Often people use huge amounts of energy in thinking about their personalities in terms of high points and their low points.
People who are physically unwell and mentally ill will tend to centre on their low points, extremely mentally unwell people struggle to see any high points at all without the help of medical professionals.
It’s fascinating how we reckon it’s just who we are. We often assume personality traits are in concrete and belong to us for the remainder of our life. I have heard people say,” A Leopard never changes its spots,” For the Leopard this is a fact, but us humans who can plan our future it holds know the truth. Unlike the Leopard we possess the ability to change, we don’t live on instinct alone. Sadly, some people’s behaviour is worse than animals, however, they live with the consequences of their choices just like everyone else.
If we get attached, and we will, all too often it’s an idealized concept of our personality and forgetting to challenge this in terms of, is this really me? As well, forgetting to challenge ourselves when we are on top of the world and the accolades start to roll in. What occurs if we get attached to our personalities and attributes? We begin to think they are us for ever. The reality is everything changes daily and we are nothing more than a product of constant change?
Our personalities have been the consequences of years of change and adaptation. Some of theses adaptive traits are extremely helpful, others hurt our current relationships, vocational choices and often sabotage our peace. Then if the personalities and our attributes are all a fabricated, what do we do?
Foremost of all, stop hanging on to these notions and let go of the ideas like, “ I have always been like this.” You May be telling the truth, however, it’s delusional. We are only adapting, in a manner that seems logical. Once we change this, our personalities change with it. For example the angry personalities says, “ no more anger,” and everything changes for them. Though for years logic rationalised and justified his anger. The perfectionist says, “no more perfection “ and lightens up! And so their whole experience changes and low and behold, they adopt a new personality to suit completely different life experiences. The mind always tightens its grip on personalities by justification and rationally explains who we are.
The idea of impermanence is a key teaching in Buddhism, one that can be misunderstood too. Often it taught in a fatalistic way, yet, truthfully we need to be mindful of change and not get attached to ourselves in such a way that we could not fathom being anything else. It’s not about wanting to change all the time either, some people are never satisfied with who they see in the mirror and hang on every trait that in their perception causes them not to get what they want or, their cop-out for instabilities.
The paradox is we have to accept our low and high points in order to understand ourselves better. This just happens when we let go, especially of who we think or don’t think we are. Realizing the spiritual mind, below is helpful, well for me anyway! The source at Buddhanet.net
‘Dharma means, teaching of the Buddha)
This is used as the translation of the Pali and Sanskrit word Citta. Citta means both the mind that is the thinking faculty in the head, but more especially, mind that is the intuitive, emotional ‘heart’ of our being, and located in our body. It is here ‘beyond the thinking mind’ in the body that the Dharma Mind is to be nurtured, for it is here that Truth waits to be discovered. The thinking mind has its part to play in the discovering of the Dharma, but is to be used only as a skilful means to help sift and understand the verbal and written Dharma that we all take in on our spiritual pilgrim- age of discovery.
I use this term to denote our normal everyday mind and state of being that is goal- oriented and saturated in ego and self- interest. This is ego and self-interest, in its conceit, turns away from the Citta as a whole thus making it impossible for it ever to know the Truth. ‘
Then in conclusion a great starting point is to look at the changes in our life and our reactions to them. Be honest with ourselves, ask the big questions.
Was I attached to an ideologically, unsustainably version of me?
Am I being honest about how I truly feel and is my personality reflecting this?
Do I employ the excuse, this is me and I cannot change that?
Why am I doing the same thing day in day out and feeling bad about it, could it be that it’s just a lie?
Do I like who I see in the mirror?
Theses are just some, you have your own check list. It’s great to experiment too. Let go of something, I.e declutter, or spend less time on vanity items. Maybe, even through some things out, like some old dusty trophy, yes, letting go of egocentric aspects can help. Plus, finding a voice can too, for example, say no, smile or laugh. Nothing of our personality is permanent. It’s entirely a fabrication of life and change.
Some will be infuriated reading this, however, let go of your insecurities too. People will constantly say you use to be like that, in response to your change. Who fucking cares, truthfully nobody, because they are caught up in their own conundrums.
Why create unnecessary suffering and misery in our lifetimes?
But by being honest with ourselves and letting go of aspects can help us create sunny days. We are responsible for our sunny days nobody else. If we obsessed over ourselves and hold tightly to who we believe we are, then storms and rainy days are ahead. Start easy, lighten up, remember the old saying, “ none of us are getting out alive?’ Some great advice from the Buddha below!
‘Overcoming thoughts and thought processes, abides in the second higher state of mind. With equanimity to joy and disenchantment abides mindful and aware, experiencing pleasantness with the body too and abides in the third higher state of mind. To this the noble ones say mindfully abiding in pleasantness with equanimity. Dispelling pleasantness and unpleasantness, earlier having dispelled pleasure and displeasure, without unpleasantness and pleasantness by purifying the mind with equanimity abides in the fourth higher state of mind. Bhikkhus, this is the power of concentration.’
A 5.2 Vitthara Sutta