Enneagram identity, belonging and shame

Belonging takes many forms; the Enneagram reveals three archetypes.

Enneagram identity, belonging and shame

On belonging: the Heart Type’s identity struggle

Belonging is almost like a felt sense, but it is hard to describe exactly. How does it feel to know that you belong? Is it a family meal, or milk and cookies? Is belonging hanging out with man’s best friend, be it a dog, a cat or another beloved pet? Is it being included in the party invite list? Is it owning the right house and car in the right neighborhood because you went to the right college and managed your climb up the career ladder in your industry?

Or is it simpler than that? Would just having a purpose and a place to contribute in life spent on the planet qualify as a felt sense of belonging? In all actually, belonging is likely a myriad of all these things and others. It will depend on the individual involved in creating the definition.  No matter how you break it down, a felt-sense of belonging is a true need of the human species. Having it or not having it, can definitely impact a person’s overall happiness and health.

The dance of belonging takes many forms

The dance with belonging can be revealed in many forms and viewed from many angles; but the Enneagram highlights a specific set of three. As your study of the Enneagram progresses, you will discover how wings and arrows also influence an Enneatype number. This influence is due to the dynamic movement or transformation of energy between humans. This phenomenon actually already happens–internally  and externally amongst us humans. Usually, we just don’t notice!

The Enneagram symbol just provides an observable form to that usually unseen emotional, physical or thought pattern of energy. Once you have studied all that, and integrated Enneagram theory into your own view-screen of life, it becomes easier to see and understand how any number on the Enneagram can, and does, access this identity, shame and belonging struggle, even if only for periods of time.

For example, with the Enneagram Heart Types, this identity theme is their very familiar home base. This doesn’t mean a Heart Type will always be aware of this phenomena, however. Quite the contrary, actually! Coming to that realization, being able to witness their own belonging struggle is a Heart Type’s path to bliss, not necessarily their arrival in bliss, but the path to bliss. Even though this notion of identity may not always be a conscious one for the Heart Type, that sense of belonging or not belonging and the shame that energizes it, is always in the mix. And, this energy of shame will actively drive daily living, from a mostly unconscious place.

“Tones of Belonging” dance video

Although there are nine types on the Enneagram, only three particularly struggle with identity. These three types are found in the Heart Center of Intelligence, specifically, in Enneatype 2-The Helper, Enneatype 3-The Performer, and in Enneatype 4-The Tragic Romantic. (Read more about The three Centers of Intelligence mapped by the Enneagram.)

Some of these metaphoric, template-like ways of searching or fixating for belonging can be hard to understand from the written word. The “Tones of Belonging” video, listed below, offers an interesting dance art performance video that captures this idea of living in silo from an unconscious place. The video also depicts how connection with others can balance the system and create equanimity.

According to the listing on VIMEO: “[This] live performance…merges dance with somatic healing in collaboration with sculptor Corinne Peterson, who uses clay workshops and installation to address trauma.” Take a look and listen to this somatic dance performance with  “Tones of Belonging by BodyCompass Dance Project“ as posted by Abbie Brasch on VIMEO. (Or visit their BodyCompass Dance Project Facebook page to learn more.)


How do you experience belonging?

For another viewpoint on the Enneagram Heart Types’ struggle with belonging, take a look at the article “Heart Types yellow brick road of shame.  You may also be interested inDiscovering Essence Identity with Eckhart Tolle. For a basic primer, the article Enneagram historical origins remain cloaked might prove useful; it is the first in a seven article series detailing Enneagram basics.

What is your take on the meaning of belonging? Have you thought about it? Assessing how you feel about belonging, or your own identity, in the world is a great launch pad to finding the seat of your emotions, the heart. The three Enneagram Heart Types naturally possess the “unawakened” corner on belonging. Nevertheless, with observation in their daily lives, and a little detachment, the three Heart Types can find antidotes to pride, self-deceit and envy. By doing so, their relationship to, and understanding of, shame will evolve.

Enjoy the music, and use the Grounded Relating Monday Music Challenge to stay present to yourself today, and every day.

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