More Than a Number
I first learned of the Enneagram in 2006. My boss at the time kept talking in numbers and I felt incredibly curious if not left out of some grand, who’s who party. She was convinced I was a two. What does that even mean? What’s a two? And why not a seven? Even numbers are boring! (Or so I thought.)
Whereas I had great respect and trust for this woman, deep down, I simply couldn’t
stomach the idea that I could be reduced to a number. This felt far too pedestrian,
or boxy for the likes of me. I didn’t know it then, but I soon learned, this was the first clue I was not in fact a two, but a four, the Romantic.
I left work that day and ordered the only book I knew on the subject, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert. I devoured it like a marathon runner carb-loading before race day. It became something of a Bible and an oxygen tank for me.
I won’t lie. For the first couple of years, I was “that girl” who’d try to type you in the Starbucks line. I’m pretty sure my friends and family were ready to issue a restraining order if I mentioned those damn numbers one more time. For this dogmatic behavior, I do apologize.
Here’s the thing though. We are all zealots in love during the honeymoon phase. All we want to do is talk about this flawless person (or system in my case) that can do no wrong and smells amazing. However, I believe true love far outlasts the honeymoon phase, deepening and morphing into what comes to feel like home.
Fast forward 13 years. I’m still in love with the Enneagram. As a wife, mom-to-be, psychotherapist, writer, teacher, and dreamer, I can honestly say it’s the baseline I come back to for grounding and refreshment amidst a world spinning on its head. It reminds me who I really am before I put on all those other hats. It continuously, graciously, calls me home to the truth of who I am.
Here’s the catch though: If we stay fixated on the optics of our type—all those behavioral characteristics that name and explain us—and fail to apply it’s practical wisdom to our daily experience and relationships, we miss out on the transformational aspects of the Enneagram. It’s like saying “Sure, I’ve been to Paris!” When you’ve really only had a four-hour layover at Charles de Gaulle en route to Frankfurt. Sure, you saw the Eiffel Tower from your window seat coming in and scarfed down a day-old croissant at the gate, but you never truly got to savor the magic of the city. What a tease!
Are you looking to deepen your understanding of the Enneagram? Perhaps you know your type and want to put this new-found knowledge into practice. Good news, my friend, you’re in the right place.
This fall, I’m inviting you into some exciting experiences to do just that. In the meantime, I’d love to hear where you are on your Enneagram journey. Please feel free to hit reply to this email and share!
Love & Gratitude,