“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Valley of Humiliation

For the last few days, I have been reading, and re-reading, in the manner recommended by Francis Bacon ("some books are  to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested")  the wonderful and insightful book by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert Discovering the Enneagram.

I already knew that I was a Three, but this book has made me squirm, as the descriptions in it seemed to be reading my heart and mind. Phrases kept jumping out at me, saying "That's you - you know it is."

It's not been a comfortable experience - far from it. In fact, my face has been burning, and I have felt humiliated by what I've learned about myself. But the self-knowledge it has given me is priceless. At last I know (or know much more) what kind of person I am, and how I can learn to live with that person, so that I can "encounter self-critically their own dishonesty and the compulsion to succeed. Threes must above all chew and digest their shadow sides, their failure and their defeats, instead of running away from them" and "confront their own inner emptiness and longing for love."

I swithered about posting about this, but I truly believe that learning which Enneagram type you are, and learning to deal with your shadow side is essential for spiritual growth, so I wanted to share about the book, so that other people (if they wish) can do the same.

And may God have mercy on us all.


  1. I found the enneagram really helpful. Should not be used to beat yourself up though. for me the key is to understand and make the most of your qualities

    1. Oh I agree, Danny. It was just the first shock of it. But yes, you are right, the key is to understand and make the best of your qualities. Thank you.