Lately, I’ve become obsessed with the Enneagram- “a description of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types (Wikipedia).”
I had diagnosed myself as a type 2, but have recently discovered I’m actually a type 4. I could spend this entire post talking about what that means in all its idiosyncrasies, but that would have the exact opposite of the real theme of this post- getting over yourself.
This has become my new mantra. I take myself far too seriously. I analyze everything I do and wonder whether it’s what I should be doing or the best thing. I wonder how other people perceive me and if they understand and see the real me. I think about and question what is the real me. Me, me, me.
Well, I’ve had enough. I’m ready to get over myself.
- Get Over My Appearance and Image. Do you know how much mental capacity and confidence I would have if I didn’t worry about my appearance or what others were thinking about me? SO MUCH. Besides, people do not think of me near as much as I think and if I carried myself with confidence, it’s definitely going to work in my favor.
- Think about people and things other than myself. This includes thinking about my appearance and image, but it goes much broader. I’m just so caught up in EVERYTHING about myself. What do I want to eat? What is my purpose? How am I going to use my time? Is that the right way to use my time? It’s not bad thoughts, it’s just my favorite thing to think about even when there’s nothing of significance there.
- People. I just listened to a podcast where they talked about doing random acts of kindness. You, guys- I’m embarrassed by how little I put intentional thought into how to be meaningfully kind to another person. When I do think about it, it’s through the lens of “how do I be a good or kind person? Am I doing enough?” It’s still about my image rather than actually caring for the other person which makes it feel legalistic and guilt-ridden rather than genuine and sacrificial. If I thought less about myself, maybe there would be some more space to see others and their needs.
- Things. What if I focused on the world around me? What if I noticed the beautiful trees that I drive by rather than thinking about my to do list for the day? What if I smiled and talked to someone while waiting in line rather than pulling out my phone to check out Facebook? (Anyone else found that anytime you’re alone for more that 10 seconds the phone comes out or is it just me?) Somedays I feel like I hardly interact with anyone or anything in the world around me. How small…and quite honestly, how boring. The greatest adventures and stories come from the unexpected, and if I’m focused only on myself and my world that I can control, I’m going to miss out on it.
However, I’ve found that trying not to think about something without something new to think about is near impossible. There needs to be a replacement.
“But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously.” – Micah 6:8, The Message
As an Enneagram 4, my basic desire is self-understanding and self-expression. Hence why it’s so easy for me to focused and obsessed on ME, ME, ME. But I’ve found that doesn’t get me anywhere. If I’m my world, it’s a pretty small and ordinary existence. But if my identity and purpose are about God – loving him, serving him- that’s a much bigger and more exciting story. If my self-expression is all through that lens, it has the purpose it lacks when it’s just expression for my own glory.
So, this month, I’ve been trying to be intentional about waking up and surrendering my identity, purpose and plans to God. To not put my expectations and wants on the day, but be open to where he leads. I’m still figuring out what that looks like and it takes work. It’s so easy and fun to think about me instead! But he’s a lot better writer than me and I want to be a part of his great story.
Each month I try to record the little glimpses of joy infused in my life. Here are my glimpses from March:
- The joy of being DONE with all the gala (seeing the completion of all my hard work)
- Seeing and experiencing The Emily Program Foundation community and being entrusted their personal stories
- Reaching our gala goal!
- Date nights and being fully present
- Being a couple in sync and in love in groups
- The blessing of being free and able to rest
- Late Night Wendy’s run with a quirky cashier
- A fun weekend out and doing things after the winter of hibernation