Fathom Mag

Published on:
August 18, 2020
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2 min.
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Confessions of a Tired (Enneagram) Two

After the rare and startling anger passes, we are left feeling deflated, like an old birthday balloon.
Rachel Joy Welcher

I have a mental list of names. Not the names of people I hate or can’t forgive, but a list of those I poured my heart and soul into for years, who no longer care about me. Who took and took and took of me, until there was hardly anything left. Then left. And I’m tired, deep down in my bones, some days. Tired of being used for my compassion. Tired of the whiplash. Sometimes I feel like running away to a small beach town where no one knows me, purchasing a big hat, starting a jewelry stand, and changing my name. When really I need to find an isolated place to pray, like Jesus did. To remember that I can always find shelter under The Cleft of the Rock. 

See, Enneagram twos (“The Helper”) can fall into giving with strings attached. We think we don’t, but we do. Our strings seem simple: just don’t hate us. Don’t gossip about us. Don’t toss us away like trash. Care that we are people with our own hurts, stories, and lives. Occasionally ask us how we are and appreciate the time we give you, because so many others are asking for that time. This can be our downfall. We think we are giving freely until someone we have ministered to hurts us, and the walls come up. We didn’t know we could build a fortress so fast. 

Our compassion, which usually defines us, grows cold, and we recoil. After the rare and startling anger passes, we are left feeling deflated, like an old birthday balloon. And that’s where I’m at these days, settling to the floor, with no helium left. I feel like a fool, honestly. Like a sucker for the “I’m bleeding” routine, rushing to the side of the person who cries the loudest, while the quiet and faithful wait for someone to ask them out to coffee. 

Sometimes my heart is in the right place, but godly compassion can so quickly morph into a “Savior complex.” Without realizing it, twos often look for opportunities to swoop in and rescue hurting souls. The problem is, we can’t save anyone. And when we try and fail, we get bitter. And we forget that a Savior already exists, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

If we dig a little, we realize that the reason we take rejection so hard is that we don’t feel like we deserve to be rejected. And while I don’t think anyone deserves that, it happens. And we need to learn to respond to that pain in healthier ways. To cling less to the opinions of others, and remember that, no matter what happens, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” His love doesn’t fade or grow weary. He doesn’t get sick of us. He won’t ever leave. And best of all? We don’t have to earn His love. He gives it freely, with no strings attached. 

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Rachel Joy Welcher
Rachel Joy Welcher is an editor-at-large at Fathom Magazine and an Acquisitions Editor for Lexham Press. She earned her MLitt. from The University of St. Andrews. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Two Funerals, Then Easter and Blue Tarp, and the book, Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality (InterVarsity Press, 2020). You can follow her on Twitter @racheljwelcher.

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