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How the enneagram can improve your sense of self

It is the moment when you come home after a long day, take off your shoes and unwind the busyness and heaviness from your shoulders and sink into your favorite lounge clothes, turn the hot water on for the tea and curl into a blanket. It’s the moment where you are seen for every flaw, hidden secret and accepted still. It is the moment when you are finally able to exhale because at last the mask is off and you are unapologetically and beautifully yourself. The enneagram is the art of knowing the self on what I would argue to be the deepest level of understanding that we are able to reach as human beings. If you’re not familiar with the enneagram, it’s a personality breakdown of nine different types that go into detail of self discovery, personal growth, spiritual application, and some resources even give background experiences that could have contributed as a result of said type.


Photo credit: Your Enneagram Coach

What I have come to truly love about the enneagram process is that it’s not simply a personality assessment gleaned from few general questions but more so a study of each type and finding which one pulls on your heart strings, brings all the skeletons out of your closet and exposes the deepest parts of you. Each type has a wing and also a connecting point leading to our “healthiest” and “unhealthiest” state. I love that at some point, each type somehow connects to another because we are meant to be in relationship. How beautiful is it that the deepest and most intricate parts of us thread into each other. Another aspect of the enneagram, and probably the most important part, is that within each type the core fears and desires are described and explained. Within the explanation, it exposes how these desires and fears sit at the core of why we orchestrate the way we do.

My favorite resources for my personal enneagram discovery journey include Your Enneagram Coach online and “The Road Back to You” (IVP Books, 2016). I am a four type with a “wing” of three, the “individualistic, romantic” also known as the “melancholic.” The fours are “feelers,” we see and orchestrate ourselves while navigating out of our feeling compass and strive to be unique in whatever we do in this world.

When I discovered the enneagram, I found myself exhaling with the permission to be all that I already was.

The depth of this type of personal understanding can be intimidating, but the beauty of being able to grasp and understand ourselves this deeply reveals how intricately we were made. We were created with such consistency and purpose that the foundation of our personality cannot be described in just one way, but instead reveals layers and layers of worthiness. It encourages an awareness and confidence in who we are so much so that we can’t help but function out of confidence, declaring “Here I am, this is all of me, flaws, mess, mistakes and all, and isn’t it beautiful?”

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Arielle Estoria

Arielle ​Estoria is a writer, speaker and creative. Her motto of “words not for the ears but for the soul” stems from her belief that words are meant to be felt and not just heard. Arielle’s first EP of music and poetry called Symphony of a Lioness is available on iTunes. She is the co-author of two collections of poetry: Vagabonds and Zealots (2014) and Write Bloody Spill Pretty (2017). She is made of sass and good intentions and has a deep love for car karaoke and brunch.