I don’t like walking through my house in the dark.
I know the floor plan, where the furniture is situated, and where the most recent toys are skewed about from the day’s play.
But, should I happen to forget to leave the nightlights on, or should the power go out, my journey through my home becomes one of caution, uncertainty, and slow, deliberate steps. More than likely, I will head straight to where I know the flashlight is…three steps from my bedroom door, on the top shelf of our linen closet. Why? Do I not trust myself to know how to get to my destination? Do I not know my own home well enough to navigate it?
Most definitely not.
There are too many variables, too great of risk of finding an unexpected obstacle and being injured.
So I find my light.
I find something that can guide me.
Just a few months ago, I was introduced to this thing called the Enneagram. It’s been talked about throughout the blogs here and during the podcasts, and I’m sure everyone has their own personal definition of what it means to them and the ways it has helped them grow. But for me, it has become a light. It is guiding me toward my goal of becoming a healthier, more emotionally balanced 6w7. Through my research of what the enneagram is and is NOT, I’ve come to my personal conclusion: the Enneagram is a tool of self discovery and self recovery.
Through researching my type, it’s wing, and the core fear and core desire, I’m discovering many amazing truths, and even more importantly, many areas that I can improve as I move forward. I’m discovering parts of myself that had been buried or had been inexplicable. I’m recovering parts of myself that I had repressed or suppressed because of other people’s expectations. Knowing my Enneagram type has given me permission to be who I am, while also providing me with the knowledge and insight to who I want to become.
The Enneagram has become a sort of guide to bring me back to the person I once was…before the lights got turned off. Before my inner child became traumatized. Before I began stumbling my way through my once safe harbor. It is showing me how my core desire for safety correlates to how I was wounded and betrayed. My skepticism and mistrust…how that all stems from childhood trauma. It has been an eye-opening journey for me, and I’ve barely scratched the surface.
There are so many resources available that it seems almost daunting to dive into…but it’s well worth the effort. And as you launch into this discovery for yourself, it’s been my experience that some people may not be as enthusiastic, lots of doubters. For me, I come from a deeply religious background, and any type of mental struggle, depression, anxiety etc, were labeled as inherently spiritual shortcomings that you must have. With the logic being: if you were a better Christian, you wouldn’t be facing these problems. If you trusted God more…If you prayed more…If you studied your Bible more…If you were MORE. The cliche Bible verses were thrown in the arena.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Now, don’t get me wrong, there have been countless times, daily and even hourly, that the words of Scripture have brought comfort and peace to my soul, and my faith in Jesus Christ has carried me through the darkest night seasons I have ever faced. But, what had been failed to be acknowledged in my childhood was, first of all, that I had been wounded and betrayed and traumatized. This was not a matter of just my thoughts straying from faith, this was trauma inflicted on every aspect of my being and not knowing how to cope or work through it in a healthy way.
It feels kind of crazy for me to see the amount of personal growth that I’ve experienced within the space of about 7 months. I was introduced to the Enneagram during a severely dark time in my life. It’s like every light in me got knocked out, I was stumbling through the motions, trying to do what I’ve always done the way I always did it. And it wasn’t working any more. I stubbed many a proverbial toe against these “little” things that kept popping up in unexpected places.
The flashbacks, the panic attacks, the anxiety, the depression…it began to reach a level of crescendo that terrified me and I knew I had to find help. I began reaching out blindly, trying to find any form of light. Slowly,
I’m finding who I am, the person God made me to be. I’ve been able to give myself permission to be who I was designed to be. I’m finding peace in the PTSD and comfort knowing that I am not the only one who feels and thinks and reacts the way I do. I’m learning that I’m more than just a number on the Enneagram, I am a redeemed child of God, created in His image with all my quirks and flaws. I am also more than just another mental health statistic.
I don’t like walking through my life in the dark. But now, as I couple the Enneagram with God’s word, I’m finding my way in my mind and in my emotions. I’m on my way back and moving on. I’m finding the balance between who I used to be, who I am, and who I want to be.