Reconnect with your real essence, not your fake personality
I recently purchased "Our Moments: Conversation Starters for Great Relationships." It is a deck of cards, each posting a single question meant to spark a discussion with your significant other. I brought them on a recent trip to the beach with my wife.
One of the first cards I pulled from the deck asked, “What have you lost since childhood that you would like to regain?”
I paused for a moment and said, “A sense of playfulness, innocence and wonder.”
Only upon thinking about it further did I realize I was describing my essence.
Our essence consists of how we are biologically and is largely determined by the genes we inherit from our parents. It encompasses how we operate in the world, meaning whether we are active vs. passive, positive vs. negative, and introverted vs. extroverted. It also includes whether we are predominantly a moving, emotional, instinctive or intellectual type.
Simply put, your essence is who you were as a very young child. It is the "real" you, the you that existed before you developed false personality, which are all the qualities of your personality that you acquired from family, peers, teachers, society, media, etc. When stripped of false personality, you exist in your essence.
If you begin to remove what is false, what is true-essence-is revealed. This is an important part of the spiritual path.
Removing false personality allows you to more easily access the spiritual dimension as false personality is the main source of our negative emotions which serve to prevent us from being present. False personality is also the root of a majority of our problems.
Jesus said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom from heaven.”
To me, Jesus is describing returning to your essence. Essence is playful, innocent, joyful, loving, nonjudgmental, with a sense of wonder and awe. It is how we were as children before we developed false personality.
For most people, false personality is active and essence is passive. Part of being on a spiritual path is to work towards making false personality passive and essence active. In this way, you become the "real you" and can then begin to grow in essence — you become who you were meant to be, not who you imagined yourself to be.
The primary way in which we work to remove false personality is by resisting the desire to express negative emotions. This allows us to observe false personality.
Another way false personality is weakened is through suffering. Both methods of working against false personality are difficult. Leo Buscaglia, one of my favorite personal growth authors, once said, “The hardest battle you’re ever going to fight is the battle to be just you.”
But, the rewards are worth it. As you connect with your essence, you will notice life becomes easier. You begin to see the life you were destined to live, not the life you imagined you would live.
There is a great sense of peace in this realization as you begin to no longer struggle with trying to become something you are not, but instead blossom into the person you were always meant to be.
Spiritual teacher and life coach Sullins Stuart is author of "Living in Conscious Harmony" and "Imagine Believe Become." Additional articles and videos are available at sullinsstuart.com.