The Enneagram: Friend or Foe?
Have you heard of the Enneagram? If not, check out this video below before we get started!
FLAW- Blowing Up
LAW- Growing Up
Okay, now that you know what the Enneagram is, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. I pretty much hated the Enneagram. I know, hate is a strong word, but let me explain.
When I first heard about the Enneagram from Stacey and that it was a personality test, I was all on board, right up until the point I took it and got my results. Not only did this test point out what motivated me, it went even further by connecting that motivation with a deep core fear. Uggg, I'm not sure about you, but this test did not feel like my friend. How dare you try to put me in a box, rip me open, and tell me my deepest pain. Thanks a lot, Enneagram! Good lookin' out. Not! If I had it my way I'd stick with the "Discover Your Spirit Animal" or "What Disney Character Are You?" quizzes. I prefer the feel-good kind that leave you with a smile knowing you have the wisdom of an elephant and the unmatched bravery of Mulan.
In all fairness I took the Enneagram test multiple times, and the results bounced back and fourth between two numbers, leaving me a little confused about which box I belonged in and which number was truly reading my soul. Do you want to know what broke the tie? It was actually
songs Stacey introduced me to that captured the heart of each Enneagram number, written by the artist Sleeping At Last. I encourage you to find your own Enneagram number and listen to your own song too. The songs helped me to discover my "for-real" number and now it's official: My name is Tabatha, and I am an Enneagram 7.
This means that I am an Adventure seeking, free-spirited enthusiast. If given my way, I can become a flighty, non-committed, pain-avoiding woman who can't enjoy the right now because I'm too busy believing I'm going to miss out on something. My hate for the Enneagram began to diffuse within me as I realized I couldn't deny any of these accusations. I would much rather laugh than cry because I have walked through pain that if given in to, would surely swallow me whole. And I've missed out on the beauty of living in the right now moments because of my inability to rest in the present.
So here I stood confronted. With myself. In all my strengths and weaknesses. Then I did what any woman who has a Friendship blog would do: I looked up how my Bestie's number and mine worked together. The first sentence made my heart flutter. Our numbers were pretty much polar opposites, which meant we had the potential to either work well together in our strengths or blow up in our weaknesses. We literally had to face our biggest FEARS in one another.
So here we stood with Stacey as an Enneagram 1, this powerful and purpose-driven perfectionist who longed for connection and loyalty standing beside me, a free-spirited, adventure-loving, commitment-phobe creative who despised perfection. WOW. I literally saw why we previously BLEW UP in the first place, and the thought of pulling each other down again was enough for me to want to pull out a paper bag and breathe into it. It seemed to me that we were destined to die, which is what I told Stacey, but she stopped me with these words:
"Our friendship did die, and then God resurrected it. The blow up and coming back together has made me appreciate what we have so much more than I ever did. It's not going to blow again."
You see, when it comes to Friendship, just like the Enneagram, we both come to the table with strengths and weaknesses, but when we invite Jesus to the table, something changes. Eyes that may have once saw her as trying to box me in and make me conform began to see her as someone who could make my life into a dart of precision and purpose instead of a series of aimless wanderings. And maybe, just maybe, my free spirit would allow her to escape into the places of fun and freedom she longed for, without borders, not afraid that I would leave, but knowing that I would be her adventure and she would be my compass.
I'm realizing that God gives us a best friend because not only can they handle our biggest fears, but they can help us overcome them too. Maybe that's the reason our biggest fears are found in one another. Only God would think to take our deepest fears and place them within someone we love, so that not only do they become a place of living confrontation, but the safest place to become brave, healed, and whole.
This past month we have been talking about expansion, and when I allowed the Enneagram to be used as Friend instead of Foe, it expanded my ability to:
- See myself in an open and honest way, even if it scared me
- See how I relate to others and how they relate to me
- See how God can take a tool like this test to show me areas of much needed change
- See how God partnered me with a Friend who can help me combat
the negative motivations within me with truth, love, and the ability to heal and grow
I declare a Truce, Enneagram. You're not too bad after all.
Join us for this Friendship Friday Podcast @theflawsoffriendship on all things Enneagram and Discover how this personality assessment can help you expand your capacity to grow as a friend!