What COVID-19 and the Enneagram Taught Me

What COVID-19 and the Enneagram Taught Me

A Letter From Our Board President

In reflection of my studies, I see now what the COVID-19 virus came to teach me and how the Enneagram helped me understand it. I believe we each have an unfolding emotional experience waiting to teach us some lessons. My name is Erlina Edwards and I have the honor and privilege of serving as the President of the Arizona Enneagram Association.

Here is my COVID-inspired story: The other day I woke early to go to the grocery store. From my perspective (especially at a time like this) there’s never enough. So, upon arrival, I made a beeline to the meat counter and found what I needed for myself and my husband. I was feeling victorious – yes, I had achieved my goal!

A couple of hours later my daughter called. She let me know she’s unprepared for this crisis. She shared that her job will be shut down for the next two weeks. At that moment, I realized that I could have shopped for her! It didn’t even dawn on me when I was standing at the counter that she may have needed resources.

Now before you say, “What kind of mother are you?”, know that my children will say I am generous to a fault. But at that moment, when I felt the spirit of uncertainty, my mind squeezed into a tiny space to secure only what I needed for myself and my husband. In the Enneagram, we call this instinct “Self-Preservation.” This instinct was always there in me but, before the Enneagram served to enlighten me, I knew nothing of my hidden behavior. I was blind. Through my studies I’ve learned that there are other instincts as well; these are called Social and Intimate. If I had utilized a balance of all three at that moment at the counter, most likely I would have been freed from my trap.

What insight! I have the COVID virus and the Enneagram to thank for that. The virus is currently providing a river of fear for most of us. Right now, we must be diligent to stay awake to a larger reality. We need to have contemplation, self-knowledge, and insight into all of our behaviors in order to get free. That’s where knowing the Enneagram comes in.

We are in unprecedented times where the Universe, Heavens, Mother Nature and God (whatever word you use to acknowledge the force that keeps us alive) is demanding our complete attention. We must go within, dig deeper, and acquire the self-awareness that’s needed for us to be whole beings of love, compassion, and mercy. To find the path that leads from selfishness to selflessness. Let us use this time of isolation to realize that we must do our internal work and wake up.

And, yes, my daughter and I talked about my revelation and aha moment.  I have the Enneagram to thank for our insightful and loving conversation as well. This powerful tool has awakened me to a deeper, richer life. Please, do all you can to deliver love to this world today!

All the best,
Erlina Edwards
President, Arizona Enneagram Association

Author: Nancy Siner

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