As I was driving blissfully along the other day, I thought about one of my most puzzling questions and I realized it’s a question that can be very tricky for all Enneagram Types to answer. Each will have its own special twist – of course!
What do I need?? (or want?)
How do I know that what I “need” (rest, emotional support, distraction, exercise, a vacation…) is what I really need or if it’s just giving in to my personality’s more compulsive nature? How do we know that zeroing in on what we need is for our personality’s relief or an honoring of our essential self?
Does the answer require intelligent analysis based on the current situation or circumstances, or can it be found somewhere else entirely?
So, let’s say we are in a somewhat precarious or difficult situation. For me, as a Type Nine Peacemaker, my desire is to move as quickly as possible to a better place! I want peace. I want to reduce the stress and the conflict and do whatever it takes to feel better.
I recently found myself in a situation where I was being unfairly treated. The feelings were painful. I felt judged and it made me angry. It seemed to me that the best solution (what I most needed) was to remove myself from any further involvement. The pull to “go away” was strong and familiar. (These patterns usually are.)
I spent a lot of time in my head trying to work through this. There were outcomes to consider and other people’s feelings…
Okay, now we get to the good stuff. With helpful guidance and a commitment to being present, I was able to notice the sensations in my body that were not particularly pleasant – shallow chest breathing and lots of tension. I was able to acknowledge and feel my true feelings, also not particularly pleasant – anger and pride rising to the top of the list.
My compulsion to run away was strong, but trying that on made me feel very small, like a child who isn’t seen or heard. It can be compelling to fall into habits — in my case, to just disappear. When I unconsciously withdraw to avoid a conflict, there’s a good chance I will lose my connection with myself.
Finding a different solution, action or response sometimes means we have to go against the flow of our usual patterns, but we can only do that when we’re “awake!” You might even be surprised to discover that in your awake and present state, you choose to do your usual thing, but it will feel much different.
My attention to my process brought me to a place where I am free to choose a path of engagement, which as it turns out, feels quite peaceful!