Hope for the Orphan Spirit

Photo by Nate Greno on Unsplash

I had no choice about my status in life as an orphan. It is a physical reality; both of my parents were gone pre-adolescence. The physical/pragmatic condition of being orphaned is directly one of not having supervision, support or care – and this part of the condition was alleviated in my life through guardians, but the impact on the spirit is another matter – and one that is not generated only in through loss of parents.

Many people, whether they physically lost their parents or not, can relate to a sense of being orphaned, left alone in life without support or care – and this root sets us up for behaviour that can disable our resilience.

My orphan spirit has led me to feel like I have to prove that I am valuable to others. Combine this with my enneagram type 4 profile and you have someone desperate to be uniquely, authentically special and desirable. It has meant being hyper-sensitive to rejection and even subtle forms of criticism.  Its been as though a criticism undermined my human worth, and (this sounds so melodramatic) when people show no interest in the things that I have created (to prove my authentic value) it leaves me feeling as though I don’t even exist. Worse yet, I can translate the lack of interest, which cold literally be a lack of awareness, as a deliberate act of rejection. This leads me to believe that I am defect, flawed and broken – and as you will se below, I really just want to be understood.

The mind of the orphaned spirit is a desperate place — but as I suggested earlier, you don’t have to be physically orphaned to carry an orphan spirit.  You can see orphaned spirits walking among us if you pay attention. Their behaviours can be witnessed through the distinct energies identified within the enneagram when they are guided by their fear rather than love.

Type 1. Perfectionist: Your underlying fear is imperfection.You want to be good and balanced.
Type 2. Helper: Your underlying fear is being unloved or unwanted by others. You want to be loved.
Type 3. Achiever: Your underlying fear is not being valued. You want to be valuable.
Type 4. Romantic: Your underlying fear is being abandoned because you really are “too much.” You want to be understood.
Type 5. Investigator: Your underlying fear that you won’t be able to function successfully in the world. You want to be competent.
Type 6. Loyalist: Your underlying fear is that everything will go wrong in trusting others. You want security.
Type 7: Enthusiast: You fear not having options, missing out on new experiences and people. You want to be content and happy.
Type 8: Challenger: Your underlying fear is being hurt or controlled. You want to know you can trust and be trusted.
Type 9: Peacemaker: Your underlying fear is being separated from others. You want to feel at peace.

When we allow the orphan spirit to lead us to live out of our fear instead of love, we begin to operate in the unhealthy regions of our personality. Our strengths and weaknesses are the two sides of a single coin, and fear lead us live the weakness. We take on forms of co-dependency, become bullies, or find ourselves addicted to distractions draining our energy in our battle with fear. Paradoxically, this leads us to a life that becomes the self-fulfilled outcome of the thing that we fear.

Grace enables us to live out of love. There are no true spiritual orphans, it is a false reality; we are not abandoned. The orphan spirit lives with a lack of awareness of the connection, support and care that is actually present for them. We can choose to walk away from support and care, but that is not to be orphaned, just self-imposed isolation through the exercise of free will.

I am an Enneagram 4w3 – I flow in the energy of the romantic achiever. I want to be understood, and I must start by understanding myself. I want to be valuable, and I must start by valuing myself. Grace enables this. The same paradigm/priority shifts are necessary for each type.

Can you relate to the orphan spirit?

Are you aware of times when you have lived out of fear rather than love?

How has grace for served to allow you to live out of love rather than fear?

If you would like to explore your enneagram type, you can begin to do so HERE. If you’d like some guidance to resources of to better understand, just send me a note through the contact link HERE.