George Bernard Shaw, Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Nader, and Joan of Arc. These are all the people my EnneaThought of the day recommended that I reflect on and think about what they “model” for me. At first, I was definitely thinking Who is George Bernard Shaw? But Wikipedia quickly solved that problem for me. Then, I did some Google research on the others … and found myself pleasantly surprised and encouraged.
A little over a year ago, I wrote about what it would be like to change my personality. This came shortly after a realization that I can (and do) come off intense. Intense in my opinions and my fight to see the world for all its rights and wrongs. If you know me well enough, you have certainly encountered this part of me. Well, I came to the conclusion that, while I could lessen the blows and shave down the edges, I didn’t necessarily need to lose them. In fact, these parts of me are so inherent and, perhaps, important.
Well, that was a year ago. And like the ebb and flow of time, I tend to forget. It seems contradictive, but I fall back into this idea that I’m bad to have an opinion. Maybe because the opinion feels so heavy? I think it might be the intensity at which I feel the conviction — I am the only one to solve this problem. This can feel paralyzing at times. That feeling is hard to ignore. This, along with many other things, is what makes me so grateful for the Enneagram. It helps me so accurately identify these two contradicting feelings. Which brings me to those listed above.
It turns out that George Bernard Shaw, a One on the Enneagram, is a famous playwright who is described as an Irish “dramatist and literary critic” and a “socialist propagandist.” Much of what I read was about how he helped shape the “political, sociological and economic movements” of his day. Not only that, but he was also intrigued by Joan of Arc — who was a badass in her own time — even writing an entire play about her life. It seems we Ones have an affinity for other Ones who seem to “get it right.” That blessed and cursed perfection we so seek seems to so easily be found in all others but ourselves!
Mostly, what I found so encouraging in all these people was their ability to simply be themselves. Apparently, Katharine Hepburn was a bit of a sassy woman in her “fierce independence” and enjoyed engaging in politics. Ralph Nader is a politician belonging to the Green Party, also resilient in his independence and loves a good thrift store. Last year, Nader received the Gandhi Peace Award. Again, Joan of Arc was a badass who preferred men’s clothing (mostly due to a fear of being raped), was seen as a prophet and aided in the Hundred Years’ War. After her awful murder, she was declared a Roman Catholic saint.
All have been described as “self-righteous.” Sounds familiar.
The older I get, I find myself caring less. Caring less whether or not I’m surrounded by like-minded individuals (although important), and caring less when I have something to say that will make others feel uncomfortable. I have zero desire to be Instagram famous or gain notoriety on YouTube. I want to be the person Christ created me to be, and I refuse to be anything less. I’m a little self-righteous and, sometimes, I get on my high horse. But my healthy sides reveal to me the gray areas of life and that my horse is really just a miniature pony, and I’m going nowhere fast.
George, Katharine, Ralph, and Joan all reveal that the insistence to be persistent is admirable. Their shadow sides also show me that not everyone appreciated their company … but that’s OK. I have promised myself to continue doing the hard work of recognizing my shadow. Ultimately, though, the truth about who I am is I’m zealous but also a compassionate human. I’m a perfectionist but also a reformer.