Successful personalities get paid a lot of money.
We tend to admire and glorify those with the most engaging personalities.
And from these examples, we adopt our own to try and get what we want—love, respect, fame and even their opposites.
The personality is what masks and protects your self from being seen, and from being punished or rewarded.
The self is the "you" beyond personality. The you that doesn't act. The you that just is. The you that needs nothing.
You could describe the self as utterly unremarkable and, also, utterly remarkable at the same time—like a cloud.
The self is where our authentic thoughts and feelings arise from. Thoughts and feelings that may come into conflict with socially-agreed upon norms, or cultural and familial expectations. So we bury the self and adopt personalities.
For those walk the path of truth, a significant portion of the journey is spent undoing the personality, which means learning to identify between the you that looks for approval and validation and the you that just is.
Through this process, we steady. We move from being externally-oriented to internally-oriented. When we are externally-oriented, we become like ping pong balls, bouncing this way and that, utterly controlled by the whims circumstance. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Sometimes here, sometimes there.
This life becomes crazy-making in the end, fun thought it is.
When we are internally-oriented, we self define. We do not go outside looking for the answer. We move because we are moved not because we feel we need to (or else).
Theatrics lessens, drama lessens, and harmony increases.
To move beyond personality requires great personal sacrifice. We have to give up wanting. We have to give up lust. We have to give up greed. We learn to say, "I have enough because I am enough."
Yes, the personality will help you get what you think you want or what others say you should want but at what price to your self?
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
— Mark 8:36
It begins to hurt, leading with your personality. Something feels missing and as yet unfulfilled. All the riches you acquire begin to taste bitter.
Renunciation is now desired. Renouncing from the world does not necessarily mean shaving your head, donning robes, and begging for alms. No. Renunciation, above all, is an internal disposition.
It is a choice we make to give up false pretences. To give up seeking approval. To give up seeking validation. And while this may entail some outward changes to appearance, more than anything, the choice charts us on a new course toward a new destination.
We are looking for ourselves. Not who we think we should be but who we really are.