I recently started a long and feverish wander into enneagram. I took a quick little test, multiple times and got multiple answers. It was initially very confusing. So I abandoned the whole thing. Months later a friend talking about how it was incredible for his work and personal relationships, about how it plays out in his day to day life, about how it helps him to see and work with his most broken parts. And all the things he said sounded like me. Reignited, I investigated if we shared the same personality. I mean, I have loved him since high school….could it be because we’re the same person and I’m an ego-maniac? I think, yes. It turns out I collect people of the same personality as me and keep them as my favorites. For life.
A specific component of my personality struck me- right in the truth spot. I am regularly seeking fun things, the next great adventure, another mountain to climb. But when I am operating under stress, in an unhealthy manner it’s not an adventure I’m seeking; it’s an uncomfortable emotion I’m running from. And I was acting in that. My stress behavior had me scrolling through airline tickets, but not for a great adventure, but to leave the confusion and disappointment I was feeling in that moment in my life. I was running away.
I hadn’t even realized that the angst was building below. It had yet to make it to my consciousness but the behaviors were showing they were there. I felt like a puzzle- all the pieces in disarray got clicked right into order when I had this new language and insight to use to understand myself.
I have learned that my response to those stressful emotions doesn’t have to be booking a flight and running from my life. I can also acknowledge the loneliness or sadness or whatever it may be. Then I can be present in it.
So I am practicing yes to that right now. I have an exhaustion and discontent brewing below the surface. I’m not even sure why. But instead of pouring cabernet or having a syrupy sweet latte, I am going to tip my hat to the conflict and remain. I see you.