About Me

I’m a woman on a mission – to grow, to heal, to learn, to understand. I’ve lived in northern Indiana all my life, and I live there still with my adorable and endlessly patient husband of 27 years and an ever-rotating combination of my three grown-ish children – a young man and two young women. I’m a musician and a teacher.

I’ve experienced shifts in my ideology over the last decade. It can be hard, lonely work to battle your way out of that stifling cocoon. When I talk with trusted friends about these shifts, or lead a group through an introduction to self-discovery, those who are interested are ALL IN. They are hungry for new truth and new vision. So am I. It’s for this reason that I blog instead of journal for myself only. If there are people eager to stretch and explore and grow, I want to be found by them and learn from them. “Solitary work which cannot be done alone” is what Suzanne Stabile calls her ministry, which focuses on personal and spiritual growth. Engaging with others on a similar journey informs my own. Sort of like a GPS with a function that lets you know if there’s a speed trap ahead, or if there’s a more efficient route suddenly available.

Scattered throughout my mostly happy, content life, full of smart, funny, supportive people, I’ve also experienced religious trauma; hopeless prolonged interactions with cruel, damaged people; isolation; grief; miserable jobs and painful misunderstandings. Here’s the thing: I’m committed to not squandering pain. I believe that these hardships exist to teach us, so I am a willing student. Not so much because I want to avoid the pain that might continue to come if I don’t learn from the hardship in this moment, but because I want so badly to evolve. I’m not sorry for ANY of the wisdom I’ve gained over the years, no matter how painfully it came.

During the coming weeks and months of blogging, you can expect for me to reflect on some of these lessons from the past and trying to find the wisdom presenting itself in today’s pain. You may also find me pulling in the wisdom of those who have been helpful to me along my journey. We’re in this together, and we can’t do it alone.

The Biggest Healing

When I started learning the Enneagram over four years ago, after a significant trauma, I wasn’t expecting the flourishing it would inspire. Because it’s a theory about nine different personality types, I thought I’d gain some insight into my inner workings, maybe some self-compassion. I did not think that four years later I’d be listening to several hours of podcasts and other teaching each month, and leading introductory classes to groups with a friend. In short, it’s become a real passion and the reason is because it’s easily the most therapeutic thing I’ve experienced in adulthood.

Rather than try to explain the whole concept of the Enneagram in a few paragraphs, today I will share these few crumbs…

Those who learn the Enneagram will discover that they have a hindering relationship with either fear, shame or anger. Sit with that a minute. One of them is your burden to bear. I hadn’t realized that I was walking around in shame. I saw conflict between myself and others, my irritation with the way others sometimes presented themselves and my own prickles of defensiveness, but now that I know that the roots of all that were in Shame and I now see evidence of it everywhere.

They will also learn that of Thinking, Feeling and Doing, they are doing great with two of the three and will have to be more intentional about the third. For me, it’s the Doing. I’ll spend the rest of my life reminding myself to finish tasks that I’ve lost interest in, or start the mundane ones. But learning the Enneagram means that I won’t call myself mean names about it anymore.

This book that I’ve linked is a great introduction to the concept of the Enneagram. The Enneagram is rich and complex, so be aware that it’s just an overview. Chasing True won’t be an Enneagram blog, per se. But it will discuss personal growth, healing, and the insight gained by doing your Shadow Work. Because the Enneagram has been so instrumental for me in this realm, it’ll certainly play prominently in the discussion. My advice is to read this book and quietly reflect. Don’t take any online tests, or if you do, don’t put too much stock in them. And don’t type other people in your life. Just read about each of the nine types and narrow down to the one or two that resonate most with you.

Next time I’ll share a bit of the build up to my own introduction to the Enneagram. I began my healing journey in a time of deep pain and soul-searching and it put me in the right frame of mind for the self-examination that comes with this tool. It also shed light as to why the misfortune which had hurt me was so traumatic. I’ll forever be grateful for the knowledge gained by learning the Enneagram, which I still utilize daily.

Chasing True – But Why?

Last month I turned fifty. We’ve spent covid with our three grown-ish children living with us in our rambling old Indiana home. In the next six weeks, two of them will move out to be closer to their schooling. The third will go about her business as a commuter college student and Human Resources intern. We’re about to go from tripping over one another (And over one another’s stuff! Why is there so much STUFF?!?!) to pinging around like three BBs in a tackle box. Life is about to change! With this milestone, I internally hear the sound that a book makes when it cracks open for the very first time. I have loved the stories of the past. I’ve loved every stage of mothering – except for the newborn stage, but that’s another story for another time – and I’m still so devoted to those big ol’ lumbering adults in my midst. But I’m about to become less central to their stories and that means I can become more central to my own.

That crackling new book that I’m about to open I expect will be filled with many chapters of adventure, self-care, fun and meaningful time with my husband, friends new and old, a gamut of emotions from happiness…to boredom…to a little bit of pain or grief. And all of these chapters will have the theme of self-discovery, growth and healing woven through them. Why? Because it’s what I’m searching for. It’s what I’m chasing.

Here in midlife, I’ve become aware of the ways I’ve pigeonholed myself – tried to make myself less than, or different than, my spirit was meant to be. I’m only beginning to understand the reasons why. Perhaps elements of my essence were discouraged early in life. Maybe other elements were praised and elevated beyond my scope. The desire to please and belong were for sure a part of my self-altering disintegration. But that armor is no longer serving me. And it was never authentic. It was never true. In this new season, I see what that story has cost me. It’s crazy to think how long I’ve lived with the fee.

A new day dawns.

Photo by S Migaj on Pexels.com

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