“Our human’ (egoic) tendency is to want to feel good (and to avoid feeling bad) about ourselves. But without a way to recognizing, accepting and addressing all of who we are, including the shadow side and difficult parts of our experience, our personal growth stops and we remain asleep to our potential.”
In this adventure of life and relationships, I am always curious about different ways of understanding myself and others. My experience is that we fall asleep to who we really are. Sometimes it takes a major shift in our lives to get us to pay attention. And sometimes we stumble upon information that can transform our thinking.
In our fast paced world, we become so preoccupied with the external world of work, managing our business, keeping family on track, demystifying out complex world, that we often forget who we really are – our essence. Then we bring our “autopilot self” into our primary relationship and expect our partner to first, understand us, (there is a lot of deciphering needed!), then to give us what we need (do we ourselves even know?) and finally to know who we really are (even if we don’t).
The Importance in My Journey
So, why has this been so important for me on my journey? Well, first of all, I have realized over the years that when we enter into a primary relationship, we expect our partner to first understand us, and then to give us what we need. However, if I have fallen asleep to my true self and I present a mechanical, sometimes compulsive and mostly unconscious self to the world, it is only a matter of time before frustration enters into my relationship. Then I have a choice, to remain unconscious and blame my partner for not really getting who I am, or to dig deeper and recover my essence. The first path leads to the 50% divorce rate!
Our True Self
Now, there are many tools out there to learn about our true self. What I like about the enneagram is that it helps us recognize patterns of thoughts, actions and emotions that have become habitual and we relegate them to our “personality”, which we often conclude cannot change! However, our personality is really a construct that we have created to protect our true self. When we consciously examine these patterns we are on the road to discovering our true essence.
The Journey Toward Growth
The beauty of the enneagram is that it guides us toward growth. We learn where our growth-stress occurs and where our child heart is healed. We also learn where and how we hide out!
When I wake up to my own internal architecture, I bring a more authentic self into my relationship. My inner self is less chaotic and more in synch with universal energy. In the process, we can consciously uncover our true self, our essence and we can bring ourselves completely and safely into our primary relationship. I am then able to recognize the true essence of my partner and together we experience the growth and healing unique to our relationship.