We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us. — Virginia Satir
Virginia Satir wrote a book called Making Contact and it changed my life. It is simple, timeless, and to the point. Full of compassion, profound wisdom, and applicable knowledge. She talks about how as humans we rarely make *real* contact with others and why it is so important that we learn to do so. *Highly recommend*. The quote of Satir’s that is above is the focus for this post; I wanted to give some context about it and give a shout out to her book Making Contact.
There are many personality tests, quizzes, theories, concepts, and tools out there. Some are ancient and some are new. Some have mysterious roots and others have been passed down from notable theorists and researchers. There’s the Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, Strengths Finder, Astrology, Ayurveda, Human Design, and so many more. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the overlap and the similarities between all my different classifications and labels. At one point in time I was against all of this. “No one can put me in a box!” I would say. However, I have come to find that these tools are really helpful in growing in self-awareness and self-knowledge. Especially since I’ve started school to become a licensed therapist, I definitely want to supplement my training and personal therapy with my own introspective work by using as many tools as possible.
One reason I love Virigina Satir’s quote is that we cannot stop there. Once we’ve identified our type or our number or dosha or sign… we must keep the soul-searching going. We must continue to shed ignorance, grow into our real selves, and unlearn all the baggage that does not serve us or those around us. The minute we think we’ve figured it all out is when we start to plateau, sometimes even backtrack, as humans. These tools are supposed to inspire us to travel to greater heights and depths within ourselves and outside of ourselves. They have great power as they help us go deep inside of ourselves to discover the divine and way outside ourselves to seek Universal truth. We must follow the curve of eternity and the never-ending paths that are embedded in everything on this wild and amazing earth.
I’m zooming way out and I hope you’re still with me. Back to the tools that help us discover more about ourselves, the world around us, those we love, and the divine! I’ll speak to my journey and experience in hopes to continue sharing what I mean by this.
In my self-discovery journey, I’ve used 5 tools so far. I’ve found the following:
- Enneagram type: 9 with a 1 wing.
- Ayurvedic dosha: Pitta
- Myers-Briggs: INFJ/T
- Astrological signs: Taurus (sun), Scorpio (moon)
- Human Design: Manifesting Generator
Every time I read into a specific concept or tool, I realize all the similarities between the new discovery and what I’ve previously learned through a different lens. Honestly, every time this happens I am reminded that there is rhyme and reason to it all. To existence. Things can make sense. It also reminds me time and time again what little I actually know. The universe is so big. It’s design, divine design, is so far beyond my comprehension. These tools give me tiny glimpses, just like the mountains give me tiny glimpses and the laugh of a baby, and the beauty of some art that I’ve seen.
I am working on compiling a list of the similarities between all five of those theories and making a “master list”, mostly for fun and fascination, and also because it would be helpful to consolidate the overlapping wisdom. (Next blog post?) This will hopefully get me a little bit closer to the full picture, but as long as I remain within the confines of the tools themselves, I am still very far away from the entirety, completeness, and fullness of who I am.
Another thing I value about Satir’s quote… Not only must we not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us, but we must not let our own limited perceptions to define us either. We run the same risk of coming to a hard and fast conclusion of “this is who I am and I am always this way no matter what”. Or we hide behind the mask of the archetype that is there to guide us to our true self (not keep us trapped). I truly hope that we dive deep into these tools and the wisdom they have to offer. There is so much information out there, endless searching on the World Wide Web. BUT. We can’t become obsessed. All of this information, these tools and concepts, theories… they’re all a means to an end, not the end themselves. Use, discover, dive deep. And ground into your reality, you know you and your body better than any type or test. The only way to know this stuff for real is to truly live.
Trust the Christ in you, the truth in you, the dharma in you.