When we rest in this expression of life -- the two point of the enneagram -- we have a special relationship to love. We are the love bugs of the enneagram. We love to love other people. We naturally know how to love them. We feel the most alive when we are being a conduit for the true nature of love to come through us. Moments of loving others (especially helping them, caring for them, meeting their needs) give tremendous pleasure and meaning to our lives.
We intuitively know what our beloveds need even before they ask or perhaps even before they know themselves. When we share our warmth and nurturing energy, we feel our hearts expand, and we experience the loving flow of the universe coming through us. It is a kind of heaven on earth to feel so much love pulsing through our own sensitive hearts to share with the world.
When this natural instinct to love gets distorted or off balance, we have trouble. For example, when the people we are trying to love don't receive our affection the way we hoped they would, our giving nature stops feeling so good.
We can feel sad, depressed, resentful, angry, unappreciated, unseen, rejected, even spiteful. Our hearts shut tightly and hard while we automatically and unconsciously continue our pattern of giving to others. We suffer quietly and deeply, feeling enslaved by our habitual caring for others first, often blaming them for taking advantage of us, not helping us, not seeing our needs.
Other times we may have no one to care for. We end up alone with ourselves. This may feel extremely uncomfortable for us to have no external person to love and as a result we may feel lost, useless and empty.
In these difficult moments, we have forgotten ourselves. We may feel like we don't exist without an external person to love. We are stuck in time with old beliefs that block our ability to feel love coming directly and personally toward us.
Self-remembering is the doorway to balance. But it may feel extremely unnatural at first. It may take tremendous courage to begin practices to remember ourselves. We begin to slowly create a relationship with ourselves that includes self-awareness, self-existence, self-care. We learn to shine a loving light on ourselves. We learn how to witness and speak to ourselves in loving, appreciative ways.
We also begin to understand that the human journey -- ours as well as everyone else's -- involves moments of people expanding themselves and shrinking themselves. We realize that it is not our job to always rush in and help people who are shrinking themselves. They are in a natural learning cycle and have their own reset buttons to expand again.
When we remember ourselves, life takes on entirely new dimensions. We sense our bodies. We feel our feelings. We notice our needs. We feel a new sense of balance. Like children on a playground dividing up sweets, "One for you; one for me," we learn to give to ourselves and then to others. And then to ourselves and then to others. Over time, this giving becomes natural and full of ease.
When we include ourselves in our awareness, we are no longer excluded from the flow of love that naturally moves through us for others. Love arises from the Divine and we directly experience it flowing toward us. We belong to the mysterious flow of love.