How the Enneagram Changed My Life and Can Empower You

How the Enneagram Changed My Life and Can Empower You

My name is Diane and I am a perfectionist. I used to feel I couldn’t get “no satisfaction.” My hypercritical head would constantly pick apart whatever was in front of me to find things to fix or improve. What a torment, to walk around constantly criticizing everything inside and outside of me, and to carry the weight of the world because I felt personally responsible to fix it all. (Like every bit of roadside trash? Yup.)

These inner pressures ran my life but I was not conscious of them. They ran in the background, hidden from me.

Fifteen years ago the Enneagram showed me that most people think differently than I do. I used to feel that anybody in their right mind would do as I do. (Don’t we all assume so?) What a mind-blower to see nine unique approaches to life. (“Ennea” means nine.) What an eye-opener to realize I make my own trouble (as we all do in our special way). What a breakthrough to know people are just being themselves, not trying to “get my goat.” What a gift to shift from “that person is a jerk” to “they have a curious outlook.”

It literally changed my life, my family, my work, my reality. I found more love for self and others, more tolerance, more relaxation, better relationships, better health, not high blood pressure, not clenching my jaw anymore, not cracking teeth, not simmering and exploding like a volcano so much.

How wondrous, how empowering to know that I make my own suffering. My head still talks like a perfectionist, a zealot, but not so fiercely. I am wise to it, and that makes all the difference. Even though perfectionism keeps biting me in the butt, at least I can see it (with the ennea-eyes in the back of my head). Nowadays I can shrug and say, “There I go again, making my own trouble.”
It is okay. In an odd way I see my trouble as just part of the circus. I’m enjoying the whole circus of everybody. I get mo’ satisfaction.

You can too. Relax into your life. Enjoy your circle of people, no matter how aggravating. Understand who you are beyond the tight cage of your habit-of-mind. Break free.

Diane Stallings

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Author: AEA

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