Is Your Style Cramping Your Style? - Grasshopper
Our surface style is our conditioned personality; our innate style is our character. The more one needs the spotlight, the more other stays hidden in the shadows.
Does this mean that people filled with personality lack character? It depends.
Some people's personality is fed by their character. It's a flowing partnership. Other people's personalities are completely cut off from their character. How can you tell who's who?
Think of a performer whose work you admire (singer, actor, comedian, dancer, musician, etc.) whom you personally would not want to be friends with. Chances are that personality lacks character. When we are drawn to the surface style alone, we are like moths going to a light bulb party. But when we sense we require an internal light source, we are drawn in by character.
Character is your inborn style.
I'm defining character here as philosopher, Alan Watts told us the ancient Chinese defined our true nature – like the fiber in wood or as unbleached silk. Our natural state is our character.
When our natural state gets covered over with too much shellac or red dye #3, it gets cramped and our surface style plays a character that is not supported by character.
The person who we think we are is someone we made up a long time ago, and we pretend to be that person for a goodly portion of our lives. The more pretending we do, the less our character comes through.
Your natural self is peaceful with who it is and doesn't have to artificially add anything to maintain that serenity. The minute you think you need to add something to yourself to be completed, you have been drawn to one more crowded light bulb. And when it burns out, you'll be drawn to another.
Your illumination doesn't come from out there; it comes from having access to your character.
The long way back to your natural style is to wait for the moths to eat away at your outer cloak until you discover you don't need it. You can speed up the process by noticing that your surface style isn't deeply connecting. That will cause you to start removing layers of unnatural buildup and give you and everyone else a glimpse of your character – your natural, uncramped style.
All the best,
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