Any real change one hopes to make to one-self must start with Self-Inquiry. Every tradition religion or philosophy will start by expressing the importance of knowing oneself, and to be true to the SELF.
But, what and who is the self? To me, the Self is not a collection of experiences, traits, or behaviors, likes or dislikes, but the consciousness that witnesses all of that.
So, there is the Me that has a lifetime of experiences, memories, thoughts, feelings and moments. Persona is the perceived identity of a person, that of an actor, or character in fiction. C.G. Jung used it to mean the “Mask” or façade that which represents the exterior that satisfies a given situation, environment or event.
The Self then is our interior landscape. To me the degree that I am free, healthy, or liberated from the influence of the outside world is the distance or the relationship of the Me that is communing with the world in the exterior via my sensory perception and the – I that is and will forever Be. Am I the watcher or the watched, the object or the subject? The more space I have between what I know to be the truth, or the Spark that illuminates this being, this body and the Me in the story, or movie playing on the screen of my perceived self and my part or role in the drama the healthier I have become.
The true self is a drop of consciousness in the ocean of the greater consciousness that is ever present and never changing while the drama of humankind is in full swing on the collective screen that is our shared identity that we believe to be our reality.