The Pursuit of Meaning

Here’s a bit of helpful and encouraging fun…Enneagram Types Under Stress in Quarantine!

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstance, only by lack of meaning and purpose.” Viktor Frankl

It’s hard to imagine the circumstance that Frankl was experiencing in Auschweitz, but I can’t imagine a more challenging circumstance in life.  I don’t write this here as a “suck-it-up” exhortation, as if to say, “COVID is nothing like Auschweitz”. That’s not the point. Consider this:

“To draw an analogy: a man’s suffering is similar to the behaviour of a gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.” (Frankl)

So, circumstance aside, what is helpful in understanding meaning and purpose?

Purpose can be achieved without a sense of meaning. We can do something purposeful out of a sense of obligation, and still feel empty. So – what helps us to get a sense of meaning? The things we value deeply open us up to an understanding of what we individually find meaningful.

The Enneagram helps us to understand what we value. Consider the following – core desires of each Enneagram type – can you find your’s?

Type 1: To have integrity, to be right, virtuous, and the good boy/girl

Type 2: To be loved and wanted

Type 3: To be valuable, admired, and respected

Type 4: To be unique, special and their authentic self

Type 5: To be capable and competent

Type 6: To have security, guidance, and support.

Type 7: To be happy, satisfied, and content

Type 8: To protect oneself (control) & get Sh*t done

Type 9: To have inner stability and peace of mind

During this season of COVID – when we don’t experience our core desires in life – we will naturally begin to feel a bit lost or frustrated – aka: suffering. This can be considered “normal”, so if you feel like you’re going crazy, you’re not alone.

If you would like to explore this more, send me a note and I will connect  you to more learning, or we can book a discussion.

Have a great day!