The Enneagram is not especially cool right now. It came to popularity in the US in the ’70s, and while astrology has gotten a breath of fresh air through the social justice lens of folks like Chani Nicholas, there’s no similarly hot new take on The Enneagram.
So this is not new, and it’s not hip. But you know what? This book cracked some things WIDE open for me…
Maybe the most obvious way to talk about individuation is to say that, in the context of my marriage, if there was a bad feeling, I would look to my spouse to help me with it. Over the years, this mean that basically I held him at least partially responsible for my sense of well-being. Then, suddenly, my sense of well-being was very much my responsibility alone… and ultimately, it always was.
The truth of my anxiety is revealed: I invested all my time in building little walls all over the place to try to shelter myself from pain, but what I was actually doing was denying myself opportunities to learn and become more capable.
So what if I choose to expose myself to pain in small doses so that I can get better at managing it?
Remember when I wrote about making friends as a grown-up? I talked about putting the work in, being forward and direct, and making plans — not just talking about making plans! Friendships don’t “just happen.” But sometimes the work that goes into making friends means reaching out to be there for people when they need you. Here’s a story…
I think I’m in a polyamorous relationship with god.
This sounds insane in maybe 10 different ways, especially for ME to say, since for most of my life, my spirituality boiled down to don’t know, don’t care! … but it’s probably the most accurate description of happened for me this past year. Of course I’m talking about “god” lower case non-denominational, so maybe it’s a little less surprising than if the story here was “Offbeat Bride lady raised by hippies goes evangelical,” but still.
After a month of tracking my addictive behaviors, it became clear that I had an compulsive habit. It just wasn’t pot… IT WAS MY FUCKING SMARTPHONE.
We all have so many things we know we SHOULD do, but ug it’s so hard to make the time to do new things… especially when we’re all so busy being stressed out, restlessly bored, vaguely miserable, generally unhappy, dealing with floating rage, or whatever your personal favorite miserable brain loop is.
But what if you used that misery to help you do something awesome?
There were a few books this year that changed my life — not in that hyperbolic “omg this cup of chai is like totally changing my life right now!” way, but as in these books completely shifted how I look at my existence, structure my days, manage my relationships, and handle my sanity. Like, these books actually changed my life this year.