My overarching theme for 2020 is to do less.
Marie Forleo says:
This means less service for others, less time on social media, less planning, less commitment.
Last year I discovered the Enneagram, and after reading through the various personality types, and then spending $12 to take the official test, I discovered that I am a 2- a ‘Helper’.
The positive side of an Enneagram 2 is being warm, empathetic, affectionate and generous.
The dark side of an Enneagram 2 is being a raging Codependent.
This idea is not new to me. My first dedicated therapist introduced me to Melody Beattie’s book Codependent No More in my mid twenties and it was a game-changer. For Adult Children of Alcoholics, for anyone who has been in a relationship with an addict. For those who give too much and then resent others for it, for those trying to control every small and large detail of everything around them. For those white knuckling through life, not even realizing that your fists are clenched and breath is held, because you haven’t learned to be vulnerable enough to trust. Trust others, the process of life, trust that God/the Universe supports your happiness.
I tend to lose myself in relationships. Not just romantically, but in friendships, in family, in work. My need for approval runs deep, the desire to be well-thought and act in accordance to this need borders on compulsion. And all of this gets starkly contrasted with the idea that I know better for others than they know themselves. It’s ceaseless judgement, obsessive control, tireless blame. Often directed outward, but mostly towards myself. And you would never know this upon acquaintance. Outwardly, I am friendly and cheerful and try my best to appear lighthearted and open.
But tough moments of conflict last month blasted the doors open to this side of myself that I am not comfortable with, so I am working to change that. What Helpers need most is to analyze their ‘doing’ for authenticity or obligation. For service or superiority. What Helpers need is to better understand their needs and fulfill them first, before they give anything away to others.
So this year I am stepping back.
Asking myself, “Is this mine to do?”
Evaluating what I enjoy, what I am interested in, and where I like spending my time.
It’s a social media fast. It’s pruning down my resolutions. It’s not beating myself up for not being able to run that marathon (I injured my knee overtraining). It’s asserting myself around even small things- where I want to eat, what I want to watch, when I accidentally get overcharged. It’s letting the dishes and laundry pile up because I value rest. It’s working through a Judgement Detox a la’ Gabrielle Bernstein.
This year I’m building white space into my bullet journal pages and getting comfortable with saying ‘No thank you’ as a complete sentence.
I feel lighter already.