Monday, August 2, 2010

I choose not to be ruled by a number

The Enneagram is a system used to determine personality types, numbers one through nine used to describe each type. According to the Enneagram I'm a number four, although I have not extensively researched this conclusion. It's somewhat similar to Hippocrates four temperaments, sanguine, choleric, melancholic, or phlegmatic. According to Wikipedia "he mapped them to a matrix of hot/cold and dry/wet taken from the four elements. There could also be a balance between the qualities, yielding a total of nine temperaments."
It may be a different system, but the conclusion is the same. We are ruled by our personality types.
As for fours, they are said to be prone to envy.
I can flip from gratitude to envy in the time it takes me to open Facebook and scan the triumphs of friends from the east coast to the west coast.
As quickly as I can say, "thank you, God, for all my blessings," I can deescalate into sorrow that I'm not on a multi-generational family camping trip at a pristine lake in the Rockies depicted in photos on Facebook, holding a grandbaby (the one that gets me the quickest), or on a trip to the Caribbean (my cousins). I just know I'm going to get to see photos of their trip!
Facebook is about family and friends and photos and all the good things, but also some not so good. A friend posted a photo of his beloved wife who drowned in the Wenatchee River three years ago today. He is blessed with a daughter and one granddaughter who his wife will never see. How dare I succumb to envy for the things I don't have in the face of that.
There's no sense in it, unless I'm truly living up to my personality type.
But given my belief that we can all change, I refuse to be ruled by the dark side of my personality.
Envy will ruin a good day faster than a flashflood and I choose not to be ruled by a number.

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