Enneagram…Where do I start?
The Lemon Bars (Kidding…it’s the Intro)
You know those recipe websites where you spend five minutes scrolling down a page just to find a recipe for the perfect lemon bars? I mean, I am glad Susan learned to talk to squirrels on the walk where she found lemon trees and those lemon trees inspired the “perfect lemon bar”. This isn’t one of those posts.
People want to know about the Enneagram so I am just gonna start with the resources, as many wonderful ones as I can realistically add to one post while leaving room for a follow-up in a few months. I will include my own Enneagram number and story AFTER the resources and would love for you to read that too.
The Resources (First…as promised)
- The Road Back To You, Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile
- The Path Between Us, Suzanne Stabile
- The Sacred Enneagram, Chris Heuertz
- Sibling Revivalry (Guest, Emily Mills from Jesus Said Love) – Episode 11
- Enneagram Panels (panel discussions with each of the Enneagram Types by Joel Hubbard)
- The Enneagram Journey (with Suzanne Stabile)
- The Road Back to You (Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile)
- Enneagram & Coffee (newer podcast)
- Typology (Ian Morgan Cron)
- Atlas, by Sleeping At Last (There is a song for each Enneagram type 1-7 so far, eight and nine expected to drop soon)
Here are the basics, and I really mean basics.
Many people may have heard about the Enneagram but don’t really see how it is any different from something like the Myers-Briggs personality or something along those lines. The difference is this: The enneagram is not about behavior; it’s about motivation. We could all behave very similarly but for very different reasons. It is the reasoning (motivation) behind our behavior explained in the Enneagram, and it can become overwhelming as authors start to talk about your wings (the number on each side of your number) or your stance (aggressive, withdrawn, or dependent), your stress number (where you go when you are stressed) or your heart number (where you go when you feel safe and free). There are also triads (which are groups of three numbers in a row which all share similar strengths and liabilities) and which all share a similar basic fear.
Assessments and Finding Your Type
Finding how you identify (Type) within the Enneagram can take some time. There are assessments located on several of the websites above, which could be a good place to start; but, when you take the assessment, think about your motivation. Why do you do what you do? I started with a quiz, took it twice over the course of a week and got two different answers, so I did a deep dive into the material listed above, had some serious heart-to-heart conversations with the people closest to me, and eventually rested very comfortably and confidently in my number. I believe it takes reading through the various childhood wounds, levels of health for each number and having conversations like the ones I did in order to really get settled into where you find yourself identifying.
As someone with a Master’s degree in counseling I have taken tons of assessments and find that it would be very easy to drift into the psychological aspects of behavior and motivation, but what I have found most from the Enneagram is the depth to the spiritual parts. Monks have used this tool for centuries, it is taught in ministries all over the world and is used to draw us closer to God, remind us that there is so much difference and similarity among us, and be a tool for having healthy relationships in community.
And Finally My Enneagram Story
I identify as an Enneagram Eight, and I love that. It is a commanding personality but one built from a deep childhood wound of growing up way too fast and way too early. Many times I feel as though I am just “too much” for people, but my work in the Enneagram has been such a gift and served as a reminder that the very things we consider our own weaknesses (like always needing to be in control) are the very gifts we offer to the world (like the willingness to be in charge). I have a loving family who truly lets me be myself, offers me a safe space where I can be tender and relinquish control. I have found a legit spiritual director to keep me focused on God as I study the Enneagram. I watch Facebook for local and online events taking place surrounding the Enneagram. I take every opportunity to learn from local Enneagram Guru Dr. Singletary of Baylor Social Work. I have people over my house for coffee to process what we are learning about this journey.