It all began at age six. At least this is my earliest memory of my life as the helper. I was at the threshold of beginning first grade and days before I set foot into my school that year, my baby brother was born. At the moment mom walked into the house from the hospital, nothing seemed as important as “helping” my mom take care of this sweet, little bundle.
I remember never straying far from my mom in those first days at home asking over and over how I could help. Everything about “being there” for someone else felt right. I’m not sure I can fully put it into words, but something clicked when I realized I had the ability to see beyond myself. This was the beginning of my journey as an Enneagram Two even though I did not know the full scope of what this looked like until three years ago.
My name is Mary. I am an Enneagram Two and my greatest joy is discerning and focusing on the needs of others.
Feelings Rule the Day
Before I glorify my Enneagram Twoness, let me share the whole story. With any personality test, there is both the positive and the negative. In my human state, I swing boldly in both directions in my day to day life.
One of the first things, I began to see in myself after studying the Enneagram, was the way I dive deep into my emotions. I feel all the things. The difference between me and perhaps you is that you don’t always know this looking from the outside in.
At the core of a two (that’s me!) is my desire to please other people. In a crowd, I am the person who scans the room and determines where I can be of most help. To many, it appears as a gift of hospitality. For me, I am fulfilling your needs in a timely manner. I do not have the gift of serving the perfect food on an expertly decorated table, but I will certainly make you feel comfortable.As an Enneagram Two, each step toward helping you is a step closer to fulfilling what fuels me. More about Enneagram Twos today on the blog. #EnneaWhat #enneagramtwo #enneagramseries #TellHisStory Click To Tweet
Twos are part of the Heart or Feeling Triad. I feel other people’s feelings first. It is my gift and desire to know if you are sad, frustrated, or happy. In the space of feeling your emotions, I take them on as my own. In the process of discerning your emotions, I am figuring out multiple things about myself and you. How will I care for you? What do you need most? Will this affect me? Do I have what you need? Each step toward you is a step closer to fulfilling what fuels me.
I Love to be Needed
As I was writing the story about my baby brother above, I knew the bottom line of my life as the helper was the gift of being needed. It is the core desire of an Enneagram Two and one that I call my own. On any given day the gift of being needed can work for me or against me. It all depends on whether I am leaning toward the healthy side of my twoness or not. Isn’t that just like life? We walk through good and bad days and they determine so much of how we react to any given situation.
My Enneagram story evolved at the same time I was diving deeper into understanding my identity. God began to lead me on a journey of unraveling myself by walking through the challenge of knowing Him in a deeper way. There are parallels between the Enneagram’s self-awareness tool and knowing that my identity begins with Christ. This led me on the journey to where I am today. It is still a work-in-progress and oh, so messy but it is my story and I love it.
At my best, I desire to share God’s unconditional and unlimited love with everyone. In my weakness, I lose sight of myself and taking care of my own needs at the expense of saying “yes” to those around me. Marilyn Vancil, in her book, Self to Lose Self to Find: A Biblical Approach to the 9 Enneagram Types, describes this as your “authentic and adapted self.”
When I am working from my authentic self, I find I have a sixth sense for what others need. I move with a generous spirit. My heart leads from a place of love and caring with no expectations for anything in return. On the days, I move from my adapted self, my mind seems to take over and my generosity is laced with deep-seated neediness. It’s not always pretty but God is teaching me again how to receive His grace and let go of my pride. The bottom line is that I do not always know what others need. Taking care of myself allows God to restore the parts inside me that cry for renewal and healing. I am learning this is just the way it is.My name is Mary. I am an Enneagram Two and my greatest joy is discerning and focusing on the needs of others.Do you know your Enneagram number? Come join me on the blog for a look at the life of an Enneagram Two. #EnneaWhat #TellHisStory Click To Tweet
God loves my “twoness.” He loves who you are too. God invites you to leave behind the striving and accept that He chose you first. He loves your individuality and reminds you there is nothing you need to prove in order to gain His love. You and I are secure in the story God is writing for us and the gift of interacting with each other along the way.
My life as the helper is best described by Marilyn Vancil. She writes:
A Two who has shifted his or her focus of attention from the needs of others to a trust in God’s love apart from their giving will become a wise and discerning servant, depending on God to direct them… True and genuine love will flow from them without demand for affirmation or reciprocity, and they will enjoy more mutuality in relationships as they graciously accept love and help from others. p. 90, Self to Lose, Self to Find
My name is Mary. I am an Enneagram Two and this is my life as the helper.
Thank you for joining #TellHisStory as we explore the Enneagram. Do you know someone who is interested in the Enneagram? Is this something that fascinates you? Share the love on social media so more people can join us on the journey.
Next week, we will take a short pause to celebrate my birthday with some fun giveaways. We will return to the Enneagram series on February 11 with Michele Morin as she shares what it looks like to walk through life as an Enneagram Three. You won’t want to miss this or any of the upcoming posts. Join the community by signing up below.