It may be stretch that we have to pray for a humiliation a day. It comes on its own unbidden. The question is, will we see it or will we work quickly to rationalize or defend against it? Will we make space for the emotions it elicits? Will we feel it in our bodies? ⁣⁣

Your Idealized Persona

Our persona…the idealized self…carries an inordinate amount of energy as we spend so much trying to maintain it. ⁣⁣
Often,  the call of the second half of life is the practice of letting go. Let go of the idealized persona (the energy of Point 3 in the Enneagram of process). The psychological temptation is to build a new and improved persona. ⁣⁣

The Enneagram Idealizations:

1-I am correct and good.
2-I am helpful and giving.
3-I am successful, the best
4-I am unique
5-I am wise
6-I am loyal
7-I am okay
8-I am strong
9-I am peaceful
We expend a lot of energy buffering up our idealizations. Yet, the deeper spiritual work is developing the capacity to turn *towards* our shadow (the energy of Point 6 on the Enneagram). The shadow is that which we deny in ourselves and project onto others. There’s so much life force energy available to us when we accept our shadow self. Really accept it. The polarities we see in the world around us, live in us. ⁣⁣

What we deny and oppose in ourselves, we will project onto others. ⁣⁣

How do we know whether it’s a projection or just an observation? The more worked up, obsessively ruminating and activated we are, the more likely it is usually a shadow energy living in us. (I know. I struggle with this truth too). Follow the energy. Bring the projection home.⁣⁣
Point 9, which sits on top of the Enneagram is the reconciling force between the two polarities. It holds them both in transformative, unitive love. All 3 of these core energies live in each of us: persona, shadow, unitive love. ⁣
By the second half of life, you’ve most likely faced loss, grief, failure, disappointment, disillusionment, shame. Your deepest fears may have come to fruition. This “necessary suffering” of being human is universal. Yet the harder we try to deny or outrun it, the more persistent the shadow will be in our lives. ⁣

Welcome the unwelcome. It’s not easy. So it must include the 3 spiritual centers. An open mind. An attuned, empathic heart. Grounded presence. Good, honest, caring friends and community who can hold space for all of you. Don’t try to do it alone.


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