Nine ways of believing I am enough

i am enough

I am enough: three little words that have great power. But how can you believe it when you coulda, woulda, shoulda? In the end, that’s up to you. But here are nine ways of believing I am enough to get you started.

First, it helps to recognize we all have our own way of defining “enough.” The Enneagram helped me identify my own specific way of feeling like I wasn’t enough, and to notice how my way is both similar and different than other people’s version of not enough.

I’ve had “i am enough” necklaces in my Etsy shop for maybe eight years (?) now. It remains one of my favorite affirmations because it is true on so many levels. Below are nine ways of believing I am enough, based on the Enneagram triads.

nine ways of believing i am enough silver necklace
I am enough, in my head, my heart and my body.

I am enough for Enneagram Heart Types (2 3 4)

2: People will always need more than I can possibly give – yet I am enough.

3: Win or lose, profit or loss, happy or sad – my circumstances do not define me. I am enough.

4: Emotions can feel overwhelming at times, yet I’m not “too sensitive” or “too dramatic” – I am enough.

I am enough for Enneagram Head Types (5 6 7)

5: There will always be more to learn- yet I am capable now. I am enough.

6: I see all the ways things could go wrong, yet trust I’ll handle whatever comes. I am enough.

7: I’m not missing out. I’m happy and I am enough, right here and now.

I am enough for Enneagram Body Types (8 9 1)

8: There’s nothing to defend against. I am enough as I am.

9: I can see everyone’s point of view and still maintain my own sense of self. I am enough.

1: The world’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, perfection is impossible – and yet, I am enough.

Is I am enough not your style?

I get it. Maybe it is just my Eight wing talking, but some days I feel the need for something with a little more punch. That’s why I have my FYeahJewelry Etsy shop – to house messages like these:

just fucking be kind necklace
Be kind, be kind, be kind.

The message is the same. I am enough, you are enough, we are all enough. So let’s be kind to each other. It feels a lot better than the alternatives.

the Enneagram is witchcraft

I’ve read a lot of books on the Enneagram in the past year, and a surprising number take the time to assure readers that the Enneagram fits within what it means to be a Christian. At first, I kind of scoffed. Why would anyone think personality types are the devil’s work? But the more I learned, the more I’ve come to believe that the Enneagram is witchcraft – in the best possible way. (Disclaimer: I don’t believe in the devil, so this is an easy leap for me.)

Witchcraft, the exercise or invocation of alleged supernatural powers to control people or events…

Britannica.com
hand drawn enneagram symbol looks like witchcraft
My first attempt at drawing the Enneagram looks like some devilish child casting spells, I’ll admit.

My theory is simply that people who pay attention to the interconnected world we live in are able to move in ways that the average bear can’t grasp. Witches don’t have supernatural powers, in my view. They just take note of patterns other people would rather ignore. The ability to predict an outcome and control an outcome can look awfully similar, from a distance.

Crows are beautiful creatures in my book – which is good, since I see hundreds of them commuting across the sky every morning and evening. Imagine if I knew someone thought they were bad luck? The power!!!

Resistance is futile: the Enneagram is witchcraft

Pattern recognition lies at the heart of new artificial intelligence technology, the stuff of sci-fi dystopian futures run by machines. But the truth is, we humans are facing our own dystopia right here and now by ignoring some patterns (hi there, global warming!) in favor of others.

The solution is not to wait for machines to save us. The solution is to widen our perception of the patterns at play in the world – starting with the ones inside our own little skulls. Here is where the Enneagram is a magical realm of patterns to explore.

Where do you go in stress? How do you react to the expectations of others? What do you need to feel safe in the world? How are you going to show up in a crisis? What are your strengths? We don’t give much thought to these questions in our daily lives – but we should. The Enneagram helps turn our attention towards what really matters.

#lifegoals

A friend of my discovered that one of her ancestors was prosecuted during the Salem witch trials. In her research, she found this in the court records regarding her long lost female relative:

Her crime was not witchcraft. But an independence of mind and an unsubmissive character.

It is my sincere wish that we each cultivate independence of mind and a character that knows when to be stubborn or submissive, as the situation warrants. With the Enneagram, we find a way to sort through all the confusing layers of family expectations, cultural conditioning, job responsibilities, personal preferences, ego defenses and all the rest, to figure out who we really are, and what we really find important.

There’s nothing supernatural about it: the Enneagram is witchcraft.

The Power of Threes

The world is full of opposites: light or dark, good or bad, wet or dry. These categories are simple and easy to understand – but they aren’t the whole story. What about all those shades of gray? The neutral? The moist? Seeing the world as either/or means we often get ourselves trapped between a rock and a hard place, when to an outside observer, it looks like we should be able to climb out pretty easily. The power of threes is like a mental rope we can use to haul ourselves to a more expansive viewpoint. But first, you have to know what obstacle you’re facing. Enter the Enneagram.

enneagram chart

The Enneagram divides people into nine archtypes. Each type also has a wing (one of the adjacent numbers on the Enneagram circle). For many people (me!), this explains an inner conflict or confusion since the pattern of the dominant type is often very different than that of the wing. For example, I am a 9w8. Nines are all about going with the flow and avoiding conflict – but Eights like to take charge and challenge the status quo. I have often felt trapped between my two habits – either I ignore my feelings so I can avoid upsetting anyone, or my Eight wing takes over, and I am too forceful in asserting myself. Friendly or fierce. It feels like I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. But thankfully, that false dichotomy isn’t the whole picture. The power of threes, as I’m calling it, means there is a third choice.

What’s behind door #3

As a Nine, that third option is to really pay close attention to how I feel. Sounds simple, and it is, but it isn’t always easy. I’d rather not be bothered by uncomfortable feelings. It takes a conscious effort to stay present to my own experience and not get swept away by other people’s (often louder, or more insistent) needs. Anger scares me – I had some pretty amazing “what not to do” role models in my life. But anger is my friend, now. I finally see that anger is just an invitation to pay attention, and when I do, I get to solve the puzzle. How do I stay true to myself and allow other people that same freedom?

Harness the power of threes

The real wisdom of the Enneagram is when you are able to see the patterns within yourself – your typical type response, the wing you turn to when needed AND – the hard part – your third and least developed type of intelligence. The part of you that might as well not exist, for all the attention you’ve paid it. When you start to see that third option, it can feel miraculous. It isn’t. It is just how we are meant to live, as fully functional humans, with our heads, hearts and bodies all communicating within ourselves.

When we learn to use all three, magic happens. You can call it whatever you like: thinking, feeling, doing. Mind, body, spirit. Mental, emotional, instinctual. Head, heart, gut. If you look into the Enneagram in any detail, and I hope you will, you’ll find that each teacher uses a slightly different framework. In this blog, I’ll explore different perspectives – not to decide which one is “right” – but to make connections and expand my own understanding of myself and the world.

If you don’t know your Enneagram number, reading over the type descriptions on Enneagram Institute website is a good place to start.