Rumi is a 13th century Persian poet who has captivated the minds and touched the hearts of the modern day Enneagram community, among others. In this 2nd blog of the series, the focus is on Enneagram type One, using the Rumi poem above.
There are many reasons this particular poem has a special meaning for Enneagram Ones, although it really does apply to us all, with Ones simply being the Enneagram type that tends to get the most irritated on a regular basis. As a Body Center enneatype, with anger being the formative emotion for all three types from the Body Center (Eights, Nines and Ones), Ones deal with their anger by suppressing it. But suppression doesn’t mean they don’t recognize or express the emotion. Ones call anger by another name: frustration, irritation, and resentment. In fact, resentment is the habit of mind or the mental fixation of Ones, paying attention to flaws so that nothing ever seems good enough. The word anger is not something Ones like to acknowledge in themselves, perceiving this emotional state of being as impolite and not something good people like Ones actually feel. Except that they do. Anger is the “passion” or “vice” of type Ones; it is their continual emotional pattern based on their chronic dissatisfaction with how things are.
How ironic or paradoxical that the Enneagram type that most wants everything to get better and be improved – with a lot of help from them along the way – cannot really reach the idealized level of refinement and polish when this pattern of continuous irritation flows so easily from them. When their anger is directed at themselves, Ones become self-critical, physically tense, and even depressed. This, of course, is the opposite of a gentle polishing, where an accurate and balanced self-discernment can lead to a work of art.
So if you are a One, how can you learn to not become so easily irritated and not “rub” yourself – as in judging yourself – with such intensity and energy? Here are some ideas: (1) become more compassionate toward your inner critic, recognizing that it has many positive qualities, works really hard, and has tried to keep you from making mistakes; (2) try to learn that making a mistake is something that we all do sometimes and what’s important is that we learn from them, not berate ourselves for them; and (3) do one thing every day that you really enjoy and that also relax you. Try these ideas and you may find the polished gem that is you!
Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of five best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit her website: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com. firstname.lastname@example.org