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You Are Not Your Personality

by Sopan Greene, M.A.

The #1 reason you usually only get a temporary fix from motivational programs, self help books and personal coaches is that they focus on your personality. This is the place where inner growth must begin, but it's also got it's limitations. After you become an observer of your personality then it's time to move on.

Is it that surprising to hear that you are not your personality? It shouldn't be. Think back to the difference in your personality every 5 years of your life. What did you like and dislike when you were 5 years old? How about when you were 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, etc.? Were your likes and dislikes the same at 10 years old as they are now? I doubt it. Maybe your favorite color still blue, but twinkies and bubble gum don't taste as good as they used to do they?

Sure, there are some cultural preferences that stay with you based on where you grew up and what generation your'e from. But most of the opinions you used to define yourself 20 years ago have been left in the dust or at least changed as you've grown up haven't they? When I was 13 I couldn't wait to drive and I wanted a Trans Am because my personality thought they were so cool. By the time was 16 you couldn't have paid me to drive a Trans Am because my personality thought they were so uncool.

It's kind of funny how most people define themselves by these temporary opinions that create limiting labels of who they are. If someone says they're a democrat or republican or rich or poor or an American does it tell you who they are?

At best it reflects how their personality views themselves and the world today. At worst they're labeling themsleves, cutting off options and creating separation between themselves and beings who they perceive to fall under lables different from them. It's arbitrary, limiting and hurtful to box yourself in like that.

So if you aren't your personality who are you? You are a spark of God's light wearing a human body and a human personality that both change and grow and eventually die. When you die, your spirit, higher self, slice of God or whatever you call the being inside your human body will go on.

Close your eyes for a moment (after you read this paragraph). Notice the thought that just came into your head. Who noticed it? Was it a being that can be defined by the city it happens to be in right now or the kind of car it likes? Or was it a being that can't be defined but seems to be with you as you all the time?

If you have done psychological and/or spiritual work on yourself then this comes as no surprise. You may have had the priveledge of experiencing the being the you are. Many people have transpersonal (beyond the personal) experiences with their spirits in moments of crisis, near death experiences, car crashes, traumas, in nature, in meditation or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you aren't consciously working on your inner self, what you need to learn generally shows up through the physical world. Unfortunately, in many cases these happen in extereme conditions which appear to be negative like the ones mentioned above.

Alcohol or drug induced states are an example of this. Why do you think hard alcohol is called "spirits?" It's because after a certain level of consumption the alcohol lowers the energetic field of your personality to where other spirits can enter your body.

When the alcohol wears off and your level of consciousness rises again the spirit pops out of the body. This is why people report being drunk and blacking out. They don't remember dancing on the table naked because their spirit wasn't the one in the body dancing naked. Haven't you ever seen someone you know act like a totally different person when they're drunk? Well, this is whats happening.

So you can see how you can easily forget who you truly are while getting seduced by the daily distractions you face each day. But with a little conscious effort and focus on what and who matter most in your life you'll reconnect with the spirit that you are.

Love your personality. Observe your personality. Care for it like the child of yours it is. Just remember that one doing the caring is your spirit. It's the adult who patiently parents the personality and sometimes needs to remember to not give in to the childish desires. It's a balancing act that takes conscious awareness to nurture, but you can do it.

© 2004 Red To Greene, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Hi, I am James Barton the founder of VirtueScience and Author of "Inner Medicine" which details my discoveries regarding the virtues along with practical exercises to awaken natural virtue. I have a wide range of interests but the main focus of this site now is the virtues and character. Please feel free to explore the site and comment on any pages that you are interested in/agree with or disagree with.
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