Core Desires

Today I am thinking about my core desires as a Type 3 in the Enneagram. They are the things that I am always pushing towards. My positive motivations, if you will. They are what I believe deep down will satisfy all my cravings, make me feel whole and make my life complete.

Surprisingly, it’s not a man.

Here’s the list of core desires:

  • high status
  • being successful
  • admired
  • valuable
  • competent
  • accomplished

This is why I am always striving to reach lofty goals, so I get the attention, affirmation and respect from those around me.

The Desire for Money Finance Business Success  - nattanan23 / Pixabay

I look at my life and for the most part, I do not feel like success. I don’t even make my age annually. Someone told me when I was about 32 that as a woman, I should try to have my income at least match if not supersede my age times $1000 annually. So at 32 i should have been making $32,000 a year. I don’t do that. In fact, I am just now barely making enough to be able to afford to live on my own.

I am very proud of finally making it to this point. I can give you all me excuses.

I was a single mom that had to balance 2 kids, work, hobbies, friends, other family, all on my own. My ex-husband was a dead beat and it wasn’t until my kids were well into their 20s before the state decided to track him down and make him pay the back child support he owed. THAT put a strain on me. I did my best to do it all AND to make it look easy, but it wasn’t. I’m a worn out hot mess now.

My desires to Head Beyond Clouds Sky  - geralt / Pixabay

Because I was a single mom, I didn’t feel like I could climb the corporate ladder. Who was going to take care of my kids while I was on business trips? Or working later than I already was? I had the opportunity but choose not to so I could be an OK mom to my kids. They already didn’t have a dad around.

My alleged best friend, that I worked with for a while, turned into a psycho B!+@# and I couldn’t handle working with her anymore. So I left that really good job. I really enjoyed that job and wished she would have left instead. It worked out OK because I would have felt guilty leaving when…

Desire for friends

I was an idiot and followed my 2nd ex-husband every time he decided to move. OK, it was only twice over 10 years. Me leaving him was the 3rd time and each time MY work life was disrupted. I did make some great friends from those moves. Ladies I still visit with on Facebook to this day. In fact, now that I am living back in the Midwest, closer to those gals, I am going to take a trip up to spend a long weekend with them, hopefully on a quarterly basis, after this crazy COVID-19 is gone.

When my last boyfriend, whom I lived with, dumped me out of the blue, it was just the shove I needed to look around and see what I could do to step up my game in my work life. Funny thing is, I found a job at another Council doing the exact same thing I absolutely loved doing in Phoenix for $10,000 a year more. AND the cost of living is 2/3 of what it is in Phoenix. That’s how I now have my very first place of my own – ever.

So as you can see from my life’s path, these desires are what drive me to be my best, but they also make me feel my worst.

how the gospel fulfills our core desires

Here’s a little secret, that I know, but mostly always forget: God has already given all my core desires through Jesus. He did it without even looking at my actions. He did it just because I exist!

He gave me such amazing skills and I want to use them to the best of my ability to shoe Him how thankful I am for these gifts. AND even if I didn’t do anything worth writing home about, He still loves me and finds me to be amazing! What a concept, huh?

A.W.A.R.E.

My first husband never took responsibility for his behavior or anything that happened in his life. He spun lie after lie to cover up his bad choices. Funny, I was one of those bad choices myself. I chose to, well, I made the choices I made and I have had to live with them. I have spent my entire adult life feeling like I am paying for the sins of my youth. I mean I am really good at making bad choices. I’m also really good at taking responsibility for my choices.

How small behavior changes can have a ripple effect
Don’t Underestimate the Ripple Effect of Your Actions

That’s part of what this journey I am on is really about – figuring out why I do what I do, even when really deep down I know it’s not what I should do. We all have moments like that. Some make huge impacts on our lives immediately. Others are like a tiny pebble dropped into a pool of water. The ripple effect can be major sometimes.

I guess I am super thankful God has the capacity to forgive and show us grace and mercy. Now if I could just do that for myself… Learning who I am through the Enneagram, I’m hoping, will allow me to see who I am through God’s eyes and give myself a better understanding of me, and those around me. I am hoping I will be able to have compassion for myself, and more for those around me when we run into differences. I hope to be able to show grace and mercy to those around me as well. And eventually, believe I am worthy of forgiveness myself. And forgive others more quickly as well.

Just knowing does not change our behavior

I recently took a class on-line called The Science of Well-Being through Yale University. Something we talked about in week 2 was the misconception that simply knowing is not enough to change behavior. We have to actually put that knowledge to work – turn it into an action – before we can change our behavior. That’s what I want to do, figure out what action I need to take to change the behaviors I don’t like that I do.

When my kids were little, we had a family counselor come to the house every few weeks to help us with some issues we were having. I was a single mom and young and trying to juggle it all on my own. It was hard. I was always tired, both physically and emotionally. So asking for outside professional help seemed to be a good idea.

One time the counselor was working with us on breaking a behavior cycle that wasn’t the most positive. He asked us to think about what was going through our minds right before things got crazy? What did we notice was happening to our bodies? These were the signs to watch for so we could attempt to break our pattern. When we noticed these things happening, we need to work on removing ourselves from the situation and go away from each other to calm down. Then we could come back and try to talk things through more calmly. A better choice and different pattern.

If you see the pattern, we can change the behavior

Noticing those physical changes in our bodies would allow us to take control of our behavior and make the changes we wanted to see happen. Warning signs, if you will. It’s like watching for a tornado. If you know the signs, you can go for safety and survive the storm. My hope is learning about myself through the Enneagram will help me see those patterns and make the changes I’d like to see in my own life.

Back to The Enneagram Type Three book, In Day 2, Beth talks about, when something is happening that we would like to change, think of the word AWARE:

  • Awaken – notice how I am reacting in my behavior, feelings, thoughts and body sensations. Just like the counselor said to do all those years ago. He was a really smart guy. If I can find these signs, I can train myself to respond differently to what ever is happening around me.
  • Welcome – be open to what I might learn and observe without condemnation and shame. For me, SHAME is a huge issue. My behavior is widely motivated by trying to avoid things that bring me shame. And I’m not even Catholic!! I need to ask myself, what would be so terrible if I did this differently this time? What do I have to lose? What’s the worst thing that could happen? Because if I do what I usually do, I already know I don’t like that outcome.
  • Ask – ask God to help clarify what is happening internally. Praying. It’s just that simple.
  • Receive – receive an insight and affirm your true identity as God’s beloved child. And then get out of my own way, be quiet, listen and do what I know I should do. Be brave. Philippians 4:13.
  • Enjoy – enjoy my new freedom from old self defeating patterns of living. What a relief??!!

It sounds so simple. If only. It’s working to change 50 years of habits. That’s what is so challenging. But it’s OK. It’s what I want to have happen. And even if I don’t get it right the first time, there will be other times to try again. And someday I will get it right and then there will be times that I mess it up again. As long as I keep trying, I can do this.

There are major life events that I wish I had mastered this concept before they happened. My life would be so different now. Part of me wished I didn’t have to go through those things. Another part of me is really glad that I did, because it’s made me who I am today, and I really like who I am today. It’s wonderful that God has been able to gift me so many amazing opportunities in spite of myself. Mostly I would love to take back the pain and hurt I have caused for those around me. I suppose those moments shaped them as well. The good news is, today is a new day and I can move forward and work on being a better person.

One thing I can say, I have a great life. Amazing family and friends. And a God that always loves me.

Behavior that shows me love

So if you’d like some insights on how to love me, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • Reassure me by telling me you like me and like being around me
  • I love to hear how proud you are of me and my achievements
  • When I’m working, please don’t distract or interrupt me. Yes, I have ADD.
  • Feedback is always welcome as long as it is not overly critical or judgmental. I will get defensive and your words will fall on deaf ears.
  • I am the best me when my things in my life are harmonious, tidy and peaceful. Yes, I get distracted and make messes – but eventually I do clean them up. Too many messes over whelm me and I just can’t.

What are some ways you feel loved?

I miss you much…

Why do we miss people?

I was driving around the other day (sorry, I didn’t have internet until yesterday and so I wasn’t able to work on my blog) and I saw a Harbor Freight store and started crying.

WHY??!!

INSIDE OUT, from left: Sadness (voice: Phyllis Smith), Joy (voice: Amy Poehler), 2015. © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

In that moment a flood of memories of Mark came rushing in and I missed him. And I hated that I missed him. He dumped me. Out of the blue with no explanation, no matter how many times I asked. I should have nothing but negative feelings and thoughts toward him. But I don’t. And I got really annoyed with myself because I don’t want to miss him. It hurts to miss him. I get sad. I’m tired of being sad. It’s been 2 months for crying out loud!!!

It got me to thinking about why do we miss people?

So let me just start off by saying that there are a lot of really great songs about missing people. The Rolling Stones did Miss You in 1978. John Waite sang Missing You in 1984. In 1989 Natalie Cole sang Miss You Like Crazy and Janet Jackson gave us Miss You Much. That’s just to name a few.

So I’m in good company, missing someone, right? But WHY??

I’ll also share I miss other people too. I miss my Grandma Carter on most holidays because it’s when I usually saw her. And truth be told, it was just about the only time my family in town got together – to see Grandma, or so Grandma could see us. I miss my dad every time I have issue with my car. Though sometimes he did really odd things to fix things in general, he always knew what to do with the car. And I do not. I miss my high school sweetheart, Darin.

It was in realizing I miss Darin that made me think, do I ACTUALLY miss the person, or do I miss the events and feelings that we created together?

I can’t actually miss Darin. I haven’t seen or heard from him for 20 years-ish. I don’t even KNOW him any more. I enjoyed the feeling of being loved in a high school/college kinda way. I savored the fun we had at Westport Plaza or driving around in his cute little Spitfire convertible. I miss those feelings and experiences.

I miss the feeling of my loving family gathering together for the holidays. I miss the way Grandma made me feel like I was the most important person in the world, when I was with her. She did that my entire life!! I miss baking cookies and washing the dishes at the sink with her. I miss her telling me I was her favorite grandchild – and the sweet little smile when she said, “but don’t tell the others.”

I miss knowing my dad knew how to physically fix everything if I needed help. I miss him coming in my room at night, after we had disagreed about something, me pretending to be asleep and him telling why he saw things the way he did and how he was sorry he upset me and that he loved me.

I miss the laughter I shared with Mark about the silly day to day happenings in our life. I miss snuggling up on the couch with him, his arm wrapped about me, feeling like my rough day just disappeared, never to be seen again. I miss traveling and seeing the great southwest in our RV. It was my dream life. I miss talking about and planning our future. I miss how beautiful he made me feel.

So maybe it’s not that I miss the person. What if I am afraid I won’t ever have those positive experiences again and I am sad about that? Maybe I’m afraid I won’t find those positive experiences again. Maybe I am afraid I won’t connect with someone like I connected with them.

I turned to the great Googles, and here are some other website I found that talk about why we miss people.

These are really great articles and have some interesting perspectives. And honestly, I kinda feel a little better about missing people.

You know what’s really weird… I don’t miss either of my ex-husbands.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter too. Leave me a comment!