Daily Insight from the Story of The Little Prince

When we feel a strong affection for someone, there is invariably an element of fantasy in this affection.

If we are on a path to becoming a spiritually conscious individual, it's possible we will become aware of this element of fantasy.

If our awareness deepens we may even discover we are engaging in a measure of projection onto the individual, ascribing to them characteristics and qualities that are not there but that are aspects of our own longing.

We project onto the other what we yearn for within ourselves, expecting them to meet the need we have for these qualities.

In other words we have a dream of the ideal man or woman, and this figment of our imagination becomes our expectation of the actual person to whom we are attracted.

This happens not only in romantic relationships but also between parents and children, who project their own expectations and unfulfilled desires onto their offspring, as well as in friendships and other ways in which we connect with people.

But it's in romantic relationships that we see this element of fantasy most clearly. This is what the eighth chapter of the story of the Little Prince begins to teach us.

Through the Little Prince's experience we discover what it is to be overwhelmed by someone's loveliness, then gradually work through our fantasies and projections until we can see the real person, which is where the possibility of real love instead of emotional enmeshment arises.

When the gorgeous flower that has sprouted on the Little Prince's planet unfurls her beauty, the Little Prince is filled with admiration. It's the experience of being knocked off our feet, to the point that we are bowed down at the person's feet emotionally in what looks and feels like worship.

Except it's not really worship. For worship has to do with seeing a person's worth, and at this point in the relationship we aren't seeing the real person but a mix of actuality, fantasy, and our projections.

This journey is going to take us from the emotional neediness that drives us to as it were “worship at someone's feet,” putting them on a pedestal, to connecting heart to heart. We want to know a real person as a real person, in full authenticity.

In most cases we either surrender to the forces of our unconsciousness, rationalizing our unconscious drives, or we ignore them. Neither is healthy, but most of us know no alternative.

If we surrender to our unconsciousness, we will play out the fantasy for a while, which will in due course turn from adoration to resentment. We'll start critiquing the person's faults as they come into view, at the same time projecting our own unresolved issues onto them. This is what leads to tumultuous relationships and breakups.

If we simply ignore, we live together in a mundane, dull existence in which little real connection ever happens.

Thankfully we aren't imprisoned between these alternatives. There is another way, a path that leads to wellbeing and growth.

This is the path of making our fantasies and projections felt for what they are, so that we begin to see clearly who the other person is and who we are in relationship to them.

This is a story of how initial attraction turns into disappointment, but that if we have the courage can become the grist for true love.

Author's Bio: 

David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving--A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors. If you would like to go deeper into being your true self, powerfully present in the now, we invite you to enjoy the daily blog Consciousness Rising - http://www.namastepublishing.com/blog/author/david-robert-ord.