No. We know discussing others’ types will not help us know ourselves. Nor will nailing down our own personality profile to the smallest detail, or finding an Enneagram author who seems to capture “me” perfectly in one of their descriptions.
Typing yourself in yet another system won’t do it. Or discussing theories. And contrary to seemingly popular belief, discussing facts won’t do it, either. Any and all of these things can be fun, interesting, or educational — but none of them is truly about getting to know you.
The other day, Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s “The Invitation” flashed past in the feed. I love this poem. And it’s so pertinent in the Enneagram world today, especially online and particularly on social media. Here’s a few bits of it:
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human. It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Meeting the heart’s longing —
what we want to know
Because, sure — it happens that those other things interest me, too. For a while. Occasionally. But the formats and contexts available for sharing such things are already plentiful. I want to create and partake in contexts where the “I want to know” parts are welcomed, sought out, and shared. In some of the Facebook groups I’m in, where this is the supposed purpose, what is shared is in fact just categories: MBTI combos, or Enneagram types — sometimes in the plural and complete with instinctual stacking. And while people might still genuinely believe they are being open and connecting, they are only interfacing via categories. A lot of the time, they seem to view themselves through this lens, too; meeting a set of categories rather than their innermost self.
Lately, this creates a peculiar response within me; almost like a visceral thing, but it’s hard to put a name on it. It’s somewhere around the point of intersection between “stress”, “dejection”, and “exasperation”. I realise, of course, that it’s none of my business how others choose to spend their time — but it has me considering how I’m spending mine, personally and professionally.
Creating (true) community
Professionally, I want to create online what I’ve formerly only created in physical spaces. The online format has its challenges, sure, but also the convenient advantage of reaching all over the world. At present, I have the Exploring the Enneagram website and the facebook group EnneaGrammar for EnneaGrowth, the Exploring the Enneagram Youtube channel, and come February, me and Rezzan Huseyin will take up our EnneaGrammar LIVE again. Of these, I suppose the Facebook group offers the closest approximation to a meeting space, but I want interaction to be easier, and more in the moment.
Do you want that, too? Or is it a need that is already satisfied for you, or that you do not have in the first place? If you do want it, what do you want? What types of exploratory activities, centred around the Enneagram but mostly around you, would you like to engage in? How often? In what formats? What do you find missing? Please get in touch and tell me ❤️