Life in this world of ours is such a “both/and". It can be beautiful and wonderful AND it can be so disappointing, confusing, and hard. Sometimes all at the same time! Pretty much everyone will, at some point, experience a difficult season and find themselves struggling through a time of discouragement, loneliness, betrayal, anxiety, sadness, grief, and the list goes on…sometimes it just isn’t easy to persevere through. So, I started this podcast to remind us all that even in the midst of of the mess, there IS hope to be found. We can help each other fight for joy and encourage one another to keep pressing forward in hope. Season 2 is all about how to do that…
Most of the tools that I have been having my guests highlight are tools that I implement in my own fight for joy as well, and this episode is no exception. My guest today is Chris Heuertz, and among the many other hats that he wears (author, speaker, non-profit consultant, and activist to name a few), Chris is an Enneagram teacher and coach. I wanted to highlight this tool because of how helpful it has been to me in grief. I realize that for some of you, this may be the very first time that you have ever heard the word Enneagram. It’s still fairly new to me too. But as I’ve learned about it and therefore learned more about myself and others, its been a helpful tool in my life, especially in relationship to my grief. Three main things come to mind in regards to WHY and HOW it has been beneficial for me.
First, it’s pushed me to have more compassion towards myself - especially in recognizing my tendencies in stressful times and what I am prone to when life is hard. Oftentimes we can wonder, “Why am I responding like this? Why did I react that way? Why is this bothering me and it doesn’t seem to be bothering her?” Learning about my specific dominant type has caused me to better discern how I become discouraged and the lies that I am tempted to believe when I’m struggling. It's also helped me to grow in appreciation for my strengths and the things that I contribute to the world and to my relationships, both in happy times and in difficult times. I’ve just been kinder to myself and more grateful to God for the ways that He has uniquely designed me - and also more motivated to mature, develop, and transform in more Christ-like ways.
Secondly, I’ve grown tremendously in understanding and in compassion towards others. I’ve been especially grateful for the insight the Enneagram has provided into the various ways that each of us living here in the Blick house might tend to process and deal with heartache and pain. All 5 of us lost Jackson, but each of us have had a markedly different journey in grief these last 6 years. I’ve also found myself better able to extend grace and patience to the people around us who have wanted to walk with us in our sorrow (and honestly, towards those who haven’t). As I better understand why different people are responding in different ways, I can better appreciate what they ARE bringing to the table and look to them for help and friendship in the natural ways that they are wired, appreciating their strengths and perspective, and letting go of expectations that might be unrealistic for the way that God has uniquely created them.
And lastly, the Enneagram has given me such a bigger picture of God…his creation, his glory, and his holiness. His greatness is powerfully reflected in the special and unique ways that He has created and wired each one of us and the personal ways that He meets us and loves us.
I really think you will enjoy hearing from Chris today. He is such a thoughtful voice in this world. I was so honored to have this time with him and excited to share another practical tool that may help you fight for joy!