Despair? It’s horrible.
Helplessness? Absolutely not. Get me out of here.
Betrayal? No way! I spend all my energy staying away from that!
Inherent in each of our personalities is a persistent approach to try to not feel upset in particular ways. We don’t want to feel alone, wrong, worthless, powerless, helpless, incapable, trapped or disconnected and our ego structures are devoted to ensuring we that don’t.
Except they fail. Regularly and consistently, they fail. All of ours do.
In fact, as we look longer and more closely at the effect that our personality “security systems” have on us, we begin to see how our enneatypes themselves can add to our suffering. And maybe that’s how it’s supposed to work so we eventually open to something more.
Coming from type Nine on the Enneagram, for example, I may be able to acknowledge over time how my habitual avoidance of conflict ends up creating even more inner and outer conflict for me. This awareness can be very useful, as I consider my situation from beyond my usual lens of type. If conflict is unavoidable in life, how do I want to engage it?
Such realizations can also stir a tendency in us to think of our enneatypes as wrong, as trouble, and in need of overthrowing. But seeing our automatic tendencies as the enemy or as something to be eradicated also adds pain and frustration. Is there no way out of this maze of human suffering?
It turns out that looking for the way “out” can be part of the problem. If I tell myself I shouldn’t be experiencing what I’m experiencing, I add another layer of angst.
So what is another way?
Continue reading “The Trouble with Turning from Trouble: Are You Running in the Wrong Direction?”