By Aine Belton
We are all unique mysterious beings and can’t be pigeon-holed, yet our personality selves may have particular tendencies, traits, and signatures.
I’m not saying these are set either, I know many of mine have changed over the years. Somewhat like colours of a spectrum, however, we may tend radiate certain colours more vividly than others. All colours are accessible, all exist within our consciousness, yet some may be experienced and lived out more fully in our lives.
I was at dinner with friends who are ‘personality type’ specialists– their particular areas of study being the Enneagram and Human Design System, which they say have also really helped in their relationship.
There are many other personality typing tools out there, from the personality archetypes explored by Carl Yung and others, Myers-Briggs’ test, esoteric studies like astrology, etc. These can all be intriguing and revealing.
I’m not going to go into any of them here. What I want to share instead is something that struck me about the impact of all of them that you can receive without any of them!
One of the biggest gifts I’ve noticed in anyone, including myself, exploring these, is a deeper acceptance, compassion and understanding of self and others.
You can give yourself that acceptance, compassion and understanding right now!
It doesn’t matter whether you have explored your personality type or are at all interested in how or why you are the way you are, or what any of that means.
You can ACCEPT YOURSELF for exactly who and where you are right now.
Don’t seek to be accepted, seek to be you, and accept yourself for who you are”.
By acceptance I don’t mean ‘resigning to’. If there’s something you would like to heal, change or let go of, loving acceptance is a first step.
What you acknowledge and accept you can more easily let go of and release. It is guilt, repression and judgment that compounds and makes things stick.
The only thing wrong with you is ever thinking there’s anything wrong with you”.
People often talk about a sense of relief they experience through feeling ‘understood’ after discovering themselves through a personality typing system, as if they have received some kind of official confirmation stamp saying “It’s OK that you are the way you are.”
Some seek that acceptance and understanding through visiting a counselor, therapist, reading a particular book, visiting a psychic, or talking to friends.
You can grant yourself that stamp of ‘OKness’, that approval and understanding, without any outside source, obviously.
I’d noticed the gap between people allowing that for themselves by how they would react to having themselves recognized through an external ‘map’ like those above.
This was apparent in an evening talk on the Enneagram I attended, with many sighs and ‘ah-ha’ moments as people discovered which number they were and what that ‘meant’.
“So that’s why I get righteous about justice/prefer to be my own boss/am highly sensitive”, “Aaah, now I get why I sometimes feel like an outsider/am a good listener/love supporting people/am a romantic/conformist/idealist, etc…”, “Yeah, I do have control issues/value my freedom highly/seek pleasure over safety, etc.”
You can accept yourself in entirety whatever your awareness of who, how or why you are the way you are.
You can forgive yourself for anything you’re holding against yourself and grant yourself the love and acceptance you may seek right now.
Owning your inherent value and worth can help with that self-acceptance.
Your worth is innate, given at the gate – the gate of birth as your consciousness ventured forth from Source.”
I remember when I was first asked a few years ago if I knew what Enneagram number I was. I didn’t, but I got an intuitive flash of the number “4” in my mind. When I did the test, I was indeed a 4.
I believe we already know who we are at a deeper level – a part of us beyond our personality self. I refer to this as the Higher Self (and cover more on this in a previous article “Who you REALLY are!” at this link).
Your Higher Self has total understanding and unconditional love and acceptance of you. It knows all you have been, all you are now, and all you are becoming, in this life-time and others, and is aware of the countless possibilities available for your evolution and that which will serve you optimally.
Who we are is beyond any ‘type’. We are complex multidimensional beings with many layers and aspects. We are also not static. We are ever evolving, shedding skins, acquiring new ones, etc. We have a subconscious mind full of beliefs, patterns and stories, brimming with weird and wonderful (or not so wonderful ;)) things.
We also have the ability to re-invent ourselves, to change those beliefs and re-write those stories. And at the deepest level all potential aspects exist within us in the collective unconscious.
I believe we choose our parents and come in to this life with the foundations of a psychological ‘set-up’. I also believe we have many past-lives and experience a great many personalities on our soul’s journey.
Beyond any personality expressions, within us exists pure consciousness. We are a spark of divine love and light, co-creating ourselves and our reality, spinning in and out of existences, dimensions, lives and universes.
Being conscious of personality traits, their strengths and weaknesses, can be helpful. What matters most is love and compassion coupled with any self-awareness.
There may be many ‘whys’ to the way you are. You may or may not discover these. You don’t need to know them to accept yourself.
Accepting all of you, the ‘good, the bad and the ugly’, is one of the most healing liberating gifts you can give yourself.
Who you TRULY are is far beyond any personality you experience, transform or transcend in this life-time.
You likely have traits you prefer more in yourself than others. Your ‘less preferred’ traits, or what you may even think of as flaws, may have gifts they are hiding or blessings to bring.
Your flaws can be doors, to gifts and strengths you didn’t know were yours.”
Those less preferred traits may also be a gift to people in your life who have attracted you into their life, consciously or otherwise, for that reason – for your variety of aspects, not just the pretty comfortable ones.
We may also be paradoxical with many opposing traits. I can be geeky and wild, deep and shallow, timid and courageous, reserved and adventurous, social and solitary, shy and confident, introvert and extrovert, etc.
We are all curious fathomless ineffable things.
It struck me with all the complexity of our human nature, the bottom line of what is often being sought through being aware of and understanding that is acceptance.
We may have many selves and many aspects within, yet ultimately we are no Self. The spiritual being that we are is far beyond any personality.
You are a vast magnificent being far beyond anything you may be able to imagine and comprehend.”
You are beyond what you currently know yourself to be. Your image and idea of yourself may also be based on limiting self-beliefs that are not who you truly are.
Radically accept yourself, whether you have any idea who that ‘you’ is or not! It will always be way more amazing than you can consciously register!
Whoever you are, you matter, you count, you are enough, and you are loved. You are here for a reason (not least to love, be loved and have fun), and you are a valuable important piece in the tapestry of this world.
At the heart of who you are lies love, and that love will always lead you back to your heart.