As we approach the release of my new book Know Justice Know Peace: A Transformative Journey of Social Justice, Anti-Racism, and Healing through the Power of the Enneagram, I would like to offer a glimpse into the actual chapters. For the next 3 weeks, we will look at each of the 3 Centers of Intelligence within the Enneagram.
This week I invite you to explore the Heart Center with me. Here is a sample of Chapter 6 The Healer - Heart Center: 2-3-4:
The Heart Center, or Feeling Triad, is home to Points Two, Three, and Four. These three energies have a connection to the emotional intelligence around accessing true compassion and empathy during moments of conflict or pain. This group is centered around emotions, self-image, and value—the shame around their own identities plays a key role in how these three Points show up in the world. Many people who identify with the Heart Center Points (Two-Three-Four) have a distinct experience with the emotion of shame or guilt, more so than the other centers. All humans experience shame and guilt; this is an undeniable fact. However, for the Two-Three-Four, shame is the catalyst for many of their patterns of behavior.
During times of pain and suffering, either internally or externally, Two- Three-Fours experience an emotional response that often transforms into internalized shame and redirected guilt. This pattern consequently bonds Two-Three-Fours to the experience of emotions and connection. The Heart Center is concerned with their own self-identity and the hostility surrounding how they defend or project this image to others. The hostility and guilt around how they show up in the world is dependent on how the Point in question is attempting to find their true selves, fulfill the core motivation, and avoid the basic fear.
We call the Heart Center the Healers, because that is exactly what they do—heal the divides between who or what is being valued and devalued, and connect to the emotional intelligence for themselves and for others. Each Point heals in its own way, which we dive into in each section, but they operate based on what they feel in their hearts and how they manage shame and guilt. The compassionate approach to connection and kindness resides in the Heart Center. When operating from a healthy space, Two-Three-Fours are genuine and authentic healers of the Love Warriors and underrepresented; they connect to people with humility, benevolence, and empathy. They are the center that can access the heart space more readily because they are wired to tap into true emotion.
On the other side, the connection to emotions and shame residing in the Heart Center can create a distortion of authenticity and value. When operating from an unhealthy space, Two-Three-Fours can be manipulative of self and others, prideful and self-serving, and fall into a toxic pattern of validating emotional distortion from various angles. Many people within the Heart Center experience deep shame surrounding a particular unhealed or unexplored internal wound—often involving how their presence shows up in the world. This obstacle can be overcome by diving into the inner work necessary to move through the passion, fixation, and virtue. We all have access to the Heart Center energy, and sometimes the shame and guilt we pick up from these Points can serve as a wake-up call or a catalyst for helping us land in our virtue. Not all shame and guilt need to be negative.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Know Justice Know Peace: A Transformative Journey of Social Justice, Anti-Racism, and Healing through the Power of the Enneagram. Please join me next week as we look into Chapter 7 The Bridge Builders - Head Center: 5-6-7