Doppelganger: Literally, it’s German for “double-goer.” In English it is an apparition or double of a living person. We’ve all seen them, or experienced them at one point or another in our lives.

But recently, I’ve been thinking a lot more about doppelgangers and their necessity (of sorts). Over the past couple of years, they’ve become more prevalent in my life than they have before, and in ways I’d never experienced before.

Oh, I believe everyone has those moments when they see someone in a store, or on television, or on the street that looks so much like someone else we know – so much so, that often we’ll call out to them (or almost do so, and then feel the fool when we realize it’s not them). But how often do people actually meet and get to know both doppelgangers (both the original and the duplicate, albeit at separate times)? And to me, they’ve been reminders that I haven’t really let something go of my past in order to move forward.

It all starts so innocently. I see someone who looks like a double (could almost be a twin) of someone I knew in the past. Unfortunately, that person in my past I no longer hold in high regard, and therefore I project those same feelings of hurt, anger, or disgust, on the doppelganger I see. The more interesting part of this scenario, is that I keep seeing the doppelganger and interact in the elevator or on the street with small talk, etc., and slowly get to know them as a separate person from their evil twin. Slowly, I realize that I need to push down those old feelings, and for once get over it, get through it, get around it, or whatever I need to do to move on and just let it go!

It’s really quite Jungian, isn’t it?

The thing is, it’s not fair to the doppelganger that I’m secretly judging them against the sins of their vile twin (which, in reality, are long gone by now). Regardless, it’s a lesson for me – let’s call it the Doppelganger Lesson – that I still have some bits and pieces that I need to work out; and most importantly, that it’s completely unfair to come to conclusions about someone without actually getting to know them as their own person.

So here’s to the Doppelganger Lesson – that we learn it, and learn it well.