It Hurts Me in My Five

A few months ago I wrote about the Enneagram, and I have to say as I look back, I didn't see it as the fascinating and powerful tool that it is.  My friend and fellow therapist, Celeste, has studied deeper into the Enneagram than I have.  Several weeks ago, she and I were stranded at the airport due to weather.  We got to talk about all kinds of things during several hours.  We talked so much about the Enneagram, it seemed to weave in and out of most of the conversation. At one point, Celeste responded to something that I had to said, "I felt that in my TWO."  Twos are all about connecting to others and helping them.  It was a cute moment, but one I will use for my own number ....more in a moment. Enneagrams are more than just a fun personality test.  Knowing more about your number can help you understand yourself.  Celeste, knowing that I am a five, also helped me to see how I was processing some grief....feeling it and then going up into my head to think about it and explain it. This summer, I had gotten the book The Road Back to You and found it to be one of the most helpful books.  It helps as you try to figure out your number and then gives you very practical steps for self awareness and growth.  I was sorting out what number I am.  It's not as easy as an Internet test, though those can point you in a good direction.  Here's a pretty good link to try, it's by one of the authors of The Road Back to You.  Figuring out your number can be quite personal and I found it helpful to get some feedback from friends and loved ones.  Even though some tests on the Internet had given me different ideas, I still tossed around several numbers before I settled on five.  That one showed up a lot in several of the Internet test. One huge thing with fives (that's me) is this idea of "energy protection."  Specifically for me, I feel like I plan my day and balance out how much energy to dole out at certain intervals throughout the day.  For me, I find that interpersonal energy is the one I manage the most.  This can be a challenge as a therapist.  I love what I do and I love my clients, so I give ample energy to these interactions, but you will not likely see me being social after a day of several clients.  Although, in some circumstances, it is unavoidable, in which case....I try to make mental adjustments and it can be done.  I might be less social in social settings, etc, or I did some power meditating to prepare myself. One thing I want to say about energy management is that it isn't just energy draining for things I don't want to do.  I recently needed to meet my sister to give her something as she was passing through town.  I do like visiting with my sister and would want to do hang out.  I had asked if it was a quick trip through or if we were meeting and having dinner.  She believed it to be a quick trip through.  But things changed and she ended up being able to hang out for about an hour, visiting.  I would normally love to do that, and I did do it....and even enjoyed it.  I just had some mild adjusting and shifting underneath.  I realized it hurt me in my FIVE.  Knowing that explains the frustration going on that is often hard to understand and explain.  It also gave me a container to hold that in.

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