Understanding Yourself Brings Personal Freedom
Ages ago at a family reunion my cousin, Katherine, tried to get me interested in the study of personalities. I thought if was fun but didn’t take it seriously. Fast forward twenty years and I was trained in the study of personalities by the Littauers, Florence and Marita. I spoke to groups, childcare workers, and single adults, virtually anyone who would listen to how personalities affect our lives. Fast-forward another twelve years to November 2011 when I took my first Enneagram workshop from Sister Lois Dideon at the Cenacle Retreat House in Houston. I also bought books and listened to Suzann Stabile’s CD’s. This last weekend I took the Enneagram II workshop. I remain convinced that we are all completely and unique, but there are similarities among us into which groups we do fall. Some of us fall hard, others gently.
You can make your life simpler by learning your personality type and that of your children. Parents must accept that their children are not all alike and will not react to life’s experiences in the same way they did. Our world today has changed drastically and our children have serious peer pressures and are exposed to so much more simply in the media than we were. A wise parent will need all the tools available to raise a child into a healthy adult in our present culture. There are several personality typing methods. The Enneagram is definitely the most spiritual and provides more in the way of what makes us tick.
The Enneagram teaches you why you do what you do, your motivation. You learn about the shadow lands or the ‘dark side’ of each of the nine types. Though it came from the East and was intended to be taught as an oral tradition, Americans have managed to produce numerous books on the subject. (see list below)
With the Enneagram you learn what to watch for when you are stressed and the direction you should take when you are relaxed and ‘in the flow.’ If you learn your child’s number you can head-off problems before they begin. You will know what motivates them. They will also benefit from the knowledge in school and with their friends.
As Sister Lois Dideon teaches, “If we can accept ourselves as we are, we have peace.” She says the Enneagram is a spiritual path of growth. The first step on the path is “The Awakening.” The rest of your life is “The Work.” This ‘work’ is called by George Gurdjieff, “The knowledge of our being.” You learn about your vices and virtues. We all have both. What yours are depends on your number or personality type.
Dr. Bennett explains the Enneagram as an energy system and energy moves us towards growth. This is how we discover the patterns in the flow of energy in ourselves and others, by learning our God-given personalities.
There are many approaches to learning about our true selves. It is one path to spiritual growth and development that I think is highly valuable for all parents. It’s worth the effort to learn.
“One knows truly when one understands what one knows, when one feels what one has understood, and when one has put into practice what one has understood and felt.” – Ouspensky
An Enneagram Guide by Eilis Bergin & Eddie Fitzgerald
The Big Book of Personality Tests by Salvatore V. Didato, Ph.D.
The Enneagram by Helen Palmer
Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele
The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues: Finding the Way Home by Sandra Maitri
Enneagram Transformations by Don Richard Riso
Personality Plus for Parents by Florence Littauer
Personaltiy Puzzle by Florence & Marita Littauer
The Spiritual Dimensions of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul by Sandra Maitri
Wired That Way by Marita Littauer
The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso
Your Spiritual Personality by Marita Littauer