many animals, there were the deepest, most joyful, most comfortable relationships in my memories. There were also challenging, difficult, uncomfortable relationships.
Relationships of projection – these were times where my needs, wants, desires, hopes, dreams, ego, failures and follies were projected on to the animal. Inevitably, these were relationships where I was blind to who that animal was, to their needs, their desires, their communications with me.
Relationships of interaction – not an automatic bliss by any means, as interactions can of course be one-sided as well. It is possible to interact with carelessness, callousness, even cruelty. Or with a simple ignorance (which isn’t bliss.) But when I truly shared a moment or an adventure or even simply a sunset with an animal, content in my own skin, no goals except to have a WE moment, well then… memorable stuff happened, sometimes just by breathing in and out in the company of an animal friend.
What about you? How do you experience relationships of projection vs. relationships of interaction?