When I first read the Enneagram description of myself, I felt as I had been stabbed with a knife. Who was this stalker who somehow had followed me around my entire life and put my entire life, insecurities and all, on display? I’m not sure if I was angry or terrified, but since I identify as an 8, and the only emotion I had ever dealt with up until that point was anger, I decided I was angry. I was angry that for all these years there was a community of people that understood me and were just like me, while I was out here thinking I was all alone. But, I was also intrigued and curious to learn more. And so began my search.
Fast forward 2 years, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the Enneagram has changed my life for the better. I am a young black woman who is an 8. My reality has been defined by being misunderstood by the people around me. I was the aggressive overpowering one, the angry black woman willing to fight and snap at anyone who didn’t agree with me or my worldview, and the intense, emotional one, who would shout to the rooftops when I felt I had been mistreated or taken advantage of. I had no idea that my community and the Enneagram would have such a profound impact on my transformation. Instead of being perceived as rude or apathetic, I became known as the powerful truth teller, the one not afraid to be exactly who I was meant to be. People were in awe of my strength and transparency, when I didn’t realize that there was any other way to be.
In the midst of my growth and appreciation of the Enneagram, I became a compassionate and soft-hearted human that could connect and experience joy with young children (mind. blown.). I learned how to experience complex emotions and process them intellectually and emotionally. I learned that my intensity is my strength, and that others’ misunderstanding of me simply means that they have not taken out the time to truly get in touch with the essence of everything that I am and have the potential to be.
Just today, I saw a close friend after she had been away overseas for over a month, and as I hugged her I felt a wave of emotions, and I began to cry. (Here I am, for all the world to see, an 8 with palpable emotions). I quickly realized that my tears were my intense feelings of love and admiration for my dear friend. Now don’t get me wrong, I am still loud, honest, raw, blunt, and a little overbearing at times, but this is me. I wouldn’t have it any other way. And this is the duality of an 8….a sweet dream AND a beautiful nightmare.