How did you get introduced to the Enneagram?
I heard about it a few years ago from several friends, but I didn’t really get into it until I read The Road Back To You (most of it) by Ian Morgan Cron.
What is it like being a 1?
I mostly identify with a 1 (perfectionist/reformer), but I also identify with several aspects of a 2 (helper). For me, this means I desperately just want to do the right thing, especially concerning other people. I love to have rules to follow. They can be rules that society has put in place, rules that I have imposed based on my own moral standards, or rules that I perceive are expected of me by others. The characteristic of a 1 I most identified with was the intense inner critic. I’m not perfect, by any means, so no matter how hard I try, I do mess up and break my “rules.” When that happens, my inner critic will go into overdrive, causing me to second-guess myself or even spiral into anxiety. However, on the positive side of a 1 with a strong 2 wing, I love people. I love being an encouragement and helping others, and being recognized for that… rather than always following the rules.
Can you share a personal story of your number in action?
I could probably give a story every single day of how I second guess something I said or did. One time as a kid I got germs on my hands (I don’t remember how) and touched my baby cousin. I got so concerned that I had somehow introduced some horrible sickness that would lead to his death, I wrote my aunt a letter explaining all of this and sat in agony until she read it. This was not the first nor the last time I wrote a letter out of worry. The character Monica from Friends says in an episode, “Rules are good, rules make the game more fun!” This could be my life motto.
How has the Enneagram helped you in the process of personal or spiritual growth?
It’s interesting that I love following rules when Jesus constantly tells us it’s not about the rules. Over the past year, I’ve been doing a step study with a program called Celebrate Recovery. It’s been an extremely vulnerable process, but discovering the Enneagram and the number I most identify with has given me such a valuable road map on my recovery process. It’s been an incredibly useful tool to realize I’m not alone, and that the “negative” aspects are not something I have to get rid of or get over. It just means I have to learn how to accept who I am through the grace of God and lean into Him to fight my spiritual battles so that I can FULLY be who He has created me to be. It’s still a process that I’m working through every single day, but it’s brought me so much closer into real relationship with God that is hard to describe.
How has the Enneagram impacted your relationships (eg, spouse, kids, friends, colleagues, etc)?
My spouse has been a huge support in helping me navigate this journey. Especially when my inner critic is extremely loud, I believe God has used him to cut through the noise and be my voice of reason that I can call back to when I start to spiral again. I have an amazing community of support with family and friends. Through discovering the Enneagram, Celebrate Recovery, and this community, I’ve started to more readily grasp the concept of grace. When I am in a healthy state of mind, that grace is so easy for me to accept. When I can accept it for myself, it means I can extend it to others. It means I’m not so focused on staying on top of my own mental health and not giving into anxiety that I can focus on being the wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, cousin, granddaughter, niece, and follower of Christ that I want to be. I truly believe that is God’s calling on my life.