We all tend to project onto others what we don’t want to see in ourselves. Enemy images arise from the fact that we cannot accept what we ourselves are. We are fighting the other in the illusion of being able to distract from our own weaknesses. Peace can arise if we look closely at what we so resolutely reject. A game invites you to pick up all the cards and make the most of it.
You need courage for this game. Because here we meet bristly trolls and fire-breathing dragons, mean goblins and high-nose princesses. It is teeming with thick heads, scratch brushes, insulted liver sausages and black peters. It’s a game where we meet ourselves.
We cannot do this alone. For this we need the help of others. For only they can draw our attention to where the shoe presses, i.e. where a dragon or princess wants to be freed. Through the behaviour of others, we feel where it rubs and zips, rattles and crunches. They show us where something does not sound harmonious with us.
It is not the others who put the discord in us. They only strike the strings of our instrument. So we know where we have something to vote for. No one can take this work away from us. And we can’t take it on for anyone else either. Everyone is responsible for their own instrument.
Cards on the table
So go out into the world — it’s full of stumbling blocks! There is the neighbour who annoys us, the boss who does not respect us, the partner who treats us in the way we do not want. We often despair of it: we simply do not manage to change the others as we would like them to. They just don’t notice. You don’t understand. We can still bend so much on them, it just doesn’t want to work.
Time to take matters into your own hands and take the test of courage. Probably the other person doesn’t mean it anyway, because like us he is mainly preoccupied with himself. So let’s take a piece of paper, scissors and cut a few cards. Let us put them on the table. They are empty. That will change in a straight away.
Let us think of a situation or conflict that is causing us problems at this moment. What bothers us most about this? What do we accuse the others of? Now it’s not about telling the whole story that goes with it. Most of the time, we’ve already got that behind us. Colleagues, sports friends and best friends probably already know her by heart. Here the lyre box is parked.
What words are coming to mind now? What are the feelings involved? There is only one word on each card, like disrespectful, unjust, hard-hearted, stubborn. Let us not put a leaf out of our mouths! Nobody sees us over the shoulder. So: Get out of it! What does the other person simply not want to see? Where does the record hang? What brings us to the palm tree?
Accepting the Black Peter
That is good. But this is only the first step. The test of courage is the second. For this is about recognizing that everything we accuse of another says something about ourselves first and foremost. As much as we try to turn and turn, the compass keeps moving in our direction. It is we who hold the strings of our instrument in our hands.
So if the string is “stubbornly” struck, then in this game the rule is that I have to ask myself how stubbornly I behave. Where am I relentless? What can I not hear, see, accept? Where am I unfair to myself and others? Where do I not respect my own limits? Where am I assaulted myself? …
If you are still reading now, you have already passed the greatest test of courage. He opens up that it is not others who are the cause of his evil, but his own behavior. What follows now is child’s play. So in front of us are cards with words on it that make life difficult for us. The fact is that even if we crump it, tear them, burn them or throw them away, we won’t really get rid of them. They stick to us again and again. So we have to do it differently.
Play all cards
If something does not want to disappear, then there is only one thing left: we must accept it and do something with it, rather than against it. Gritting my teeth, I take my cards in my hand. Not so easy. I don’t want to be like what’s there: thick-headed, relentless, disrespectful. And yet, I am. If I weren’t, it wouldn’t bother me with each other’s behavior. Let him be right? I have my peace.
We see above all what we know about ourselves. Even if we do not want to see it, and even if we turn ourselves upside down, we do what we criticize so vehemently about the other. The more I fight against it, the more I am aming these qualities. And so I really have no choice but to pick up these cards.
Yes, it is. Yes, I can be. Like the person I would like to scratch my eyes to, I can be blind, ignorant, one-sided, selfish, bored, penetrating, mean, stingy, jealous. I am. But I have not only black Peter on my hand, but also a joker: when I have accepted the little one in me, my greatness can unfold. If I accept what I don’t want to be, I will finally be what I want to be. This is the most amazing side of this game.
Self-acceptance, prerequisite for world peace
Accepting its dark sides has nothing of self-incrimination or self-humiliation. It is a testament to greatness to acknowledge one’s own weaknesses and to embrace one’s wholeness inwardly. We can do this with playful cheerfulness and a pinch of self-irony. It’s not bad. This is happening to all of us. Next time we take better care.
What we still have to do now is to remain vigilant. I have ticked a small box for this, in which a few blank cards are always waiting to be described. So I know what is at stake, so to speak, and what aspires to be accepted and dissolved.
I want as many people as possible to play this game. For if we manage to embrace ourselves instead of fighting our own weaknesses in other people, then we will make a great contribution to peace in the world. All we need is a piece of paper, scissors and a bit of courage.