Have you noticed there tends to be a lot of focus by spiritual teachers on false personality? And rightfully so, as our false personality is opposed to our spiritual growth and enlightenment.
Fortunately, there’s also an aspect of you that works in opposition to false personality It’s your true personality and you can cultivate it and have it assist you in your desire to grow personally and spiritually.
To clarify, your false personality is who you imagine yourself to be. Its development begins at an early age and is more or less fully in tact around adolescence. Many factors influence our false personality – parents, siblings, peers, teachers, society, television, film, advertising, etc.
As a child, its one’s false personality that believes having the latest, greatest pair of Nike shoes or wearing a certain brand of clothing will make you popular at school.
As an adult, its one’s false personality that believes that money will make you happy or driving a sports car will make you more attractive and successful.
It is our false personality that wants to be liked and seeks the approval of others. Consequently, it’s also the part of us that judges, gossips, lies, cheats, and does a myriad of other things to appear better than someone else.
For the spiritual aspirant, it’s important to be aware of and work against the desires of our false personality for two big reasons: one, because it is an imaginary picture of oneself (key word being imaginary), and two, our false personality does not want us to be present or grow spiritually because that leads to its demise.
As the Buddha began to awaken, he saw the power of false personality and its role in human conditioning. He taught a way for us to overcome false personality and spiritually evolve—his Four Noble Truths…
1. Suffering exists.
2. The cause of suffering is one’s desires, wants and cravings (false personality)
3. To end suffering, lose your desires, wants and cravings.
4. To rid yourself of your desires, wants and cravings, and reach nirvana, follow the eightfold path: right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right meditation.
The more one’s false personality diminishes, the more your true personality is revealed.
And that is what I want to focus on now – your true personality.
Some of you may not even be aware that you have a true personality. It’s tied to your essence.
We have two types of essence, spiritual and physical.
Your spiritual essence is your soul, the part of you that is divine and eternal.
Your physical essence encompasses all of those qualities that are innate to you and can be observed at a very young age.
Your physical essence includes:
· Being left or right-brained
· Being a positive or negative type
· Knowing which centers of your brain (moving, instinctive, intellectual, emotional) are more naturally predominant
Activities that are in our physical essence are much easier for us. They also tend to be activities that we enjoy and naturally excel at.
When we are living in our essence, life is easier because we are being true to our physical selves. When we stray from our essence, we engage our false personality and life becomes more problematic as we are then more concerned with our desires, cravings, attachments, and fears.
Have you ever lost yourself in an activity? Have you ever been fully engaged in doing something that you lost track of time and seemed at one with the task at hand?
This often happens to me when I’m gardening. It’s in my essence and when I’m working in the garden, I easily become very present caring for my plants, my hands in the soil, feeling at one with nature.
In these moments, I will often receive inspiration from above (Spirit) to assist me in something I may be working towards in my spiritual work, or I will be shown how I could have handled a situation better by being more loving and compassionate.
True personality is tied to essence and aligns with the needs of essence and our spiritual work.
It is your true personality that alerts you it’s time to go to the beach or the mountains to recharge spiritually. It is your true personality that encourages you to be more creative, to be more playful, more imaginative, more engaged in life.
True personality encourages us to do things in our essence.
When we operate from our essence, we are naturally less negative as we are closer to being in harmony with our true selves. The farther we stray from our essence, the more negative we become.
Have you ever encountered someone who hated their job? Most likely, their job was not in their essence. It may be a job they initially thought they might like, or pursued it to please their parents, or they felt some other obligation to do it. No matter the reason, it will be very hard for that person to become fulfilled in that occupation.
For example, I know someone who hates their job to the point that they say that if they were making three times their current salary, they would still hate their job. I keep trying to encourage this individual to do something more closely tied to their essence, but fear (false personality) keeps getting in the way.
So, if you are unhappy or unfulfilled, is it possibly because you are not being true to yourself? Is it possible you are not living in congruence with your physical and spiritual essence?
If so, take a few minutes and ask...What is my physical essence? What do I naturally excel at? What activities do I gravitate towards? If you need help, ask yourself what you enjoyed as a child or ask someone who knew you as a child what you were like. Others who know you well can be of great benefit in determining characteristics of your essence.
And if you are in an occupation that is not in your essence and you cannot change jobs due to your circumstances, don’t be dismayed.
Find activities or hobbies that you can do in your free time that are in your essence.
If you dreamed of being a writer, take a creative writing class and investigate self-publishing. If you always thought of being an actor, check out your local community theatre. If you wanted to be an artist, take a drawing or painting class.
And don’t let your false personality tell you that you’re too old. Louise Hay started Hay House Publishing when she was 60. Julia Child didn’t appear on television until she was 50. Grandma Moses didn’t start painting in earnest until she was 78.
As you begin to live more from your physical and spiritual essence, you will find your true personality naturally aligning with Buddha’s eightfold path. You will begin to have thoughts encouraging you towards right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right meditation.
And your personal and spiritual life will flourish.