As you know by now, I am intrigued and fascinated by the Enneagram and how it points us toward empathy for others and kindness toward ourselves.
I’m a Type One.
Singer/Songwriter Ryan O’Neal, of Sleeping at Last, says this of Type Ones:
“…their inner critic is so much more aggressively judgmental and intense than they are to anyone else. They are harder on themselves than they are to the rest of the imperfect world.” (from Episode Four of The Sleeping at Last podcast).
I heard these words and wept, while driving twenty miles an hour through a spring snow storm.
To be known, to be understood, to be loved completely in your imperfections; this is a gift that evokes tears.
Freeing the Heart of an Enneagram Type One:
While criticizing (others and self) comes naturally to the perfectionist, it is based in a deep-seeded longing for everything to be made right, for perfection to win the day so we can live, move, and breathe freely; unencumbered. Yet the quest for it, on this side of eternity, can feel like banging your head on a brick wall or being held back by a leash that won’t give enough, won’t let out enough.
Constantly frustrated, you try to improve, to get it right, to make the abstract fit into a precise mold.
Discouragement quickly sets in when you miss the mark, like a tightrope walker who sees only one way forward and a million ways to get it wrong. Your eyes are fixed on how it must be, on who you must be. Messing up looks deadly. All this pressure positions you to topple under its weight.
Maybe there’s another way, a better way? What if it’s not all up to you to get it right or make it right?
Like a marionette whose strings have made her feel safe yet have entangled her, you’ve lived conflicted.
You look down instead of up, and you begin to truly see—maybe for the first time. There are beams holding up the ladder you have been desperately trying to climb. There is a net to catch you when you cross the line. There are actually no strings holding you up, but there is more safety provided than you every realized.
Grace is yours…above, below, beside, within. There are no strings attached to this gift.
All that’s required is for you to step off the platform and leap…by faith. Hands extended you do not reach for the carrot you’ve been chasing, but you grab hold of that which swings toward you.
It’s force pulls you backwards, which feels counterproductive. Until you realize that this direction will actually help you move forward.
Legs dangling, you feel a mix of embarrassment (which is a familiar companion) and childlike wonder (which you’ve all but forgotten). You’re not sure how to stand in this place as you discover that grace is a gift to be received not a prize to be earned.Getting a hold of grace set this #Enneagram One free. And it wasn’t something I did, but something I received. Click To Tweet
You’re new, yet still you—loved more than you realized, not because you’ve arrived but because you’ve let go.
Freedom is found in the most unlikely place…at the foot of the cross you’ve been trying to climb.
One rung at a time, you’ve been trying to measure up, be enough, finish the work of art. Yet, you don’t have to.
Don’t be discouraged. Your energies, your ambition, your orchestrating are not in vain yet they are welcomed to be repurposed; for a greater glory, for a more compelling story.Perfection is not found in the striving but in the surrendering to the One who perfected the imperfect. Including you. Click To Tweet
Lean into this melody in a minor key, discover the beauty beyond what you can see.
Shift your eyes from the familiar to the majestic. Find yourself there; glory beyond compare. In the wide open space, with no strings attached, grace found in the unraveling.
I can’t stop listening to this Sleeping at Last song, written to honor the heart of the Type One. What song is speaking to you lately?
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