I heard this lovely story from Tara Brach:

In the hall of a monastery, was a huge Buddha statue. It wan’t particularly attractive, as it was only made of clay, but the monks cared for it and did their best to show it off by painting it.

However, about ten years ago, it was exceptionally hot and dry, and the statue began to crack. A curious monk, wondering how the statue had been constructed, decided to train his torch into a crack. He was amazed to find a golden light shining back at him. The same was the case when he moved round to another crack.

The monks were intrigued, and decided to carefully break through the clay. Sure enough, within they discovered what is now the largest golden Buddha in southeast Asia that had been covered in clay to protect it from pilfering or destruction during times of war.

And the truth is, we can do the same. We protect our inner being, our true essence with a protective mask, a personality we feel is required of us by the world, but it’s not really who we are. So that now we may have some excavation work to do, to discover our true nature.