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This little light of mine

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Remember when you were little and you were afraid of the dark? Or maybe you weren’t so little because, honestly, I remember being a teenager and being afraid of the dark…especially when I could take bits of pieces of scary things I’d seen on television and begin to imagine what might be lurking under my bed or in my closet. Funny how our minds have the power to imagine. We create the scenario, good or bad, and our body begins to react to whatever it is WE imagine. This is why dreams are amazing to me. I’d venture to guess NO ONE listening to this hasn’t had a nightmare. You wake up and your heart is beating so fast and your entire body instinctually reacts with fight, flight or freeze. If it’s the middle of the night and you’re laying there in the dark what do you do? Find the light!! It may take some time for your body to stop reacting because our mind believed it was real and our bodies do what our bodies are supposed to do to ensure our survival. Funny how just a little bit of light can help us see our way in the dark. We give our children little night lights so they can see that what might look like a monster in the corner of the room is really just a chair; or the giant with a hundred arms outside their window is just a tree. I’m going to relate all of this to what I love about the Enneagram. When you want to help your child understand that the thing that looks so scary in the dark is really just a tree do you explain to her that the tree outside her window is what’s called a Live Oak and that, in fact...

“in the state of Georgia, where we live sweetheart, there are actually 12 different species of Oak trees, including the Live oak, Basket oak, Water oak, Chestnut oak, Red oak, White oak… But OH let me tell you about Red Oaks and White Oaks, sweetheart. Red Oaks are a TYPE of Oak tree but then there are SUBTYPES of RED OAK just like there are Subtypes of White Oak. You know what Subtypes are, don’t you baby girl? Yes - sure you do. The easiest way to distinguish red from white oaks is to study their leaves and acorns. Red oak species have leaves with bristle tips; the acorns take two years to mature, have fuzzier inner shells and are bitter-tasting. Are you following me, sweetheart?” Of course this is absurd. No one, in their right mind, would do that to a child. As the child is assured and understands it’s just a tree she is then free to do what she wants with that information. As she gets older she may begin to notice there are different kinds of trees and ask ‘what kind of tree is that?’ Trees may become something she’s truly interested in learning more about. But even then too much information is just confusing. Children can easily understand the difference between an apple tree and a peach tree. One produces apples and the other produces peaches. Simple as that. As they mature they begin to notice that there are an so many different types of trees and if the child is curious and interested in trees they will discover that no two trees are alike. I have been studying the Enneagram for over 10 years but more earnestly the past 4. My initial introduction was simply an awareness that I fall into the category of what people have labeled as Type 7. I have certain characteristics that distinguish my way of thinking from other types. I studied my own type in the beginning and that was it. As I became curious about what more I could learn about the way other people (types) process thinking, I then took a deeper look. There are so many brilliant teachers who have spent years learning depths of how human beings function. And, in fact, I have spent the past four years going deeper in the Enneagram - studying with some of these teachers…learning so much more than type including Instincts, subtypes, conflict styles, triads, how we access the energy of other types more easily than others…how our body actually has three brains - the head, the heart and the gut - through which we process thought and information….how no two of us are alike. Like so many of you I have been watching the different reactions to this pandemic and the subsequent and sudden seclusion from our communities. I’m so grateful for ZOOM and FaceTime and the various forms of social networks that have provided some sense of connection but the more I watch what’s happening in this shift then more I long for in person interaction. So - I’ve spent many days just thinking. I thought I knew what I wanted to do before Covid brought all of that to a screeching halt for many of us. I still don’t have a clear path but I have a little light that has been shining in my mind, helping me to see all those things I feared for what they really are. I can believe I’ve LOST my way and that I’m such a little fish in such a big pond that my voice doesn’t make a difference. But guess what…It made a difference to a friend this week. Someone I’ve never even discussed the Enneagram with who reached out in one of the most difficult times in anyone’s life - the loss of her child. I never mentioned the Enneagram to her and would have never in a million years thought she would at this time especially. She said “I think I’m a type 9.” I was stopped in my tracks for a moment and then calmly said…"aahhh, the Peacemaker. The one who wants to make sure everyone else is ok." She said, ‘yes…my whole life. I just thought it was what I was supposed to do.’ I said…”what a wonderful gift you are but I’d ask you to consider right now what do you need?” We had a short but real conversation that gave me an opportunity to support her in that moment…to speak in love and shine a little light. What would have happened if I had turn on a FLOOD LIGHT of information? If, one day, she wants to know more about the Enneagram, she will. On that day…she just needed friendship and assurance. We - and by WE I definitely mean ME - get so caught up in wanting to affect the masses, to establish credibility and share all our {QUOTE} expertise with the world that we truly miss the value of connecting and contributing to one life. In the coming months, as we begin to feel safe to be with people outside of our own houses, I’d love to connect with people, in my little neck of the woods in the northeast area of Atlanta, Georgia, who just want share life and find a little light that could make our paths look a little clearer. I use the Enneagram as one of my lights and I would love to open my home to begin a community of support for each other with our own unique light. As the song goes….”This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine.” Let’s shine together.


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