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The Dark Places

The year 2018 nearly got the best of me.

Two physical setbacks (a torn hamstring and a cancer diagnosis) helped me to observe, feel into, and challenge my daily companion — the “Sloth” of my Enneagram Type (Peacemaker 9).

The nine Passions (sufferings) can come into focus and be a healing force when we’re willing to bring them out of their dark hiding places.

Shining the light almost always comes in the form of a question. My question was this:  Is my current physical reality here to teach and show me something?  Oh YES!

Following the thread of my question took me back to age 10 when I spent nearly an entire year in bed with Rheumatic Fever. Over the years it has been easy to recall and relive the sad and desperate feelings of missing out, of wanting so badly to run outside to play, of wanting to be part of things. Now, 60 years later, I am ready and willing to remember the dark truth:

I secretly liked it.

I was removed from the fray. Voices were muted. I was never in trouble or blamed for anything. I had no consequential choices to make. Enforced bliss?

As a recovering Nine, I realize that my unconscious efforts to resist effort (ha!) have actually become quite exhausting. And stifling. This awareness brings me a sense of renewed empowerment and activation. The patterns of our Ego (or Personality) are strong; staying awake to them is very likely the most challenging and rewarding Work of our lifetimes.

Since that year, I’ve faced other life challenges as we all do. With each new day, I am now compelled to ask myself if I also want to wake up.


Kathleen Paterno ~ Enneagram Discovery

~ Kathleen