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.

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