Back in 2017, I was introduced to a podcast that both intrigued me and sparked some real questions about myself. I’d done personality tests before and although interesting, their impact was temporary, mostly just fascinating. However, after listening to this 2 hour podcast, I identified with one type and felt comfort by knowing that I was not so alone in my experience with the world. The descriptions and motivations, reactions and feelings described for each personality type were so well developed, that I could see images of each of my children and myself reflected, with all of their conflictions and behaviors. It was like someone had done the most powerful parlor trick I’d ever experienced. And it started me on a journey.
I immediately went to Amazon and purchased two books, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert AND The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. This was daunting reading. With my busy “in the middle” life, I could only scratch the surface. Thankfully, a sweet neighbor, who was also on this journey, invited me to participate in a small group going through “The Road Back to You.” I jumped in! And it was so worth my time!
The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system that offers 9 personality types. It provides a way to know yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, and why you see and relate to the world in a particular manner. Further, it offers hope. Seeing the things that trip us up, the enneagram helps us to move beyond them and walk into a path of wholeness. This is not gospel, but a tool. The more we begin to understand ourselves, the more we see the need for God’s grace; and the more we grow in compassion for others. This compassion opens up the door to love, not the love that leaves people hurting, but one that draws others into the journey with you in discovery and redemption.
The book has prompted some deep and meaningful conversations with my spouse, my children, and friends. It has helped me relate to difficult people and know when I need to push through tough things and when I need to take a break and breathe. Cron and Stabile do an amazing job of introducing us to self-discovery in a simple way.
In 2019, I will be revisiting this book through the Enneagram. The study of this personality typing system is more than just a conversation piece, it has the potential to help us uncover a path to becoming the best version of ourselves.
Here are links to a book and study guide. You can purchase through the links. Take a peek!