Overwhelmed by Overwhelming

Photo by Zac Harris on Unsplash

Why are we so uncomfortable with stillness?

Actually, I thought that this was my challenge until I looked deeper. I have long-known that I feel better about myself when I am productive, and that I do not enjoy the feeling of an empty calendar. However, stillness is more a posture of the spirit than the body and overwhelm is less about the calendar’s capacity and more about how we are grounded in our true created essence.

It is part of the paradox of the enneagram 4 – out of the need to feel understood, we can overwhelm. In my life experience, this has become such a deep habit – even though I am aware of it. It is difficult to hold back from overwhelming, and that is how the whole cycle comes to feel overwhelming; I am overwhelmed by my penchant to overwhelm. (Did i actually just type that?)

I don’t mind being vulnerable and going first, but each of us (everyone) can find themselves in the place of being overwhelmed by their overwhelming. We habitually do certain things to meet our felt needs, and we can know that the result is going to be the same as last time, and that we will be working against true desires, and yet we continue.  See if you can find yours in this list:

Type 1. Perfectionist: Keep trying to be so perfect that we never find our goodness.
Type 2. Helper: Keep serving others so much that we don’t know our own needs
Type 3. Achiever: Keep going after trophies, building bigger storage cabinets but never getting filled.
Type 4. Romantic: Above
Type 5. Investigator: Keep learning so that we can show others that we know stuff in a world of infinite.
Type 6. Loyalist: Keep projecting stories of our interpretation of events – without being grounded in reality
Type 7: Enthusiast: Keep searching for the next experience and missing the one we just left.
Type 8: Challenger: Keep overreacting to control every possibility at defcon levels
Type 9: Peacemaker: Keep trying to keep everyone happy and playing nice that we lose our own voice.

Its one thing to know that we are healthiest when we live at peace with our self, on foundations of grace and love, and another to find ourselves in that habit. Developing new habits requires grace for the judgment if current behaviour so that we can “let” new behaviours takeover as our awareness leads.

As a Type 4, It is enough for me to see that I am beginning to overwhelm again. Seeing this allows me to choose differently. The awareness is the space between the stimulus and the reaction; the pause. The more I am aware of the reactions I have been engaging, the more often I encounter them, the more I can practice a new response. Grace enables this. Without grace there is just condemnation for the overwhelming habit of overwhelming. (There I go, typing that again)

Let yourself be aware – in grace – without fear, despair  or condemnation.

Let change come.

It doesn’t really matter how long you’ve been doing it, or how long it takes to change, just stand in grace and let.

What’s the thing that you keep doing that is overwhelming you?  Make a note to self, or send me one. Purpose to hold it in grace and see what happens!