Somewhere along the line we were sold the lie that an enlightened personality would show up a certain way: peaceful, flowing, unattached but deeply emotional.
And this has, not surprisingly led to some odd behaviour from people who want to be enlightened, who think they are enlightened or just want to be seen as enlightened.
You might see diatribes in the name of love, but all AGAINST something that isn’t very clearly specified, a straw man set up to burn. Monologues purporting to be about love, but that come across as more of a wallow in emotion. Or a shit-ton of projecting, starting with a declaration of how you MUST be feeling, ruling out the possibility of other feelings, a list of coping techniques (if you weren’t feeling down, a list of 200 things you should be doing to not feel down will get you there).
What do all these have to do with personality?
They are examples of people trying to be something they are not. Rather than an acknowledgement that the person can show up in a myriad of contradictory ways, there’s an attempt to make the person “good enough”.
Which makes sense, if the person is who you are. But it’s not. What we’re seeing is not the full personality, but a personality in service to an imagined separate self. (And the imaginal is powerful.)
I’m using the word “enlightened” loosely today, as a personality not in service to the separate self (or increasingly less so). This is a scary idea for some, they think they will lose who they are in the world, and need to wear robes and talk in that special vicar voice. (I went to college with trainee vicars, and I had lessons in how to do the vicar voice. I think I might have been their first failure.)
So, what is the difference?
A personality is who you show up as, in the world. We see the personality of a baby very early in life, and we know two kids raised side-by-side can have vastly differing personalities. Yes?
We might learn to believe that our essential being is tied to, or part of, our body and mind. That is, to believe we are a separate self. A personality in service to that belief will have some natural elements suppressed, and others more driven.
As we come to recognise or recall that we were never this separate being, this suppression and driven-ness drop away. Maybe fast, maybe slow.
What does that mean?
First, possible some confusion. We’re not who we thought we were. The parasitic vine was wound so tightly around the apple tree that we didn’t know it as a parasite.
Now, like a leg taken out of a cast, we have withered muscles to exercise. We have space to breathe into all of who we are.
And there may be a coming to terms with that fullness. Turns out, I show up in the world as irritable and judgemental some days. Turns out I’m a soft git who cries at all sorts of things. Turns out, I never get tired of sitting with someone while they come to see who they are for themself. Turns out, causeless joy is never far from the surface, even when other people think it inappropriate. Turns out I can love and support my friends, even when I don’t agree with them.
And then we might hit pockets of conditioning. Like now, faced with the obviousness of absence of control, many are finding a tendency towards claiming authority, or blaming anyone who reminds them of this lack of control. When we’re ready, we explore that conditioning, and become more curious about why we need to turn our internal dissonance on the apparent world.
We, awareness, show up in the world (that lives in us) more fully, more gloriously, uniquely our unbounded personality when we are not in service to the imagined separate self.
Even shorter (TL;DR):
Be you. Be fully you. Let your enlightened personality shine.