archives, you & me

Things I’ve Learned of Love as a Seven Enneagram.

 

Okay, I see you. I see the ones weighing whether or not to eye-roll your way onto the next piece at the sight of yet another personality-based inquiry.

Before that happens, just know I get it. In the spiritual abyss of endless and often relentless-seeming self-discovery, the significance of potentially life-changing work gets trendy, somehow. And it’s a bummer by the way, since all of that noise distracts from the impact of one’s profoundly transformative and collectively relevant journey.

So good news, if you’re still with me: I’m not here to lecture, or educate. I’m not here to praise the Enneagram model above all others, or to discuss each personality type and lure you into finding your own (though that would be cool, but we are also all types so it doesn’t much matter).

I’m not even here to provide a life-changing testimony, although learning my tendencies through this language certainly was that for me.

I am here, however, to sit in the mess of what and who I am and to share what’s come of that. I’m here to make lists — as Sevens like to do — and prove to myself that deep process is beautiful and results in tremendous growth. More so, I’m here to get real about something that’s never been real to me: love.

By real, I don’t mean I don’t believe in love or that I’ve never experienced it. In fact, it’s about the only thing I’ve lived by my entire life. I declared myself Love’s Advocate, getting lost in romantic plot-lines and epic prohibited loves in alignment with the belief that true love knows no bounds. I believed in timeless love, ageless love, karmic love, soulmate love, twin flame love, on and on and on and…

By real love, I mean real in this world, of this earth, manifested in physical form, in this realm of space and time. It wasn’t until learning about my Enneagram type Seven that validated for me why I was constantly lost in thought — the fantastical, mystical, and hypothetical — always at the expense of actually pursuing all forms of relationship.

Within the Seven personality type, I land in the sub-personality as the Sexual Seven. Ironically, this has little to do with sex and everything to do with “the essence of love and attaining idealized ultimate connection… mystical union,” as described in Beatrice Chestnut’s The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge.

The shadow-side manifestation of my Seven experience is that it takes me away from the earth-plane, away from the body, away from myself and consequently, away from literally everyone else.

In love relationships, imagination dominates reality to the point of being indistinguishable. This results in predominantly confusing, crazy-making connections which cycle back, and quickly, to isolating patterns where fantasy remains the safest escape.

Often, when disembodied and daydreaming, I find a deep longing for my inner parent to bring me back to me. As a way of coming back, self-validation is the only way to embody the value of a lofty or elevated experience.

As a Sexual Seven lover, one Chestnut would describe as being “gullible” and “easily hypnotized,” it’s too easy to deem my love experiences as illusory, unreal and illegitimate.

In fact, it is this personality type that convinced many-a-Western doctor I qualify for personality disorder diagnoses. Yep, plural. It is this personality type that convinced me I was born to forever grieve and was destined for impossible loves. It is this personality type that keeps my head in the clouds, longing, certain of a fated solitude. It has kept me from relationships for years, and easily.

But… at the same time, it is this personality type that best describes me in the way I know me, and for that, I couldn’t possibly say I love me without it.

Two years ago, I wrote myself a letter regarding things I’ve learned of love. It deciphers real love from real love. It roots me back down into real-time. It reminds me that my experience is as legitimate as anyone’s. It reminds me to advocate for love as I always have and that includes my own.

Dearest Sweet,

Things I’ve Learned of Love:

  1. No amounts of psychics/spiritual healers/clairvoyants can predict your future. No amount.
  2. Therapists can be epic, though they also can’t predict your future. Bummer, I know.
  3. No amount of thinking about your person will manifest their physical presence in a timely fashion.
    a. There is no such thing as timely fashion.
  4. The dreams you have of your person at night are not necessarily premonitions.
    a. They don’t always require an elaborate Jungian analysis either.
    b. They also aren’t the Universe’s way of torturing you, no matter how sure you feel about that.
  5. No one knows you and your relationships better than you do.
    a. Read that again.
  6. Trusting the process is the most significant, challenging and worthwhile journey; ride it.
  7. Grief/mood swings/bliss is normal on any given day ending in y, especially today.
    a. Sometimes it all comes at once. Remember to breathe.
  8. Just because something ended doesn’t mean it’s over.
  9. Just because something started doesn’t mean it’s always going to be there.
  10. Circumstance does not determine the quality or quantity of love.
  11. Life may have boundaries, but your experience of love doesn’t have to.
  12. Love will most always challenge life’s boundaries.
    a. And make you question your core morals and values.
    b. And your sanity.
    c. And your humanness.
    d. And your desire to be human.
  13. Distractions are temporary, use them discerningly.
  14. Denial prolongs the process, but it is part of the process.
  15. The intensity of your emotions cannot kill you, I promise. I really promise.
  16. Your worth is not dictated by another human being.
  17. Your worth is not dictated by another human being.
  18. Your worth is not dictated by another human being.
  19. It’s okay if someone fills you up, so long as you know who you are without them.
  20. Communication is everything.
  21. Communication is far more complicated than any understanding you may have of communication.
  22. Love is — unquestionably — always the answer.
  23. Love heals and hurts but is almost always worth it.
    a. It doesn’t always feel worth it.
  24. Love is never a problem.
  25. Love is love is love is love is love is love.
  26. Re-visiting old messages is almost always a bad idea.
    a. It will almost always feel good while doing it.
  27. Daydreams are fun.
    a. And counterproductive sometimes.
  28. Sometimes they come back.
    a. Sometimes they don’t.
  29. Not everything makes sense.
    a. That’s the b*tch.
    b. And the beauty.
  30. Nothing is conclusive, or concrete.
  31. I will never know the entirety of love, but I will always try, and…
  32. Above all else, I love you greatly for that.

***

Paige Frisone is a writer and poet stationed in Boulder, Colorado. Originally from Chicago, her writing pursuits began at Butler University, finishing her Creative Writing/English Literature degree at Naropa University with an integrated contemplative psychology focus. Her diverse loves and endeavors involve mind, body, earth and energetic-centered practices. Her work seeks to emit gripping psychosomatic experiences while simultaneously addressing concepts regarding the psyche and soma. She’s usually moving by the lake or reading barefoot in the grass, soaking up the sun with deep gratitude for all.

***

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