The Road Back to You
In many ways it feels like I’m rediscovering the person I was when I graduated from college decades ago. The one with energy. The one with ideals and dreams. The one who was eager to get up in the morning because there were people to see and things to do. That girl was worn down and out for a really, really long time. But, since she’s coming back to life again, it felt fitting to kick off the new year by reading a book called “The Road Back to You.”
Who are my enneagram fans? Prior to picking up this book, I’d heard rumblings of the topic but knew very little about it. When my friend, Brittony recommended we read this in our online book club together, I jumped on board.
I’ve actually done a lot of reading about personal development and self-discovery, so I was curious to see what this added to a conversation that already felt familiar. I breezed through the first few chapters, chuckling at the writing style and even reading excerpts to Phil while we cozied up at the end of the day to unwind. I caught glimpses of myself in several places, but it was when reading about the 2 that I found myself staring into my soul. Is this book worth the read? Absolutely.
Instagram is a great place to find summaries of each number and gems like this are easily discovered with a quick search. For those unfamiliar with the enneagram, here’s a quick idea of what type 2, “The Helper” looks like in action:
The more I read about myself, the better I understood why I slipped so easily into the spiritually abusive climate of the Institute. I was surrounded by hurting people and tasked with “giving the world a new approach to life.” Ugh. I felt both understood and exposed.
I could also see so many ways my tendency to fall into pride played out. As in, “God’s not handling this the way I think He should so it’s up to me to save the world!” And in believing the needs of others were more important than my own and that I alone could meet those needs somehow. Sigh. I went through a lot of Kleenex reading this chapter, and that’s another way I knew, “This is me.”
“What’s the value of self discovery?” you may ask. I think as we come to understand ourselves, we grow deeper in our understanding of the God who made us. And, as Flannery O’Connor once said, “To know oneself is, above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against Truth, and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge, is humility.”
So true! As I grow in understanding of the “fearfully and wonderfully made” person God created me to be, I more humbly engage those around me who are also marvelously made in His image. The enneagram isn’t a way to pigeon-hole ourselves or anyone else, but rather, invites us into a way of better understanding the full expression of God’s character as it’s revealed in the unique individuals that people His world.
And that, my friends, is a road worth taking! If this peaks your interest, you can grab a copy of The Road Back to You here.
For my fellow 2s, here are a couple more graphics that summarize the way we lean to the “wings” on either side.