Living In My Skin

By Ron Esposito - July 2016

I have been working with the Enneagram as a tool for self-observation and transformation since 2005.  I can remember reading “The Essential Enneagram” by David Daniels and contemplating what type I was.  I saw aspects of myself in a number of the types and when talking with my girlfriend about this she suggested that I look more closely at Type One: The Judge, Perfectionist, Reformer.  From her experience of me she was dead on in regard to my type.  Eleven years later here are some observations about living in my skin particularly when I am in type.

Internally I have lofty ideals and try hard to reach them.  Without a doubt I have high internal standards for myself and actually try to live them out.  This can show up as a form of perfectionism striving to reach an ideal.  Watch out when my internal perfectionism gets projected onto you!  I can be nit-picky and try to improve you. This is not fun for you or me.  It is a reflection of what is going on inside of me and a cause for great suffering.

I possess a judging mind which is constantly calibrating everything that is going on externally and internally.  Mostly I am judging myself through the comparing mind and falling into what I think things should be.  Everything gets filtered through this prism from how you are driving to the political landscape.  I attempt to practice “traffic yoga” while driving and realize that most things are out of my control.  Surrendering to what is in the moment brings some serenity.  Too strong an attachment to the judging and comparing brings on suffering.

I am uncomfortable if I don’t get places and do things on time.  I’m prone to be early for meetings and appointments and hate when I am late because I’m trying to jam too many things into a period of time.  As you might imagine, I’m not too thrilled if you are consistently late.

I can be self-sacrificing, giving up my own wants and desires for the sake of what I think should be done.  While this might sound heroic it can lead to resentment, particularly if I feel that I’m the only one doing the sacrificing.  The song “The Impossible Dream” captures this sacrificing in pursuit of a higher ideal.  Sometimes I vacillate between “The Impossible Dream” and Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.

I expect a lot from myself and others and can be demanding in the pursuit of excellence.  The individuals that I have mentored professionally are a success in their chosen fields.  I can be tough and supportive if you demonstrate to me a deep desire to achieve excellence.  As a musician no detail goes unnoticed when I’m playing and recording.  Minimizing my expectations makes everyone happier.

My inner critic can be quite scathing of myself and others.  When turned on myself it is lacerating and barbed.  When turned on you it is a reflection of something going on inside of me.  The inner critic is full of shoulds, oughts, never enoughs, not good enoughs and blah blah blah.  Listening to the inner critic becomes tiresome.  After suffering the crippling effect of listening to and believing the inner critic, I can tell you that good enough is good enough.  I am worthy just by being incarnated.

It’s important to me to be a good person.  That does not necessarily mean following the “rules” all the time.  Quite honestly, I pick and choose what rules to follow though I like knowing what the rules are.  Following the rules does not make someone good.  Being good is an internal function.  With all this said, there is still a part of me that believes if I am a “good boy” I will not be criticized.  My inner critic is already working me over, I don’t need your two cents.  I am open to feedback from you when asked my permission and feel that you are not trying to hurt me with your words.  I will lash out if I feel that I am being criticized.  I am a force to be reckoned with energetically!  The truth is that I am already lashing myself.  Don’t try to “improve” me.  Love me.

What am I like when I’m not constricted by type; when I am expansive, living more in Essence?  I am soft, intimate, honest and real.  Add in playful, funny, earthy, discriminating, deep, soulful, empathetic and loving.

I am you as you are me.  Much Love.

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