Providing guidance and learning opportunities that invite true self-discovery and transformation.

The Passion of the Challenger

Today I’d like to share a bit about Passions. When we speak of the Passion of any one of the nine Enneagram types, we’re talking about a driving force. It’s an underlying emotional reaction that seems to take us over when we’ve lost contact with our essential nature or who we truly are.

As an aside, it can be helpful to know that the language of the Enneagram often uses terms taken from the monastic tradition of early Christianity. Passions relate back to the seven deadly sins.

When we experience our Passion in real time, it’s like a compulsive blindness. We are on auto pilot, falling into the trap of our pattern. It can be satisfying in a way, but it almost always just makes us feel more lost and unhappy with ourselves. Similar to an addiction, I know it isn’t good for me, but I do it anyway!

So, how does this look for the Challenger?

The Passion for Type Eight is Lust. As used in the Enneagram, Lust describes an intensity that’s expressed through the body. (Type Eight is one of the three Body types.) When Eights feel threatened or unprotected or even misunderstood, they move forward aggressively, with the full force of their energy. This does not always end well.

My Eight friend is stuck right now. She recognizes that her emotional coping, her acting out, is covering up her underlying hurt, shame and grief. She is facing into this barrage of repressed feeling in order to finally be free to express herself with vulnerability and honesty. I’m so impressed by her valiant courage.!

The path to a healthy response requires an awareness of the pattern and the way the pattern is distorting our real essence. After the overreaction dissipates, it’s then possible to remember where you went off the rails, so to speak. Give it some attention. What was your felt sense? What have you lost?

True strength, aliveness and immediacy are the Essential Qualities for Type Eight. In other words, these qualities are Who You Are! Not who your personality tries to be. When you take the time to reflect deeply, your Virtue of Innocence will bring you home.

As beautifully written in the Wisdom of the Enneagram, “If we stay present to our discomfort, we will also feel something else arising, something more real, capable, sensitive, and exquisitely aware of ourselves and our surroundings. This ‘something’ feels compassionate and strong, patient and wise, indomitable, and of great value. This something is who we actually are. It is the ‘I’ beyond name, without personality — our true nature.”

See the Passions for all nine types here.

Kathleen Paterno ~ Enneagram Discovery

~ Kathleen