The Landscape of Personality

Our personality is the landscape each one of us has been gifted. It has lumps and bumps, curves and edges, soft ground and hard rock. It has safe places and places that are unstable under foot. It has areas that are easy to reach and features that are hidden.

Go to the profile of Patty Everitt
Nov 26, 2018
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I am most fortunate to live within easy reach of a lovely Garden (with a capital G). It is a pleasure to wander there at any time of year. 

The garden has been designed to take advantage of the shape and flow of the landscape. It has formal structures with big engineering flourishes; it has small, intimate spaces; it has colour and shape and movement; it has paths that lead onward and through, without insisting; there are little mazes in which to get excitingly and safely disorientated for a few moments; it has curves and straight edges; height and light and depth. It soothes and does not jar.

Our personality is the landscape each one of us has been gifted. It has lumps and bumps, curves and edges, soft ground and hard rock. It has safe places and places that are unstable under foot. It has areas that are easy to reach and features that are hidden.

Our values and principles are the structures that we lay on the landscape of our personality. How we live according to our values and principles is up to us and our creativity and we will do that in a way that is uniquely and recognisably us.

If we are in harmony with our personality, then our structures fit and flow; if we are in conflict with our personality then our structures change the look and feel of the landscape sometimes brutally and painfully, like an ill-fitting shoe. 

When we hold values and principles that reflect who we are then we can express them creatively in the ways we choose to live. We can choose to: display or to hide who we are; create delightful aspects of ourselves to be discovered or hidden away; set aside wild spaces and spaces to experiment and learn and grow; fashion new spaces and protect and nurture them as they establish themselves. We learn to create paths around marshy ground and through rocky outcrops, bridges over chasms and safety barriers at precipices.

When we hold values and principles that are not in sympathy with who we are, perhaps we have inherited them or perhaps they are no longer relevant to our lives now, then we cover our personality with ill-fitting structures which do not sit easily with us and hide the beauty and complexity of our personality. We might recognise this if we find ourselves:
• Frequently thinking “I must …”, “I ought …”, “I should …”.
• Achieving something and then moving straight on to the next thing without stopping to take pleasure from our achievement.
• Feeling angry and upset because no-one is noticing all that we have done or are doing for them.

When we do not know what our values and principles are then we have no stable point in our lives. With no firm foundation within ourselves then we are likely to behave inconsistently, be swayed easily and feel at dislocated from ourselves. We might recognise this if find ourselves:
• Looking to others to tell us what to do, or to think or how to feel.

Knowing what our values and principles are does not require us to be regimented or static, never growing or developing. Instead, knowing what they are helps us to act in ways that express what is important to us. They are our “moral compass”. Like a compass, the needle may swing but we can always find north.

The hopeful thing is - we have choice. We can re-assess and change what it makes sense to change. We may be able to do that for ourselves or we may feel we could use some help. If you would like a little help and support then please do get in touch.

Go to the profile of Patty Everitt

Patty Everitt

I am a UKCP accredited neurolinguistic psychotherapist, clinical hypnotherapist and coach-therapist. I also offer supervision to therapists. My role is to help you find your emotional and psychological Centre of Balance, the safe place in yourself. From our Centre we have choice. Choice about the relationships in our life and choice about the quality of those relationships. We can choose how we want to feel about events or situations or people. Yes! We do have choice about how we feel. When we are Centred then our physiology is better able to repair and heal and grow so we are healthier. When we are at our Centre of Balance then we can be in the world in a way that expresses the richness of who we are and not who we felt we should be. As a therapist I create a safe space where, together, we can explore your experience of reality and the beliefs you hold about yourself, others and the world. Beliefs may be just that, beliefs and not truths.

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