©2000-2007 by Richard Siena
Personality, derived from the Greek word Persona, which is the mask an actor wares, describes how people view us as we go through life. We each have a mask that we ware, sometimes it is a shield that we put up to protect ourselves from the outside not letting our true self to shine to our fullest, other times it stops up from doing things that we want to do.
I think our true self is as an exemplification of our spirit. If you have ever studied Martial Arts, they often speak of letting your spirit come through. This is your inner being, your true self. The self that is not inhibited, just does what it needs to do without fear of judgment or rejection and without hesitation.
I think it is our goal to strive to allow out spirit to come through to make our inner spirit, our inner persona or personality the same. Things in our personality, either things we like or dislike about ourselves, for example being shy, are there because it does something positive for us. A certain behavior may protect us from exposing ourselves and becoming the object of ridicule, or it may protect us from entering into an unknown situation, which may prove to be dangerous. Where this goes wrong is when this personality trait prevents us from functioning in situations that we would like to. For example, being shy may help us to be safe but it may hinder us from making relationships with people who we would like to be our friend. If we allow our spirit to shine through and put aside our shyness then we can be free to enter into the desired relationship and to accept the consequences of our actions. In this case, it may be rejection or acceptance of the desired relationship. It is a life long process to bring out our true spirit and at times a difficult one. It involves other aspects of ourselves, to use Freudian term, our ego may be damaged if we do not know how to handle a situation and we may subject ourselves to self-ridicule and self-doubt. If we understand that we may be rejected and that it is OK to be rejected and move on to the next situation then, we can console our Ego and allow our spirit to come through.
In any case, aspects of our personality protect us and ALWAYS do something positive for us. If we replace the aspect that we want to change with something else, it will be easier to change. For example, a habit that we think is bad, like smoking, may be bad for our health but it does something positive for us. Like adding to the personal image, we have of ourselves. If we wish to quit smoking then it becomes easier to do once we replace that smoking habit with something else that is not damaging to our health. Our Ego and personality will not be happy if we just decide to quit without replacing the need that it fulfills.