THOUGHTS ON THE ENNEAGRAM AND MY FAITH

April 4, 2019

Alright guys, I’ve been a big fan of the enneagram lately! I know it’s like.. really trendy right now, and maybe you love it too or maybe you don’t care at all, but I seriously think it is so interesting. I’m definitely not an expert, and I actually just learned about it about four months ago, but I really feel like I’ve been able to learn so much more about myself and the people closest to me through the enneagram. I love talking about this and learning more about it, so I decided to make a post on it to share some of my thoughts and hopefully spark conversation. Surprisingly, the enneagram actually has become a really important tool for me.

For those of you who don’t know (although I’m sure you all know), the enneagram is a personality test that theorizes there are 9 different personality types, and most people relate most to one. The enneagram goes deeper than most personality tests that usually just tell you your basic character traits (i.e. “you’re introverted” or “you recharge from being around others”); the enneagram outlines how the 9 different types view the world, and it’s actually scarily accurate. I love the enneagram because it was designed not to box people into a specific category and be used as an excuse for our actions, but to encourage people to recognize their unique traits and learn more about themselves through discovering their unconscious motives and fears. I am all about self-awareness, and honestly the enneagram has helped me so much in my desire to learn more about myself and how to navigate through life with my unique worldview.

Before I knew much about all the different enneagram types, I assumed that I was a 2 because I read the description and thought it sounded the most like me. I think in one aspect or another, everyone can find some level of relatability in all of the types. It wasn’t until my sister heard me mention that I was “acting like a 2” and encouraged me to take the test and read more about the 4 that I realized I actually wasn’t a 2. Oops.

Do you ever read something that puts into words the thoughts and feelings you’ve never known how to voice? All of a sudden you feel a lightbulb go off and think YES EXACTLY, and it’s actually a relief because you finally know that there is at least one other person out there who understands what you feel. That’s how I felt after discovering I was a 4 and reading all about my type. It’s weird reading explanations for the personality traits you thought there were no explanations for. It’s weird reading that the way you look at life isn’t actually too far off from the way a lot of other people look at it — it makes you feel a little less isolated in your thinking (or it does for me at least!). Learning about the enneagram and my type encouraged me to want to know more about myself and to allow myself to embrace the person I truly am.

In church a few weeks ago, the enneagram was actually a big topic of discussion, which was cool to me. I can definitely see the intersection between the enneagram and Christianity, because in discovering our types and learning to recognize the areas of our types that are unhealthy and changeable, we are able to work towards overcoming those things and being the best versions of ourselves that we can be. As a 4, I tend to make myself the main character of my internal movie in situations that really have nothing to do with me. For example, sometimes when I see girls my age getting married and getting good jobs I think “why don’t I have that? Is there a reason I don’t have it? Maybe I did something to keep myself from getting what I want,” and I end up throwing a full-blown pity party for myself in my head, which can typically result in me feeling sorry for myself for the rest of the day (dramatic, right?). I didn’t even realize this about myself until I read about my type and thought “oh my gosh, I totally do that all the time.” In becoming aware of the unhealthy aspects of my type, I’ve been able to catch myself in the middle of unwanted thoughts/behaviors and ask the Lord to help me change my thinking.

An interview we watched at church during that service a few weeks ago talked about how everything the Lord created brings glory to him. “But, how does a tree bring glory to God? By being a tree. How does a bird bring glory to God? By being a bird.” Humans are the only creatures on this planet who are able to mask who we really are. Something that really stuck out to me in the dialogue between the preacher and the man he was interviewing was an analogy of how Jesus reacts when he sees us being our true selves. It’s as if he joyfully says “there’s the girl I created.” I want the Lord to look at me and see that I am proud to be exactly who he created.

I want the Lord to look at me and see that I am proud to be exactly who he created.

That’s why I love the enneagram. It’s helped me to really pay attention to the way I look at the world and the things I want and fear. I think the enneagram is an amazing tool that can help us recognize parts of ourselves that we may not have given reverence to before. And in becoming more self-aware, we become aware of the areas in which we need the Lord’s help. We also can start to recognize the uniqueness God put into each one of us and can begin to live in the freedom of that.

If you’re into the enneagram too, tell me what type you are! How do you think the enneagram has helped you in your personal walk with the Lord? Also, since I’m always wanting to learn more: what are some of your favorite resources for learning about the enneagram?

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