Sunday, March 25, 2012

romantic mediating

--> I picked up “The Essential Enneagram” by David Daniels and Virginia Price and I followed the directions in there to figure out my personality type.  Even though you’re only supposed to pick one, I see that I fit into both the Mediator and the Romantic.

According to the description of the Mediator, at some point I came to believe that “The world treats people as unimportant for what they are, and requires them to blend in as the way to experience a sense of comfort and belonging.”

Because of that belief, “I learned to forget myself and merge with others.”  Therefore, it follows that I focus on what others want or demand, putting energy into pleasing them and maintaining peace.  Taking a position, saying no to someone, making timely decisions, and setting priorities are all things that stress me out.  And I have the tendency to make commitments I don’t really want to make… although now that I have children I use them as an excuse to back out of things.

The authors suggest that I can become better by paying attention to my own needs, reminding myself that I matter, and noticing when my ruminating keeps me from making priorities and taking action on them.  Okay, I get it.  It would be beneficial for me to practice loving myself as well as I love others.

The book says others can support me by

-       encouraging me to express my own position
-       ask me what I want and what is good for me, and give me time to figure out the answer
-       allow me to acknowledge my anger
-       encourage me to set and keep my own boundaries, limits, and priorities

As the Romantic, somewhere along the way I came to believe that “people experience a painful loss of their original connections, leaving them feeling abandoned and feeling that they are missing something important.”  Romantics usually focus on either the past or the future and tend to neglect the beauty of the present moment.

According to Daniels and Price, I hinder my personal development if I let “my strong feelings run the show” and become inactive.  Hmm.  Yep.  I also hinder myself when I think I won’t measure up, when I’m self-absorbed and when I downplay improvement that’s not dramatic, thereby becoming discouraged.

Others can support me by

-       encouraging me to focus on what is positive in the present
-       honor my feelings and my idealism
-       let me see that they understand me instead of trying to change me

So.  Here’s my attempt at describing my personality in one sentence.  I’m an idealistic and easily discouraged people-pleaser with a propensity for self-absorption and lack of self-care.

This is all kinda sorta helpful, but what it really boils down to is that, although there are some good things about me, I’m flawed so I need something bigger and better than my own personality in order to live well.  If I gathered only the positive parts of each of the nine personality types and made a list of them, would it make a fitting description of Jesus??  I’m not gonna make a list because I’m lazy.  However, if you really want me to then I’ll probably do it just to please you.

Except it's much, much nicer to trust and not worry about any of that.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

it happens

                         Do I contradict myself?
                         Very well then I contradict myself,
                         (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

                          --Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

matthew 9:20-21

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.  She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed."

flickr Creative Commons: eflon

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

the picnic

Sometimes life gives me a friendly swift kick in the arse.  On the weekend our two-year-old son, Trevor, suddenly developed a nasty barking cough, and in between his fits he struggled with tiny, noisy gasps for air.  I recognized it was croup (he's had it before) but just the same, my stomach dropped, my muscles tightened, and I said, "I think we need to call 911."

Instead it was decided that I would drive him to the hospital.  Every couple of minutes, I'd look into the rear-view mirror and ask the little duffer if he was okay and he'd respond with a feeble "yes" and then go on coughing and gasping.

While we were waiting for the male nurse to enter information into their computer, the boy hacked up some phlegm and instantly drew in a deep, clear breath.  His cough was gone and he was ready to party.

We were sent to a room.  It was a lovely room, really, with a door rather than the usual hospital curtains, and colorful fairytale paintings on the wall.  He was well-behaved for the nurse, and also for the doctor, who told us to wait an hour before going home.

It was about one o'clock in the morning, but Trevor figured it was play time.  He opened his little hands to me and said, "Here's some chocolate raisins!" and that's how our pretend picnic began.

I remembered all of this tonight, as I smothered him with kisses before bed, and my heart swelled huge with joy.