Today is our last week for the Enneagram series. Thank you for sticking with me. I hope you learned a lot about yourself and your people. I am thrilled to welcome Lisa Burgess, Lisa Notes as she unpacks her life as an Enneagram Five- The Investigator. Show her some love in the comments and let me know what you thought of the series.
When Resources are Limited
Unless you’re my daughter or husband, I don’t want to answer your phone call. Don’t take it personally.
When I do answer, know it takes great intention and energy on my part. It costs me.
I’m secretly hoping you can just text or email next time.
This is what it’s like being a Five.
Fives have a reputation as the antisocial number. It’s not that we don’t enjoy people though. We do. It’s just that people tire us out.
Stinginess is one of the Fives’ pitfalls. But not financial stinginess. Fives tend to be minimalists so they don’t need a lot of stuff. Many Fives are quite generous with money (Bill Gates is a Five).
Rather the stinginess of Fives (or avarice, as it is called in Enneagram literature) is about time. And emotion. And energy.
I have limits on how long I can function at a party before my battery is drained. (But leave me alone for a few hours and I’ll charge back up.)
With finite resources, Fives want to steward them well to avoid depletion. Including limiting our phone time.
Use Your Head
The resource that Fives love to stockpile the most is knowledge. We Fives love learning things. We can never know too much.
Needing to know is our blessing. But also our curse.
When my mother was in her early 60s, we noticed glitches in her memory. A few short years later, she no longer could call any of us by name.
Losing your memory is a nightmare for anyone. But for a Five? The prospect of dementia has become my great fear.
I learned early in life that it was through my head I would succeed. I wasn’t the pretty one. I lacked the skills to be the athletic one. So, unconsciously, I leaned in to be the smart one.
While everyone values knowledge, perhaps we Fives value it most. No wonder a Five is often called the Investigator. The core desire of a Five isn’t to find security (that belongs to Sixes) or to be oneself (that’s a Four thing): a Five desires to be capable. We fear being stupid.
Fives will do their research. We’ll look it up. If we can teach ourselves, we will. We don’t want to be a nuisance to you. We’ll search the grocery aisles with due diligence before we ask a clerk for help.
But trying to know it all and to be the most independent person in the room doesn’t always benefit us.
It can be our spiritual downfall.
Google or God?
The internet can break a Five. You never get to the end of it. It’s a bottomless pit of information.
My temptation is to trust Google more than I trust God. To trust WHAT I know more than WHO I know. Preferring to be self-sufficient runs counter to depending on God.
I spent my formative years memorizing all manners of facts and figures about the Bible. But knowing the Bible, while important, isn’t the same thing as knowing God.
The story of Nicodemus in the Bible mimics my own. He first meets Jesus with his head, to gather information and clarify concepts (John 3:1-21).
Jesus doesn’t reply to him with heady knowledge though. He answers with mystery (John 3:8). Heavenly things don’t always make sense to a Five.
But it’s the invitation we Fives need – let go of your need to know and trust the One who does know.
Engage the Heart and Body, too.
Nicodemus next appears in John 7:50-51, reminding his colleagues of their own law. Give a person (i.e., Jesus) a chance, he says. Listen before judging. It’s now personal to Nicodemus; it’s now about Jesus. His heart is engaged.
It took a church change to break my stronghold of a head-only religion. While I remain grateful for my foundation from the church of my youth, I needed to love God with all of me–mind, heart, and soul–instead of only my mind.
The last time we see Nicodemus is after Jesus’s crucifixion. Of all people, this skeptical, knowledge-guy is the one who shows up with myrrh and aloes to prepare Jesus for entombment (John 19:39-42).
I’ve had to learn to show up in my body, too. It doesn’t come easily to a Five. We may be quick to think with our heads, but we’re slow to move in our bodies.
It doesn’t come naturally to me to volunteer in our local soup kitchen without a plan. I prefer direction and assignments and lists that I can wrap my head around.
But I’m learning to show up there anyway. Just put my body in place, even when my heart is afraid and my knowledge is incomplete. As a Five, I have to practice trusting God. Sometimes he only provides missing pieces of knowledge AFTER I show up. When I put my body in position, he’ll handle the details.The invitation for Enneagram Fives is to let go of the need to know and trust the One who does know. Join @LisaNotes as we wrap up the Enneagram series. #EnneaWhat #enneagramfive #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
Know Who Knows
I don’t like bumping up against the unknown. A Five’s gift to the world is knowing things (Albert Einstein was probably a Five). Fives read the manuals, the placards at museum exhibits, and the footnotes in the books.
But I don’t have to know everything to be whole. It’s impossible.
I just need to know the one who does know it all. That’s my great comfort as a Five.
Just as I am not what I have (Fives tend to collect books more than most) and I am not what I feel (they say Fives are least in touch with their feelings but my Four wing disagrees), I also am not what I know.
Maybe I’ll end up with Alzheimer’s like my mother. I can’t know. I wonder about it often.
But even if one day I forget all the stockpiles of knowledge I’ve accumulated, I won’t be forgotten by the One who knows me.
That is enough. I’m glad God is never stingy with those he knows.
**I love Lisa’s words to us and the struggle she describes as she seeks knowledge as well as God and the tension that can cause.
I want to thank every one of the writers who contributed to making the EnneaWhat?? series such a success. I learned so much through it all and discovered some new ways to interact with my friends who claim a different number than my own. I have created a printable of the Good News of the Enneagram that is available to you as a download today. Click HERE to download a free printable. I’m praying it is exactly what you need in the season we are currently in.
Lisa Burgess looks for God in ordinary people and everyday moments. Then writes about where she finds him on her blog LisaNotes.com. She is a wife, a mom, and has recently become Granna to two beautiful granddaughters. She also shares on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.