More than Your Type
Clare and Scott Loughrige
“I am more than just a type!”
We can’t tell you how many times people have said this to us when they discover their Enneagram style. After first recognizing that there’s a lot of truth in the Enneagram, the next thought many have is “But I don’t want to be labeled, limited, or judged as a type ___!” Having used the Enneagram as a central discipleship model in the church we lead, we’ve discovered that once you name your type you can open up to the grace of being more than your type!
The Enneagram opens the spiritual path to understanding our three centers of intelligence. Deepening our understanding of these centers and leaning into spiritual practices that connect us with them can open us to spiritual transformation.
There are three different and equally important kinds of intelligence: heart or emotional types (EQ)—types 2, 3, and 4; thinking or intellect types (IQ)—types 5, 6, and 7; and body or gut instinct types (GQ)—types 8, 9, and 1. While all types can use all three centers of intelligence, each of the types relies especially on one center over the others. Practicing spiritual disciplines that welcome all three centers emerges from our true self and helps us let go of the lies that the false self-likes to spin.
The Three Centers: GQ, EQ, and IQ
GQ Types 8, 9, and 1
True Self: These types perceive or filter the world through instincts. Sensations and body intelligence assists in developing an awareness of how much force or power to use, the will to take effective action, and a sense of grounded stability. GQ types receive energy from both the inner and the outer world.
False Self: These types get stuck in the emotion of anger. The dominant fixation is anger (repressed, expressed, or suppressed), resentment, and guilt, believing the lies of “I haven’t done enough” or “I’ve had enough.”
EQ Types 2, 3, and 4
True Self: These types perceive the world through a filter of emotional intelligence tuned into feelings and mood. Emotional intelligence assists in developing empathy, compassion, and kindness. The people in this triad have a natural personal connection with others.
False Self: Either they compare themselves with others in ways that make them feel inadequate, or when they are outstanding they feel a sense of shame for making others feel inadequate. Their dominant fixation is fear of humiliation and shame, believing the lies of “I am not enough” or “I must prove I belong.”
IQ Types 5, 6, and 7
True Self: The people in this triad filter the world through cognitive intelligence to develop insight, wisdom, and inner vision. When moved to action, they offer new ways to do things and put dissimilar pieces together.
False Self: They may become paralyzed with fear, which causes them to withdraw into their head. Their dominant fixation is fear and anxiety, believing the lies “I don’t have enough” or “I’ll get what I want whatever it takes.”
One of these centers of prayer—heart, head, or body—will be your preference, so experiencing them all is a way to go deeper in your relationship with God as you learn to love him with your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
With GQ (gut center/body intelligence) our prayers connect us with God through the use of our hands, feet, and voice. Body prayers are on our knees, hands raised, on our feet walking or dancing, or with complete stillness. In the body, we are aware of sensations—we can feel our life, reality, and the power of the present moment. The body can answer the question, “How am I and how am I being touched?” The body knows! Offering our body as a living sacrifice connects us to God.
With EQ (heart center/emotional intelligence) one can pray imagery prayers. Imagery prayers include reading psalms and parables with the eye and ear of the heart or using a sacred image or symbol to evoke emotion. Emotional prayers can open us to compassion and repentance. Blaise Pascal said it this way: “The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.” The heart can help us practice receptivity, opening us to self and others. The heart asks, “Who am I with and what is needed?” The reality of needs and the emotions associated with them result in deepening our love for God and people.
With IQ (head center/intellectual intelligence) we experience God through words: memorized words, questioning words, complaining words, worshipping words, intercession, creeds, confessions, thanksgivings, reading prayers, and writing prayers. Prayers with no words—the practice of contemplation, the stillness of the mind, awareness of God’s presence—all create the space for God to give direction and wisdom. Studying the psalms of praise, psalms of mourning and the imprecatory psalms lead to wholeness and closeness to God and man’s reality.
Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram is a book we are writing with Adele and Doug Calhoun, In it, we will help all types with practices for transformation. Learning to experience God through all three centers of intelligence makes for a whole and holy life. Stay connected with us here!
Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram – A Handbook for Harmony and Transformation
Adele and Doug Calhoun, Clare and Scott Loughrige
Together, as cofounding senior pastors at Crossroads Church and Ministries in Marshall, Michigan, Clare and Scott use the Enneagram as a map for discipleship and leadership development. For almost three decades they have enjoyed shared leadership at Crossroads, in their business Crossroads Transforming Resource, on the executive board for the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, and most recently as coauthors for IVP! The Loughriges carry the conviction that all sustainable action in the world must emerge from a life that is both centered and connected.