From Idolatry to Reality: From Worshipping the Idols of Our Personality to Following the Ideals of Our Real Self, Part Three – Jerry Wagner, Ph.D.

JerryWagner012 copyIf we determine that the cost: benefit ratio of following the idol of our personality is not worth it, we’re giving up a lot more than we’re gaining, what other options do we have available?  When all else fails, as it inevitably must, we can always return to the resources of our real self which we gave up on when we left the Garden of Eden.

We have the strengths of our own style, our neighboring styles, the styles of our stressed and relaxed points – the resources of all nine styles, really, since we have nine players on our inner team.  Though we may only choose to put a few of our favorite players on the court, we do have nine players on the bench.

We have the idealism, conscientiousness, and persistence of Player #1 (the Idealist) to focus, concentrate, and hold our energies on the right path and keep the end in mind as we proceed.

We have the empathy, love, caring, and relationship skills of Player #2 (the Relater) to connect us with others and provide the intimacy we seek on our journey.

We have the industriousness, productivity, competence, and energy of Player #3 (the Closer) to bring our projects to completion and transport us to the end of our journey, not to mention letting others know we’re on the journey.

We have the sensitivity, refinement, grace, and introspection of Player #4 (the Artist) to add depth and style to our undertakings and add beauty to our journey.

We have the objectivity, big-picture panorama, analytic skills, and wisdom of Player #5 (the Observer) to understand what our journey is all about and take in the landscape from beginning to end.

We have the trouble-shooting, risk-managing, devotion, and circumspection of Player #6 (the Loyalist) to keep us safe on our journey and obtain for us the sense of belonging to a group that we need along the way

We have the imagination, vision, brainstorming capacity, optimism, good cheer, and joie de vivre of Player #7 (the Optimist) to find interesting people and places to visit as we enjoy our journey.

We have the strength, autonomy, durability, and force of Player #8 (the Energizer) to push obstacles out of our way, clear the path, and protect us on our journey.

We have the relaxed confidence, inclusivity, negotiating and mediating abilities of Player #9 (the Peacemaker) to include others on our journey and align us with the flow of the universe.

Take some time and ask yourself the following questions:

  • When do you feel spiritual?
  • When do you feel not-so-spiritual?
  • How do you know when you’re following and acting from your real self/essence or from your personality/ego?  Is there a different feel to these two states?  How do your head, heart, and gut experience the difference?
  • What do your idols promise you?  What will they do for you if you do what they ask?
  • What do your idols demand from you? What must you bring them?
  • What must you sacrifice for your idols?
  • What are you afraid will happen if you don’t obey them?
  • What other resources do you have available to allay your fears and help you to adapt?
  • What resources lie in your own style?
  • What resources lie in your wings (the Enneagram styles on either side of yours)?
  • What resources lie in your heart point (the Enneagram style preceding yours)?
  • What resources lie in your stress point (the Enneagram style following yours)?
  • What resources do all the remaining styles offer you?

Dropping our idol is like swinging out over the void and letting go of the trapeze.  This is always going to be anxiety provoking. It’s easier when we have some assurance that our real self is a more reliable and trustworthy trapeze to grab hold of to carry us over the chasm of our fears.  Our journey won’t be trouble-free but it will be our authentic journey and not make-believe.  As the tour host Rick Steves says: “Keep on traveling.”

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