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The Heart Center

Enneagram Part Two: Heart Center

The Heart Center
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 

Russ Hudson and I have taught on the Enneagram together on several occasions. As a type Five, his primary Intelligence Center is in his Head, but there is no one whom I trust more than Russ to describe what it means to be in the Heart Center.

What does the heart bring us if we actually do abide in the heart, if we just let ourselves be still, be here? . . . We feel this exquisite sensitivity and delicacy. It’s like the Body establishes “I am. I am here. I exist.” It brings me to . . . the sacred now moment. The Heart then tastes . . . what’s actually here, with exquisite awareness. The Heart knows. . . the taste, the fabric, the texture of this moment.

The heart is the knower of truth. . . . When there is a true moment, when someone’s being authentic and real with you, you know it here in your heart. . . . So being in touch with the heart tells us the quality of our existence, tells us how we recognize the truth. . . .

The heart also is the place where we know who we really are. And knowing who we really are is something wordless. There’s no concept for it. But there is a sense that if you’re actually present with your heart, the magnificent mystery of who you are is just right here. And you know it’s real because it’s true of the other person, too. You are more aware of who you’re with. If I were going to put it in traditional religious language: Anytime I’m here in my heart with another human being, . . . “there I will be also.” It’s true. We can know that directly. . . . [See Matthew 18:20.]

What Twos, Threes and Fours are looking for is attention. If the Body Center is “I don’t want to be messed with,” the Heart Center is “See me the way I want to be seen. See me as I need to see myself.” Psychologically speaking, Two, Three, and Four are looking for mirroring, recognition, validation: “See me and confirm who I want to believe I am.”

When we don’t get the attention and validation, or we get the wrong kind, we have a different emotional reaction. It’s not anger. I’d say . . . it’s shame and hurt.

That deep sense of shame, inadequacy, deficiency, emptiness—like I’m not good enough and I never will be—eats at every ego. The more bravado I see in a person, the more I know that they’re running from this feeling.

How do we cope with that? Well you get three menu choices [the Two, the Three, and the Four]. Three ways to deal with that sense of shame, inadequacy, and hurt inside.

We need to be really kind when we’re looking at this part of ourselves. It takes a lot of patience and gentleness.

Reference:
Adapted from Russ Hudson, The Enneagram as a Tool for Your Spiritual Journey, disc 4 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2009), CD, DVD, MP3 download.

Image credit: Study for the Visitation (detail), Jacopo Pontormo, circa 1528, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: What does the heart bring us if we actually do abide in the heart, if we just let ourselves be still, be here? We feel this exquisite sensitivity and delicacy. It’s like the Body establishes “I am. I am here. I exist.” It brings me to the sacred now moment. The Heart then tastes what’s actually here, with exquisite awareness. The Heart knows the taste, the fabric, the texture of this moment. —Russ Hudson

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