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Showing posts from December, 2019

The Enneagram 6's Practice in Presence

Tomorrow's conversations
Needn't be today's contemplations:
"If they say this, I will say that."
But I keep forgetting
I'm not in charge of my well-being—
That doesn't sound right—
I mean, I'm not burdened
With turning out good results
Or forecasting tomorrow's trials
To make myself impenetrable.

All this rehearsing
Merely fogs up my mind
Hampering listening tomorrow
And sensing today
And seeking God always.

What else could happen?
Have I thought it all through?
Are my guards up?
Are my answers ready?

No.

God will supply the wisdom then
For what I cannot predict now.
God will unfold the scenes
That create goodness within me
And around me and from me.
I needn't strive or rehearse,
Because today's practice in presence
Build's the courage for tomorrow's unknown.

Totally Technical Enneagram Blah Blah

This is a totally technical post about different categories within the Enneagram. All my quotes are from Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson's book The Wisdom of the Enneagram: the Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types.

The Intelligence Centers:where each number is least able to function normally

The Instinct Center: 8, 9, 1
- These numbers are concerned with maintaining resistance and control of the environment.
- They have problems with aggression or repression.
8's: "Nothing's going to get the upper hand on me. No one is going to get through my defenses and hurt me. I'm going to keep my guard up." (Hudson & Riso, 53)9's don't want certain feelings or states to disturb their equilibriums so they create inner and outer walls.1's: "I don't want that feeling! I don't want to have that reaction or that impulse!" (Hudson & Riso, 53)

The Feeling Center: 2, 3, 4
- These numbers are concerned…

More Funny Things They Say

"My feet are sparkling," Lee's description of his feet when they fell asleep.

I asked Lee what he thought the mission of our family was and he replied. "This is going to take a lot of thinking time to answer."

Lee's way of making friends at the beach is to run up to a kid, any kid, and say, "You get that bucket and start pouring water into that pool that we're making over there."

"Mommy, can I get the clippers and shape our orange tree into a shape?" So glad you asked Lee.

Rose asked me if Satan has a wife because Rose was telling Mrs. Satan to stop telling her lies.

The children were listening to the bible and drama tapes, and at the part where Joseph is bound, and tethers are put on his feet, Rose asked, "Are the feathers on his feet to tickle him?"

I was testing out personality questions on the kids, questions like, "If you walked into a room full of people would you first talk to them or stand back and watch them?&…

My True Loves Gave to Me

On the first hour of Christmas my true loves gave to me
A sock chucked out the car window.

On the second hour of Christmas my true loves gave to me
Potty sprayed about,
And a sock chucked out the window.

On the third hour of Christmas my true loves gave to me
Beds stripped for play,
Potty sprayed about,
And a sock chucked out the window.

On the fourth hour of Christmas my true loves gave to me
Quarreling in the car,
Beds stripped for play,
Potty sprayed about,
And a sock chucked out the window.

On the fifth hour of Christmas my true loves gave to me
Lunch on the floor,
Quarreling in the car,
Beds stripped for play,
Potty sprayed about,
And a sock chucked out the window.

On the sixth hour of Christmas my true loves gave to me
A tub of cleaner dumped,
Lunch on the floor,
Quarreling in the car,
Beds stripped for play,
Potty sprayed about,
And a sock chucked out the window.

On the seventh hour of Christmas my true loves gave to me
The laundry room flooded,
Tub of cleaner dumped,
Lunch on …

Processing "Unkindness"

When someone irritates me or offends me or seems inconsiderate, I have three things to consider:

1) I might consider what their words or actions say about me.

2) I might consider what their words or actions say about them.

3) Or I might consider what their words or actions say about the universe.

I'll probably consider all of these. However, one is more assessable than the others. Trying to understand the universe sometimes makes my head spin. And I don't have access into other's hearts and minds. I do have access into my own though.

Considering what someone's unkindness reveals about myself is the most fruitful. I might discover all sorts of insecurities or unrealistic expectations or unsupported assumptions within me. I might learn that I was placing my faith in what someone thought of me instead of what God says about me.

But I want to consider the dangers of the second option: what someone's words or actions say about them. Dwelling too much on this option can be …

Cautions Concerning Enneagram Literature

As I delve into Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson's The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types, I'm beginning to see several patterns that I've also seen in other Enneagram literature. Here are some of the common ideas that seem like trip wire to me.

Enneagram literature uses various terms to talk about the two sides of ourselves: the true self versus the adapted self, our essence versus our personality, the real self versus the pretend self. I like to think of this as the life of the flesh and the life of the spirit. The use of the terms is not the problem here but rather the explanations of their origins and the methods by which we move from one form to the other.

1) Don Riso talks about how he had a vision that showed how humans are all "beings of light". Riso and Hudson call it the "spark of Divinity in us" (Hudson and Riso, 36). This kind of talk seems dangerous to me. I don…

The Enneagram 4's Abandonment of Fantasies

O God, must I go on
In constant disappointment
And nauseating dread?
Do not make me stay here
Suffering the monotony
Of the same chores
And demands upon me.
I have no appetite for this.

O God, allow me to escape
To construct my own realities.
Let me shuffle through my files
That store fantasies for every whim:
Fantasies of my bravery,
Strength and wisdom,
Where I succeed and lead,
Am saved and praised.

O God, how these perfected images
Beckon me like a drug,
Luring me to foster a hunger
For a place where I am the center.
Yes, that is, a hunger for hell.

O God, I don't want to want them,
For I know that every minute I'm there
I increase my dissatisfaction with
All that is good and true and beautiful.
I numb my senses to what is real,
And render myself more inept
To handle the day in front of me.

So, God, save me from these images
Of my own self-made perfection,
These idols to which I bow and slave.

Rather, give me a hunger
For what you have given
Which is good.
Sharpen my sense…

The Heart Beat of Justice

Do you hear the drumbeat
The pulse, deep and resonant
Beneath all, speaking justice,
Justice, justice will be done;
Like the soundtrack to each day,
The tempo that demands we walk
To His justice, justice, justice.

It beats not only to thieves sentenced and tyrants dethroned,
But to frogs in the cupboards and dead sons in mothers' arms.
Not only to nature's laws and oceans' currents,
But to the mind impaired and the screech of tires.

"By this you shall know that I am the Lord,"
By the vomit on the floor and the water shut off,
By the baby malformed and the cancer consuming.

To the one who chose his own instead of God's:
Justice, justice, justice.
To the twisted will that cannot bend:
Justice, justice, justice.

"I, the Lord, will give judgement:
The crash after the fall
The blindness without the light
The pain that follows the curse.
What is sown must be reaped—
All fruits of egocentricity—
Lest the sky be torn in two
And the mountains crumble."

Do yo…

We Need More Decorations!

I find it interesting that the Christmas season follows a holiday of thankfulness and plenty. Thanksgiving reminds me that I have enough, and that what I have is quite good. Then suddenly the day after Thanksgiving, I realize, "No! Actually what I have is not enough at all!"

Maybe I shouldn't have opened the Christmas decorations trunk the day after Thanksgiving because that's what started it. I keep a limited number of decorations. I'm not a fan of clutter and garishness. I like a monochromatic nativity scene here and a few classy Christmas cards there, a wreath on the front door and some plain white Christmas lights around our front windows. It took less than an hour to put these things up with the children, and when we'd finished, Lee and Rose danced around asking, "Is that all? Isn't there any more?"

There came upon me a panic, a fear, a feeling of insufficiency. You terrible mother! You haven't done enough for your dear children! They&…