The Enneagram is an ancient wisdom tool that describes nine personality types. One of the unique features of the Enneagram is the patterns it reveals in our personality when we are under stress. Given the current situation of a worldwide pandemic, a group of individuals was gathered together to find out how they have experienced the circumstances of COVID-19 through the lens of the Enneagram. This post is part of a series of posts sharing thoughts and insights from each of the nine Enneagram types.
God has uniquely made each one of us and we are called to love God and love one another. These posts are offered in the hope that, the more we understand ourselves and others and our often differing reactions and responses to life, the better we will be able to offer compassion to one another, to bring out the best in each other, and to offer the gifts of our unique perspectives to the world.
Spotting a One
You’ll know the Ones around you. They have used this ‘Stay at Home’ time to organize the pantry, clean out the attic, and rearrange their library by book color. Ones are very busy. They have a lot of internal pressure to ‘DO,’ an inner drive to be productive, efficient and effective. They have a detailed ‘to do’ list for themselves, and likely one for you, too. And even in a pandemic, Ones will not run out of toilet paper.
Why It’s Hard for a One
Ones are always trying to improve situations and people. They are struggling right now because they can’t right what is wrong; they can’t ‘fix this.’ Ones strive hard to create order out of chaos and that is particularly challenging in a pandemic, which, as we have all learned, is incredibly unpredictable and messy.
Ones are rule followers and they expect others to follow the rules as well. They believe rules are in place for the ‘best good’ for everybody. In the case of COVID-19, wanting people to be safe and healthy, Ones can get particularly upset when others aren’t wearing their masks or keeping appropriate social distance.
What Ones Need to Remember
Remember that “You are enough” in Christ. Just as you are. Not when you are better. Not when you get it all together. Not when this is over and you can get back to normal. Right now. Jesus looks at you and loves you and says, “You are my beloved child.” When your inner critic starts to get loud, center yourself with these words – “I am God’s child – accepted, forgiven and deeply loved.”
Spiritual Practices for a One
Practice saying, “It’s good enough.” Perfectionist tendencies keep you trapped in unproductive thinking and make you very hard on yourself. Things can always be better. Projects, conversations, dinner, the house. Be choosy about what has to be ‘perfect’ and let other things go when they are ‘good enough.’
Paint or draw your prayers in a sketch book. This is a particularly good practice if you are not generally artistic. Like a child handing his or her painting to a parent, offer God your prayer through a medium where perfection is not expected. Without words, you can express yourself more freely to God. You can offer prayers of confession and struggle to God at a gut level, not measuring your words or judging yourself for being angry or frustrated or missing the mark.
Loving a One
Ones often feel like they are carrying the whole load of responsibility. Ask them what you can do to help. Affirm them in the work they are doing. Let them know that you love them just the way they are.