Saturday I attended a workshop on the Enneagram, a very old system of understanding personalities. In the system, there are 9 types although we all have some of the characteristics of all 9. Yet in our childhood we began to fall back onto one particular "habit of attention." I'm a One, also known as the Perfectionist or the Idealist or the Reformer. We like rules, standards, order, tidiness. We don't like messy or unpredictable. Our habit of attention goes to error, to what's wrong and how we can fix it.
Saturday was an opportunity to be in the company of 13 other Ones. It was an amazing experience to be with so many people whose emotional response to life is similar to my own, where everyone nods their head in agreement when you say I have to make my bed every morning or I'm always decluttering or I don't like it when I don't know what the rules are in a conversation, a situation, a relationship, a job. While we aren't exactly control freaks, we do like to know what's expected and what's going on, even if it's bad.
I took away a lot of scary and intriguing ideas to think about. That life is inherently messy and meandering. That standards and rules are artificial constructions, that nature doesn't live by them, including human nature. That serenity lies in surrendering to the mess and accepting it as it is. That living in the Serenity Prayer can be really helpful. That joy and pleasure are a One's path to spirituality.