Becoming your authentic self is a popular topic in the Christian realm. The Enneagram is also becoming more popular as a way to understand one's self. I read this book because Havlick offered to help me understand the personality styles and then give me strategies and practices to help me reclaim my true self.
I gained the insight from this book that my human personality is not my true self but rather an identity I began forming around age three to help me navigate the world. It was created by and dwells in the mind. (2571/3222) I lose touch with my true self as the false self of personality is formed because of hurts, disappointments, etc. The true me lives is my spirit, as does God. (278/3222) We were designed to live from our spirits but do so mainly from our souls. The idea is to break through the false layers of personality to my true self.
The idea is to understand our own personality and how it filters our thoughts and feelings about God, ourselves, and others. Awareness will help reduce the separation from my true self. Havlick offers other suggestions too, many of which are familiar spiritual disciplines or practices of self awareness. (Contemplative prayer is essential.)
I gained some insights but I am left with many questions. One is about my true identity. Havlick notes that we have a general identity in Christ but we are also to seek out our own specific identity and purpose. (2294/3222) How will I know what that even looks or feels like? My true identity must have preferences, likes and dislikes but how do I distinguish them from the ones my mind has created? Also, she says God works with our personality to take us beyond it. (2166/322) How do I distinguish events and encounters that are causing my mind to create personality and the false self from those God initiates to take me beyond that false self? I need much more insight about emotions, which we are not to feel, and the states of being with which we replace them. (2750/3222) Havlick says every conflict is a personality conflict. (1867/3222) What about spiritual warfare? (I am a five and my needing more knowledge is showing!)
I feel like this is an introductory book to a long process. I feel like I have just seen the tip of a huge ice berg. Havlick does say near the end of her book that it was designed to get readers started on the sacred journey. She suggests joining an Enneagram group and offers many further resources such as books to read. I'll be pursuing this topic for some time.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Heath Davis Havlick is a Riso-Hudson Certified Enneagram Teacher. She has been a Christian for over forty years. She has a BA in creative writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has awards in screenwriting, poetry and journalism. She and her husband live in Felton, California, where an Enneagram group meets every month. You can find out more at https://heathdavishavlick.com/
Independently published, 202 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through NetGalley. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)