What I do
How I feel
What I think
What I'm angry about
What makes my heart hurt
What I'm afraid of
There is a hierarchy to human behavior.
Usually when we seek growth or transformation we are looking at our BEHAVIOR, we are looking at what we do and something about it makes us angry (or upset). We feel the pain of being stuck in our own actions or habits.
I often am hired by my clients to help them deal with behavior.
But behavior is never where we start our work.
Behavior is the RESULT of the layers beneath.
We do what we FEEL like doing.
We FEEL because of what we THINK to be true, about ourselves, God and others.
And so, if we want to change behaviors, there are a few steps we must take, and these steps seem to take us BACKWARDS and deeper INTO pain rather than forwards and out of pain, and this is often why we stay stuck a lot longer than we need too because the way out is THROUGH. Not around, over or away, but THROUGH.
Step 1: NAME your behavior.
What are you doing? Each Enneagram type DOES a different thing.
But we must name, in much greater detail, what it is we are doing. We cannot face a formless demon. Let judgement, shame, regret or ego fall to the side, and simply NAME the actions, as they are, in all their glory.
Step 2: EXPLORE your emotions.
What are you feeling?
Feelings are funny things, they lie beneath the surface - what we DO is pretty plain and easy to nail down (if we have the courage to be honest with ourselves that is) but feelings lie at the bottom of the pool of our soul and the only chance we have at seeing them is to get still enough for the surface of the water to settle.
Feelings like to hide. They are slippery and almost impossible to control.
We can control thoughts and actions FAR easier than we can control feelings, and this is why we often allow them to stay obscure - we value our illusions of control and feelings shatter that. Feelings bubble up, they course through our veins, they make our eyes leak, our voice quiver. They show, what we are all desperate to hide: that we are indeed HUMAN and messy.
If we are to complete step 2 and explore our feelings, we must surrender. We must let feelings, ALL the feelings, flow. We must get still enough, quiet enough, courageous enough to let feelings be seen, respected and expressed.
Step 3: Find your fears.
What am I afraid of?
At the end of the day our emotions are informed by our thoughts ... when we think, imagine, fabricate a narrative that creates fear in us, it triggers an emotional response, which fuels action.
Fear lies at the deepest level.
This is the level where we can ACTUALLY get to work.
This is the level where we uncover what is TRULY motivating us, and when we see it - it's usually the fear of being unloved, unsafe or uncared for.
1's I am not good enough
2's I am not loved
3's I have no worth
4's I have no significance
5's I am not competent
6's I am not supported
7's I will not be satisfied
8's I will be betrayed
9's I do not matter (as much as others)
When will we remember...
1's - That I am good and loved not in spite of my defects but because of them
2's - That I am loved for who I am not what I do
3's - That I have intrinsic worth and do not need to earn it
4's - That there is nothing missing in me, I am whole and can find happiness
5's - That there is an abundant knowing I can rest in that lies beyond me
6's - That I am strong enough to handle whatever may come my way
7's - That there is more than enough for me right here where I'm at
8's - That my vulnerability IS my strength and my goodness lies inside untainted
9's - That my voice matters and I am just as valuable as anyone else
This is the truth that calms all our fears. This is the truth we must surrender to believe. This is the layer beneath, and this is where our work lies - to believe what we have forgotten. To affirm what has slipped through our fingers. To walk in light and truth.
The behavior will take care of itself when we have the courage to go within and discover that we are more loved, safe and satisfied than we ever imagined we could be.