The Wonderful People of Color Enneagram 2s in My Life
"As an Enneagram 2 you relentlessly love others because you deeply and recklessly love yourself first. From a deep knowing, you realize your inherent worthiness of being loved and that propels you to just be still, knowing your loving presence is enough. Just as you are. Love flows and overwhelms you without strings attached, perpetually experiencing God’s warm embrace, love embodied. You are beloved."
My dear friend Jasper has always had this natural ability to exude loving kindness. His open heartedness and level of generosity will forever be the most outstanding attribute about him. His deep commitment to continue to foster and invest in relationships is remarkable. Besides that, he is a talented music artist, actor and dancer! Even in his pursuit to work in the entertainment industry he seeks to best care for the people he both works for and will be in charge of. One of the things I know about him is that he tirelessly puts his energy into the people he cares about oftentimes at the cost of his own self-care.
Immediately when I met my good friend Damein, it was his bright smile that drew me to him. His presence could seriously ignite the room. His hospitality in the form of elaborate dinner gatherings with some of his top chef cooking skills would have everyone in awe. He shares his time, energy and gifts to the people he loves and strangers alike. As part one of 11 children (I know wild!), I have always watched as he tirelessly cared for his younger siblings (even his older siblings at times) and yet he is often left to care for himself. He works so hard. Setting high goals to obtain his PhD and is currently an incredible therapist and food scientist! In his work he cares for so many and gives so much of himself. Again, I am always left wondering when he gives time for himself.
And then there is Jazzy! We only have met recently but goodness she is extraordinary. She is what some may call a Shero, a Champion or a Titan (some Olivia Pope and Scandal fans might enjoy this reference). The moment I met her I was struck by her joy, warmth and welcoming presence. But I had no idea what other things she has accomplished, that is definitely worth celebrating! She is on the regional leadership team for a large non-profit organization and has now been accepted a full ride to Union Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology (Woodruff Fellowship), Vanderbilt Divinity School, and Drew University.
This should not be a surprise when you know that in her past, she organized a
groundbreaking movement on her old college campus that was the propelling force for generating their new university department of Diversity and Inclusion. For her courage and ultimately deep love for her peers she received the honor of having an award created in her name at her
alma mater, the Jazzy Johnson Waw-Jashk Award.
I name all of what she has accomplished to celebrate black magnificence and excellence!
In fact, all of my friends that I have mentioned exhibit black beauty, magnificence and excellence!
However, there is a recurring theme that I have alluded to and shared.
They all have a hard time caring for themselves well. They over work themselves usually in giving of others. They find it hard to put themselves first on their list.
For my Enneagram 2 friends this is what they hear:
Must sacrifice self-especially taught by those who are brought up in Christian World
White supremacy tells us that the complete disregard/dehumanization for black and brown bodies should be the norm.
Taught as black folks that you must achieve all of these accolades to fit in, to become "one of us" , to assume citizenship, dignity, humanity. But even then you will never quite get there. (although in of itself accomplishing healthy goals is not bad in of itself, in fact when based on the sense of expression of self grounded in self love it is astounding and part of building a healthy self-esteem, self-concept and identity) Playing into the "system" only to be deemed, always the "other" and then also over work ourselves for fear of the stereotype or the fear of falling prey to the "stereotype threat"
Must avoidance seeming lazying, incompetent, without worth or value so you give and give yourself away--as a sacrifice
The invitation here for my Enneagram 2s of color especially black folks (I can only truly speak from my experience) is to liberate your thinking from the idea that you are what you can give. Let go of this notion that I have to "work twice as much to get half as much"(Coined a phrase from a scene on Scandal which was beautifully referenced by Jazzy). Of course, this is not easy. Community and the people who we call "our people" help us along this journey of growth and liberation.
It takes commitment on your part to take time to rest, care for yourself, to challenge yourself to be alone, to love yourself well--bring love into your spiritual meditative/prayer space.
One of the wonderful ways my friend Jasper loves himself well is by setting limits and boundaries. He recognizes the other ways in which people reciprocate love toward him. He is also direct about what his needs and expectations are.
One of the most enlightening concepts my friend Jazzy has introduced to me is this idea of creating a "An Acknowledgement of Having Needs aka I am not Superhuman" where she has a list of rightly deserved asks of people in order to best love and take of herself. So 2s out there I encourage create one for these for yourself.
I want leave this post with one poignant note in order to continue the conversation around the compounded difficulty (especially black women in this quoted piece I am about to share) people of color experience as an Enneagram 2. Jazzy in her reference to Maya Lewis, Olivia Pope's mother on Scandal shares this to describe the black woman's experience and in a lot of ways the black woman's experience as a Enneagram 2.
“Damn shame. I tell you… being a black woman. Be strong, they say. Support your
man, raise your man, think like a man. Well damn, I gotta do all that? Who’s out
here working for me, carrying my burden, building me up when I get down? Nobody.
Black women out here trying to save everybody and what do we get? Swagger jacked
by white girls wearing cornrows and bamboo earrings. Ain’t that a bitch? But we still
try. Try to help all y’all. Even when we get nothing. Is that admirable or ridiculous? I