The topic for this week is the enneagram. Simply stated it is a personality test and it has been around for hundreds of years. It has been used in Christian circles since the 1970’s. I became aware of the enneagram through listening to podcasts and reading the book The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. It has helped me to understand why I react to things in a certain way and it has allowed me to be humbler in my reactions to situations I have no control over. It also allows me to be more empathetic with others. What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:1, 3, 10
Technically you are not supposed to impose an enneagram number on anyone but yourself; once you learn about each number it is difficult not to type cast others. I tend to keep that knowledge to myself. If you are wondering I am an enneagram 1, the perfectionist who has a constant critical voice in my head. Always wanting to do the right thing, to be good, to calm that inner critic.
The podcast I am reviewing this week is called “For The Love” by Jen Hatmaker and the name of the episode is “What is the Enneagram with Suzanne Stabile.” Jen is an author and podcaster, her latest book is Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire. Suzanne Stabile is a highly sought-after speaker and teacher, known for her engaging laugh, personal vulnerability and creative approach to Enneagram instruction. After 25 years of studying the enneagram, learning from people’s stories, cultivating relationships, and learning under Father Richard Rohr, she used her work and extensive knowledge of the enneagram to co-author The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery with Ian Morgan Cron. She followed that with, The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships.
What I like about this specific podcast is you do not need to have any knowledge about the enneagram to understand it. It is extremely high level, but Suzanne is such a good teacher that I even learned a few new things. Suzanne states the Enneagram will “Name for you what is your weakest point and potentially teaches you how to overcome that weakness. It takes a negative approach at who you are. We don’t know ourselves based on what we get right, we know ourselves on what we get wrong.” Jen asked Suzanne to identify the differences between the enneagram and let’s say the Myers Briggs personality tests? Suzanne responded “The Enneagram is determined by motivation and behavior. I am not a fan of online tests. There is a depth to the enneagram that a test cannot represent. It is best to learn from other’s stories and this is how I teach it.” Suzanne then goes through the nine numbers and how they each see themselves and what motivates them. The good and the bad attributes of each. If you are interested in looking inward, I highly recommend listening to this podcast and the 9 others Jen did with other self-identified enneagram guests. She goes through all 9 numbers and talks to her guests about their motivations and weaknesses. I will link to her podcast below. I will also link to Suzanne Stabile’s podcast called “The Enneagram Journey”. I believe if we are bold enough to identify our weaknesses and act on them we can show love to others and make our small piece of the world a better place.
The uplifting piece to the blog this week is a funny parody about the quarantine. Enjoy!
Jen Hatmaker’s “For The Love” podcast “What is the Enneagram with Suzanne Stabile”.
Suzanne Stabile’s podcast “The Enneagram Journey”