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The Struggle to Understand

I was struggling with an emotional issue earlier this morning, and had the following insights:

1. Whatever problem or pain I'm facing, feeling like I don't understand makes it even more painful. The hurtful thing itself is layered over by stress and frustration about my lack of understanding, which often contains seeds of guilt or a sense of failure. I tend to flay myself with thoughts like If I could just understand, this wouldn't be a problem!

2. The quickest way to undercut my pride, my independence, my self of personal responsibility, is to make me believe that someone nearby understands the situation, the task, the concept, better than I do. I will turn to that person instinctively, seeking the information and understanding I lack, looking to them for leadership based on their understanding (or my perception of it). Sometimes this is a perfectly appropriate act; sometimes it is not, as my priestess teacher keeps trying to get me to understand when I ask her to tell me things I'm supposed to be figuring out by myself.

The converse is also true. Nothing is a stronger prompt to me to step up and assert myself than the belief that I understand more or better than the others present. I try to have a sense of humility when processing these perceptions. . .

Both of these insights are consistent with my Enneagram type, which is Five. The "holy idea" of the 5 is "I will understand."

This tendency toward self-affliction when I do not believe I understand certainly undermines my entrepreneurial efforts. If my sense of self-worth, my sense of confidence, my sense of fitness to lead, are strongly grounded in my sense of how well I understand what the situation is, what needs to be done, what is appropriate and called for, then going into new territory puts me at a significant handicap, one I don't yet understand how to deal with or mitigate. This, of course, triggers a cascade of self-doubt.

Friends who use Tarot may rightly suggest that the energy of the Fool card would be appropriate to this issue -- but really looking at that card with the intention of applying to my situation makes me feel like breaking out in hives.

Mentoring is probably the best solution, it suddenly occurs to me. I've been reluctant to reach out, not wanting to bother others. . . but I've also had a couple of people come to my attention recently who could be helpful in at least giving me a sense of orientation to the territory.

As far as my spiritual work goes. . . This is probably something to bring to my vigil next week. . .

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
mankycat
Aug. 13th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
Actually... the fool isn't a card I'd feel applies... but I don't have enough info to say... just that it doesn't feel right.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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