Sunday, March 25, 2012

Over-giving, Over-doing, Over-exhausted

Every time Mercury turns retrograde, we get a chance to look at our lives and see what areas are not working for us, what areas we could improve, and what areas we should focus on working once Mercury turns direct on April 4. During this retrograde period, Rev. Ava Park introduced me to the Enneagram personality types. I was fascinated when I started reading the book "The Wisdom of the Enneagram - the complete guide to psychological and spiritual growth for the nine personality types by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson." In this book, they describe this method the following way:

"The Enneagram is not a religion, however; nor does it interfere with a person´s religious orientation. It does not pretend to be a complete spiritual path. Nevertheless, it concerns itself with one element fundamental to all spiritual paths: self-knowledge."

I have taken the "know thyself" as one of my personal mantras since I started walking the Goddess centered spiritual path over 13 years ago. This saying has been with me since the beginning as well as the one that says "I only know, I know nothing" because part of my spiritual core says that I need to know myself well in order to be able to grow in this lifetime and I can never stop learning because the day that I think I know it all something has gone seriously wrong....

When I started exploring the Enneagram and doing some tests, my first test said that I was a 3 - The Achiever. Many of the characteristics of the three fit me quite well - workaholic, role model, wanting to be the best, always setting a goal and going for it. But there were also some characteristics that did not fit me as a status seeker or a person that likes to be the focus of attention (I am quite shy). When discussing with Ava, she did not agree with the test that said I was a 3 so we started going deeper and I did her test. This test said I was a two - the helper. The words that described this type really resonated with me - caretaker, generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing and possessive. As I started reading more about this number, I started remembering how many times I have given in excess and what the inner motive was for that giving. I am always the person who is there when you need help, anticipating people´s needs, always offering a hand and at times this over-giving leaves me exhausted, angry, and frustrated because I end up feeling that I give and give and give and I don´t receive. The same happens with doing. I do so much that at times I become a human doer instead of a human being (that´s where my three wing comes on because I definitely have some characteristics of the three - just not the core).

Studying the Enneagram has made me start thinking about why I give to people, what is the inner motive. Am I looking for love? Am I looking for the other person to give to me? Am I getting angry because I give and I don´t receive then I become a victim or a martyr? When I was a child, I took care of my mother as if I were her mother. I never allowed myself to be a maiden, I was a mother since I was 11 years old. Taking care of her needs when she was sick, when she was depressed, when she was on her high ride (yes - my mother was bipolar). This situation has made me feel like I sacrificed myself for her and that I did not get to live the life I wanted to live. Was I looking for my mother´s love? Maybe. I just know that know I am very aware of this pattern and I try to not fall into it anymore.

Last Friday, one of my friends was telling that she was going to go away with her husband and leave her two adorable kids with her parents who are elders and not in very good health. My first reaction was to say ... do you want me to take care of your kids while you go away? But then I stopped, thought again, and realized that I was tired, that I needed time for myself and if I did that, I would regret it and end up over-exhausted. As hard as it was, I did not offer anything and just moved on. The people savior in me wanted to go help, wanted to save the day, but the Queen in me said NO, you need to put yourself first.

From now on, I will help when I want to help from the heart and not because I am trying to please somebody, or feel loved, or feel needed. I also decided to start working with the affirmation "I love myself unconditionally just the way I am" so I am not looking at others to reflect my worth but I see myself lovable and worth of having the life I deserve.

The Enneagram was the tool that brought clarity and focus during this Mercury Retrograde Period. I highly recommend people to find their numbers and see how this test can help them. I know, from now on I say NO to over-giving, over-doing and getting over-exhausted.

Many blessings,

Lady Carolina )0(

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