the enneagram hole

Due to all the free time we’ve been given, I finally – after years of wondering which number on the Enneagram circle I am – did the work to find out that I am a Nine. The Peacemaker.

At first, I misidentified myself with a Four before reading the descriptions. Then, I misidentified as a Seven, just as the description of a Nine said I would do. Apparently, a good number of Nines misidentify with both Fours and Sevens because we think we are individualists and/or enthusiasts, but in reality, we don’t know our identity. It kinda broke my heart.

After looking at the Fours and Sevens, Race and I guessed maybe I was a Six: The Loyalist. But I was wrong. I do show signs of a Six, but mostly under times of stress – think high anxiety and worry without direction.

So I gave the Nines a try, like the test told me I was after answering a series of questions. I read the description:

The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: receptive, reassuring, agreeable, and complacent

Okay, not bad. Then I kept reading. The Overview of a Nine. It got worse.

It’s a funny thing how we want to know ourselves to the deepest core of our being, yet when we get there, it’s not always a pretty place and we want out. It’s a hard thing to look yourself in the eye and tell yourself the things you don’t want to hear because you know they are true. I think intrinsically we have an idea of the not-so-pretty flaws, but we often ignore them or cover them with niceties that are easier to swallow. If I were my own therapist, here I’d probably ask myself follow-up questions, like: How’s that going to help you grow? Is that going to make you the best version of yourself? And then, I’d roll my eyes at my therapist and choose not to respond.

If we want to be our truest, highest self, then we’ve got to acknowledge all of ourselves, the dark and the deep, the clear and the light.

Write hard and clear about what hurts.

Ernest Hemingway

It hurts to find yourself. It’s not easy to use your voice. At least for a Nine.

I’ve never fully acknowledged how much inner peace I’ve sacrificed over the years simply to keep the outer peace for others. I’ve never given much thought to, or rather never felt the need to change, the fact that every time I am confronted with a problem, mainly with another person, that I find it hard to express how I feel or why I feel that way. Most of the time, I get quiet, not because I am giving people the silent treatment, but because I am thinking and I am afraid – afraid that my angry head will take over my good heart. I don’t want to say things that would hurt the other person, even though I know the words that could do it, I don’t want to regret the things that I cannot take back after they are said.

In a way, I may be shielding the other person, but I am hurting myself. How can anything be resolved by saying, “It’s fine.” especially if and when it is NOT fine? Maybe this explains why I find it easier to write about my feelings rather than speak them. I am able to get everything out at once without being interrupted, argued with, or ignored. At least my words will forever be on paper, until I burn them away.

Words are a powerful tool for people. Words of affirmation. Words of encouragement. Words of disappointment and destruction. Words are one of the only things you cannot take back.

So here I am, expressing myself, using my words in writing form for all it’s glory and fear and vulnerability. Thanks coronavirus for all the personal time that lead me to my self discovery and feeling the need to share it with others (because I am comfortably at home in the knowledge that I will not see anyone face to face soon).

If you, too, want to dive deeper into yourself, instead of the aimless scrolling that has taken over your life during quarantine, here is the official Enneagram Test. But if you don’t want to pay $12 for it, then here is the free sample, you cheap bastard (me). However, it is recommended that you read through the nine type descriptions before taking the test to get a better feel for what you connect with. Like I said though, I misidentified (a few times) because that’s what we Nines do, so don’t take yourself too seriously until after you’ve figured out your type!

Published by r a y r a y

traveler | photographer | dreamer

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