Tension is who you think you should be, Relaxation is who you are. (–Chinese proverb)
I love this line.
What kind of tensions do we wear?
How long does it take to get tired of wearing them?
Our personal tensions are like a mask or a suit of armor defending us efficiently, we think.
As small children we gird our loins to face the world. We decide (or perhaps we’re born knowing) which costume, which armor, will suit us.
Will I be extra pleasing to everyone so they will always like me?
Will I be extra shiny, glossy, efficient, hard-working?
Will I stand back and observe, gathering data and trying to avoid being imposed upon?
Will I step forth with power, take charge, so nobody messes with me or any of my peeps?
Will I vigilantly keep one eye on all possible hazards and design multiple escape routes?
Will I be the effervescent optimist, ignoring pain to make it go away?
Will I sacrifice myself to maintain the harmony of those around me?
Will I be so artistic, special, and deep, that my own yearning brings depression?
Will I constantly try for an impossible perfection which never arrives, and leaves me feeling resentful (a.k.a. Diane’s armor)?
All of these are good coping mechanisms. But.
Sooner or later, doesn’t this armor feel heavy?
Don’t we long to break out of our box and meet the world in a fresh new way?
Relaxation is who you are.
In this season when we get the freedom of dressing up in wild costumes, when we get the relief of dropping our ordinary self,
I invite you to find out what it means to drop the armor.
Drop the tension.
The assortment of armored attitudes mentioned above are a
nine (enne) picture (gram) of personality types.
The enneagram material provides tons of personal insight, growth, awareness.
It’s a giant key to inner freedom and relaxation.
Without the enneagram, many of us are blind to our own automatic defenses.
Like: “Armor? What armor?” We feel sort of heavy but we don’t know why.
Images provided respectively by D.Stallings, Wikimedia commons, Arizona Enneagram