I have bluebirds nesting in the bluebird house I put up early last month. In fact, it takes about 3 weeks from nest building for the babies to ‘launch.’ Consequently, there have been two families to build nests and raise babies in that house.
Several weeks ago a friend, “D,” and I were watching the birds in my yard and he pointed out how the mother bluebird was flying from the house to my car and banging herself up against the rear view mirror; she was attacking the ‘other bluebird’ to protect her nest. The problem was, she was attacking her own reflection. To save her from harming herself, I have covered all of the rear view mirrors of all of the cars in my yard as well as my neighbors,’ with old dish towels. (I knew I moved those tattered towels with me for a reason.)
There’s a lot of psychology written about the concept of being irritated by other people when what irritates us is a characteristic we have ourselves. It is called ‘projection.’ Wikipedia explains it better than I do:
Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude.
Hello…I know I have done this. I will not waste your time or upset myself by enumerating how often I have, or with what impulses…just know, I have. That bluebird, while she may not be denying that she is a threat to other mother bluebirds, sees that ‘other’ bird as a threat. That is the way animals are. They behave that way for survival.
In a previous post, Creation is Evidence of God’s Brilliance, I write about how humans differ from other creatures. Other creatures do what they do for survival. But man writes poetry and seeks to communicate with his creator. Other creatures, do not do that…that I know of. Likewise, I don’t think other creatures ‘project’ the way people do.
I will expose myself and give one example of how I have ‘projected.’ I, for a long time, have been outspoken against hate. Last year I was very ‘present’ on F book, arguing with other people who advocated racism, atheism, humanism, etc. and attacked belief in God, Christianity, organized religion, etc. I was belligerent. I was what you would call a “bitter blogger.” (I have stolen that phrase because it is so appropriate but I do not recall who I stole it from.)
I have attempted to mend my evil ways and listen to my own preaching: You cannot turn a negative into a positive by adding more negative. When I criticize others for being selfish, mean, hateful, self-centered, negligent, an addict, an abuser, a gossip, ignorant, needing to do some research, on and on and on, I might just consider looking in a mirror. I won’t bang my head against it like my mother bluebird, but I should take a good long look, because whenever anyone gets under my skin, for any reason, that is a clue…a good indication that there may be some insight into a character weakness of my own.
I thank Jesus for allowing me to catch my own sins and not be so busy pointing out the sins of others.
(Thank you, Jesus. You’re so good to me.)
To God be the Glory.
The photo at the top is my car with the draped dish towel. In the window, if you look closely, you can see the bluebird house. God bless them.