Are you familiar with the first big step in a transformative process?
Not yet? Have a look at this blog first. If so, you’re ready for the next step.
The Law of Three (or Creation) in the enneagram symbol:
You can see the Law of Three as three different kind of powers that each play their own part during a transformative process. A power is the energy to do something. Although it’s invisible, people experience its existence and effect. Conscious people recognize the moment when these powers are at play. Like I mentioned in my first blog: you will definitely know and recognize that moment!
What do you recognize in the following powers?
Stop for a moment and reflect on the powers you recognize in yourself:
- 1st power: the active power => is associated with point 3
(this is active, positive, giving, action; is associated with masculine)
- 2nd power: the receptive power => is associated with point 6
(this is passive, negative, receptive and reactive; is associated with feminine)
- 3rd power: the conciliatory power => is associated with point 9
(this is binding, neutral and conciliatory; is associated with neither male or female)
These three powers can also be found in the famous Serenity Prayer:
Give me the courage to change what can be changed,
give me the serenity to accept what cannot be changed,
give me the wisdom to know the one from the other.
Back to the three big steps in a transformative process
A reminder: in the previous blog I described the step which is symbolized on point 3. In short, this was about the step of ‘awakening’. It’s the start of observing the self and thereby gaining self-awareness and consciousness, getting to know and see identifications (and with that the nature of the ego). And finally, it’s the beginning of the dis-identification process, or letting go.
Another question for you: have you ever knowingly let something go?
With that I mean letting go of a certain habit, idea or belief. Or an illusion that you hung on to. Take a minute to reflect on this and see what comes up. Chances are something will. Can you remember what it felt like when you let go?
It is known that the process of letting go (dis-identification) triggers all kinds of emotions. Some of which you didn’t even knew they existed. The identification you hung to had a purpose, it gave you something. For example not experiencing the emotion you didn’t want to feel. Think about fear: for being criticized, to be rejected, situations which aren’t safe (people who are mean to you), et cetera.
Habits that people have developed are surviving strategies or defence mechanisms, which function as a shield against the anxieties mentioned earlier.
Three more examples: a habit to..
- .. doing something really good is a useful strategy to higher your chances of being complimented instead of criticized.
- .. making yourself special or indispensable (for as far that’s possible: this is an illusion) is a handy strategy to higher your chances of being appreciated instead of rejected.
- .. winning people over by being a very nice person is a helpful strategy to higher your chances of feeling safe with someone and lower the risk of feeling unsafe.
This brings us to point 6: the second big step in a transformative process
Imagine what happens in someone or in you when you let go of the three strategies just mentioned (obviously there are a lot more strategies to come up with). What if you let go of the habit to..
- ..try real hard; the fear of falling short and being criticized will take over immediately.
- ..be indispensable to others; the fear of being rejected and redundant will rise instantly.
- ..be very nice and charming; the fear of people not being nice to you and you not being able to feel safe will come up.
Point 6 in the transformative process is the step to no longer deny such emotions, or to move away, fight or numb yourself for them.
During this big step you confront what’s hidden inside of you. To accept this you need to have an open mind and be receptive, so you can look the beast in the eyes and investigate (the 2nd power!). This step requires courage and perseverance.
People who choose to take the path of growth are often eager to take the dis-identification (letting go) step at point 3. Suddenly they see possibilities for their development (= positive), but than they are confronted with what the inside world can set into motion (= negative). The natural tendency and automatic response is to slide back into known habits and strategies. This is what we call the abreaction: the ego (or personality type) firmly reclaims control.
Do you see the difference between the first power at point 3 and the second one at point 6?
It is on this point, with the solution in sight, you are confronted with the resistance from your own inner world. ‘Can I do this?’, ‘Will people still like me?’, ‘How will they react?’, ‘What will go wrong?’, etcetera. At point 6 fears, worries, allergies and resistance come up, and the process stops. However, with knowledge about this process you can overcome inner objections by consciously giving it attention (and time). Just by confronting it. For example, this can be done by deliberately defusing the contraction (the resistance, worries, etc) and being receptive for what’s there in the moment, for what comes up from your inner world and for what might come back from others in the outside world. Feel the fear (or resistance or allergy) and do it anyway!
Knowledge of these three big steps in the transformative process are of huge assistance in recognizing what happens when transformation actually takes place, and to learn how to deal with it in a way that benefits your growth. If you’re not aware of this process and point 6 is not addressed correctly than the growing stops here. Thus, point 6 needs extra attention and care during a transformative process!
Want to know more?
Read my next blog in which I will explain more about point 9.
I’ll also share the complete article in which you can read about all 9 points of the enneagram as transformative process model.