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"By basing their identities on ever-changing moods, Fours lack a sense of a solid inner "core" to themselves, and so feel that they cannot count on themselves. Their identity and self-esteem are always shaky. Notice this tendency in yourself today." (The Power of the Enneagram audio tapes)

Hi guys... has any Fours been able to transcend this dilemma and find a solid identity and self-esteem for themselves where they are no longer shaky?

I would much appreciate hearing about how you accomplished this, and what processes you used.

Thank you, very grateful, and very much needed right now.
 

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One thing I am trying right now...

HEALING DISINTEGRATION ONE BY ONE -
("Elements of the personality much be integrated into the personality, according to some experts, via the path of the "Direction of Disintegration" types. What this means for 4 is that you must first develop aspects of 2, then (going towards the DD for 2) 8, then 5, then 7, and only then to 1. The development path for the inner triangle--3,6,9--is more direct they say than for other types, but it may take just as long because of difficulties therein.")

4s go to 2s - I am caring (rather than needy).
2s go to 8s - I am independent (rather than controlling).
8s go to 5s - I am defensive (rather than overwhelmed).
5s go to 7s - I am enthusiastic (rather than busy).
7s go to 1s - I am forgiving (rather than inflexible).
1s go to 4s - I am understanding (rather than resentful).


I am exploring this at the moment...

Also working on the main RELEASE for 4 -

"I am willing to acknowledge my desire for special treatment."

The other aspect I am looking at is the Counterpassion -

"COUNTERPASSION - "The passion of Fours is envy. The counterpassion is a caricature of the virtue of contentment. At that time, Fours want to appear self-sufficient. They claim to be satisfied with who they are and what they have. What others have that they lack is hence useless, devoid of interest and they are happy to do without.

It’s a coping mechanism to deal with the longing and envy by denying the longing and needs and by devaluing the things they long for. It’s a false contentment as 4s are not really content, and it actually furthers the pattern as it increases their feeling of suffering."

Finally with relation to Shadow-work...

"Take any image from a dream that is powerful or disturbing... or even positive qualities... take these images... identify the images, put them in a chair, and start talking to it... talk to the monster, or the whore... "What do you want?" Become more and more comfortable identifying with the emotions that this monster is possessing... and finally once that comfortableness has occurred to some degree, then you simply identify with the Monster... "I am the monster, I have this anger. I am angry at the world." And once that identification occurs, then that anger tends to be released, and tends to dissolve actually of its own. A boss might say, "I really want to control you, I want to make you do what I want to do." Then you take those qualities onto yourself, "I want to control everyone, I'm really [blocked] off because my life is not under my control." Once you can identify those qualities, recognize them in yourself, befriend them... then they tend to take on a much much softer texture, they become much less problematic and much less likely to be projected. Once you are in a world full of your projections, then its very hard to stay in the now, because once these figures come into your awareness you lose track of the now, pulled out of awareness, and you're off and running with these projections. There are long term meditators full of awareness and they have severe shadow issues. Befriend your shadows and re-own them! This allows you to stay in the now in a much more efficient way." - Ken Wilber.

So you see, I am exploring all this... but at the same time... not feeling like I am getting anywhere... which is why I thought to ask this question and hear from others - especially Fours - who might, through their own experience, have some insights as to what I may be missing here... or what really worked for them... and HOW...
 

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I'm not a core four, but it definitely plays into my six core which is also very shaky. And my progress is so slow I often feel discouraged. But yes, for me it's been a lot about letting my behavior sort of "resonate", simply becoming aware that the bitter, ugly feelings are there. At first it was so unpleasant to think about I'd just avoid it and go back to forming my persona so as to just erase all these traits. But over time it's become easier to discern them, and as I do I just find I uncover a lot of pain and fear which all the bitterness is just a reaction to. I'll occasionally have moments of clarity and self acceptance but it'll usually backlash into more self-deprecation, I can't get any further so far. But I have a close friend who's very similar to me and is a few steps ahead (he worked through the same stuff I'm going through about 2 years ago, and also didn't think he'd get past it) so I do believe it can be done, it just takes time. And faith.
 

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Acceptance. I accept that I'm influenced by those around me, that I like to have everyone around me happy, and that others' moods really impacts me. So now that I'm not trying to fight against that, I can just be myself and deal with the reasonings behind that.
 

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Acceptance. I accept that I'm influenced by those around me, that I like to have everyone around me happy, and that others' moods really impacts me. So now that I'm not trying to fight against that, I can just be myself and deal with the reasonings behind that.
Wolfstar... would you go more into this... perhaps share examples, situations, thoughts, processes? What is working best for you, what you tried that didn't work as well...

HOW you got more in touch with your 1... etc?
 

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Wolfstar... would you go more into this... perhaps share examples, situations, thoughts, processes? What is working best for you, what you tried that didn't work as well...

HOW you got more in touch with your 1... etc?
More in touch with my 1? What? I'm sorry I'm not into all the mumbo jumbo. I used to look at the ways in which I was different and judge myself. Now, I just accept it. I don't try to be unique, I don't think about being unique, it's just not a consideration at all anymore. Now I want to observe the world, myself, others, and build relationships with them, rather than just focusing on how I can't. I'm doing rather than dwelling.
 

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Yes, I understand you are giving the BEFORE and AFTER... but I would very much appreciate an honest and open sharing of HOW the transition took place... you said you no longer feel the need to feel special... it has even stopped being a CONSIDERATION! It would be very useful for other fours if you could share HOW you managed this. The question is HOW... and I would very much value any details you can provide... and a little empathy in the way you express it.
 

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Yes, I understand you are giving the BEFORE and AFTER... but I would very much appreciate an honest and open sharing of HOW the transition took place... you said you no longer feel the need to feel special... it has even stopped being a CONSIDERATION! It would be very useful for other fours if you could share HOW you managed this. The question is HOW... and I would very much value any details you can provide... and a little empathy in the way you express it.
Oh! My bad, I misunderstood.

I had a bunch of bad and short relationships. I was constantly seeking something, never finding it, and never being happy. I went through two major spells of depression. Like, really bad. Finally near the end of the second one, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to not be depressed. I wanted to have meaningful relationships. So I broke up with my girlfriend, started sleeping right, started looking at things instead of dwelling and judging. Read a few books by Krishnamurti, who also talked about pretty much the same thing - observing instead of judging. Doing instead of thinking. Not trying to control or restrict or endlessly ponder and compare. If I'm anxious about something it means I need to do something about it, so instead of thinking and thinking and thinking about how to take care of it, I'll just immediately do something.

I don't need to be special because I am special. I'm me. So now it's time to learn about me. I can't possibly learn about me when I'm busy wasting time concerned with how special I am. That's not observing, that's not being aware. That's just dreaming. There's an entire population of unique people out there, so now my goal is to be aware of them and be aware of how to have meaningful relationships with them, because then I am happy. Then I'm not unique and alone. Then I'm using my awareness to create good and meaningful things.

Does that answer your question? Anything you'd like me to expand on? :)
 

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http://personalitycafe.com/type-4-forum-individualist/157233-4w5-25-years-age-older.html#post4023152

I actually found some of WolfStar's words here and in this other thread I posted above to be similar to how I started being more secure in myself. Yet, I still use the enneagram model to help me. For instance, I talk about trying to move to 7 in order to move to a healthier version of 1 as a technique that has helped me feel more relaxed and therefore...more secure and "objective". But it's just a rough guide to sort of help me.

And in this exact post is where I came to an insight about how I could learn to cope with my type 4 longing:
http://personalitycafe.com/type-4-forum-individualist/158227-being-attuned-whats-missing.html#post4042676

Also if you have a chance to read "The Positive Enneagram" by Susan Rhodes, she offers another perspective of the enneagram, which has actually helped me re-frame how I view my 4-ness. She has lots of articles for free online too if you want to explore. Here is the one that made me consider buying her book...which I did and don't regret doing. Basically, her book provides a good validation to me as a four (and for all the types) that there really is nothing wrong with me and that I have unique tasks to fill and a place in this world. Which seems to contrast what many enneagram leaders say--that we all have a core issue that started near childhood. This books says differently. I really needed to hear this perspective.
http://www.enneagramdimensions.net/articles/lets_depathologize_the_enneagram.pdf#start

I wish you the best of luck in your own journey!
 
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"By basing their identities on ever-changing moods, Fours lack a sense of a solid inner "core" to themselves, and so feel that they cannot count on themselves. Their identity and self-esteem are always shaky. Notice this tendency in yourself today." (The Power of the Enneagram audio tapes)


That's one way to put it. I dunno if I'd quite say it's lacking a solid inner core, even with core put in quotation marks. I mean, what does that really mean? It sounds dramatic, when it should be more specified.

4s have an independent streak, and try not to rely on others to understand themselves. It does make them consult their dramatic states, identifying with them more than is necessary. They can lose trust in their capabilities to handle that which they passive-aggressively run away from. They can obsess over guilty pleasures and outlets in order to strengthen themselves, leading to disappointment after disappointment, simply because strengthening oneself this way is impossible. Average to unhealthy 4s have moderate to severe concentrations of impatience in them. They want their ideal image to be real NOW. Patience is the key.

has any Fours been able to transcend this dilemma and find a solid identity and self-esteem for themselves where they are no longer shaky?
I'm working on it my way. Each 4 would need to do it its own way, but they need access to the right resources, and not the same self-pitying, vainglorious spittle. I think it best we stop thinking of ourselves being different, or esoteric. For health's sake. It's probably what gives birth to descriptions that patronize us without us knowing it. The whole "we're deep and artistically in touch with our emotions" thing is such bull, I swear... It's like encouragement for us to remain pretentious. What we're stuck in is a cycle.

It was my way to observe my behavior daily and develop a scheme of what I do. I realized that 4s are naturally confident (not the same as self-esteem) in themselves. Their confidence, when not anchored down, can have them recklessly set standards for themselves by some ideal image. They automatically try getting there perfectionistically. When experiences then don't match their confident feelings, they withdraw and try perfecting what appears to be flaws, but they're not flaws. They're normal obstacles we target for blame. "If I/this were only as good as I imagine, I'd be happy." Ring a bell?

I've had to take a lengthy road to get to feeling more naturally motivated. I realized that we have confidence due to our awareness of possibility for ourselves. I realize we get in our own way by feeling incapable of being as principled as we like, and obsessing over what makes us feel good about ourselves (gratifications like being smart or masterful). We run from principles, so to speak. In obsessing we end up limiting our infinity of possibility to a few goals.

I'd go on, but my point basically is to figure out what you do objectively. Know what you do, and learn to pace yourself. Do not fall for the hype of 4ness; the 'tortured soul' thing. There's no simple answer of how to stop being so perfectionistic, which is our biggest problem, or so vain. What you already do is probably part of your answer. I'm one that takes notes on myself all the time. I used it to my advantage.
 

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I want to share with you now something I wrote recently... because I am so intent on finding some kind of equanimity with myself, but I find myself automatically suppressing so many emotions that need to be faced, and suppressing it so quickly before I can even take a good look at it...

THE DEATH OF HOPE -

"Where no hope is left, is left no fear." - Milton.

I am going through a process where my own shadows have come full frontal at me... I have been overwhelmed by it... and am trying an entire number of things... mostly I am trying not to suppress what is happening, but as you know it can be difficult... which is why my main question is about 'process'... what are some very good manners in which one, when faced with their shadow... begins to integrate it...

This is why I am not looking to understand it conceptually, because conceptually I understand it very well... however dealing with the shadow is more a matter of the heart rather than the intellect... the intellect can only provide certain insight... in the end it is the heart that does the work.

For instance... how about we begin with this... it is very much intimately connected to what I am asking... the process I am going through now is the death of hope...

And it has been said by the wise ones that where there is hope there is also fear... and only in the death of hope does one become fearless...

Unwittingly, the Universe has now thrown this lesson at me, and I am unable to avoid it... and yet am not sure how to face it...

I am going through the death of hope... it is very much shadow-work.

Very simply, everything that I have longed for in my life... have hoped for... the kind of stuff that really made me happy... has now been taken away from me... and now the hope is intrinsically PAINFUL.

it is feeling incredibly painful to hope...

It is as if it is dying, and yet I am unable to mourn...

I am feeling far too numb...
And I don't want to suppress any of this...

So... in the end... my own issues and my own feelings of being trapped... all of it has come full frontal in a way I cannot avoid...

Inadequacy... lethargy... judgementalism of everything I am doing... aching pains in my body...

Just.. unable to be at peace with myself.

This is shadow work coming right up to my face.

At the same time, I am having beautiful insights... writing down some wonderful things that move people to tears of joy...

But in the end... I am numb...

I am not always numb...

And one other thing... before, I would escape this by keeping myself busy...

That hasn't worked...

I always used to divert my mind somehow...

And what has happened now...

Is that it has become too much, and the Universe is saying, "time's up. Face this."

I just need suggestions on some approaches I can take with myself... Processes I can work with...

To find some consistent BASE in myself... because right now I am all over the place...

And here is what is happening...

Every morning I wake up with some nightmare of betrayal, or pangs of guilt... or terror... and then I coax myself back into life... do something productive... try and convince myself... try and see things through fresh perspective... then I go to sleep...

and wake up again with a nightmare...

It is almost as if I am unwittingly suppressing something that needs to SURFACE...

And that is what is confusing me most... it is almost like it has become a reflex to suppress it...

And I want to stop suppressing...
 

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And in this exact post is where I came to an insight about how I could learn to cope with my type 4 longing:
Thanks so much for this link bro... been reading it and its helping... as what I really need right now is other Fours sharing their own journey with this...
 

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I am going through a process where my own shadows have come full frontal at me... I have been overwhelmed by it...
Good! Purgification I think is vital (a necessary stage) in the process of integrating (to) One. Take the shame. Don't reject yourself.

The best description of shame I ever heard was told by @Animal 's father. He explained shame as what for instance a sick or wounded elephant feels, and turns away from the herd. He rejects himself, because else the herd will wait for him and consequently may not reach its destiny (a source of water or food) in time, which will damage the collective, and perhaps maybe even the species.

You are facing shame in its purest forms. It's a feeling we are not really aware of, because our defense mechanisms try and keep that away from awareness, self-consciously shy away from it, or rationalization, introjection or escape in a fantasy, or project an (narcissistic) image or persona. You don't want to go there and face it, because it feels fucking lonely and it freaks you out in every nerve of your body. Keep in mind though that nobody is rejecting you, but you are first and foremost rejecting yourself. But once I had accepted myself, in every vein of my body, with all my flaws and shortcomings, I wasn't afraid to be alone anymore ever since.

Also perhaps good to note is that Envy is a form of resentment.
 

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You are facing shame in its purest forms. It's a feeling we are not really aware of, because our defense mechanisms try and keep that away from awareness, self-consciously shy away from it, or rationalization, introjection or escape in a fantasy, or project an (narcissistic) image or persona. You don't want to go there and face it, because it feels fucking lonely and it freaks you out in every nerve of your body. Keep in mind though that nobody is rejecting you, but you are first and foremost rejecting yourself. But once I had accepted myself, in every vein of my body, with all my flaws and shortcomings, I wasn't afraid to be alone anymore ever since.
Let me be very clear on this... as I am finding what you are saying really hitting the spot! You are saying be in the shame and just accept myself WHILE being in it? A kind of paradoxical act?
 

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Let me be very clear on this... as I am finding what you are saying really hitting the spot! You are saying be in the shame and just accept myself WHILE being in it? A kind of paradoxical act?
It's part of a process of awareness and accepting yourself as you are, not on the condition of fitting an ideal image. Many things of yourself that doesn't fit this image or self-concept is pushed into the Shadow, by self-serving bias. And sometimes this may be projected on others. (in Jungian sense) Projecting that ideal image on others and blame them for being less than stellar. In my case I became aware of behavior that I could accuse another of, but I always had excuses for myself., if I was even aware of it. Victim mentality can actually be pretty harsh and cruel, only you don't see it because of the false belief no one has to suffer like you do and well, you're just completely self-absorbed.

To open your mind and awareness for your shadow is a nasty process that many don't want to get into. And that is where the process of self-realization stops, keep going in circles like ever before, and where the silver armor of victimhood as a defense mechanism becomes a cage. There is a relation between feeling a victim and waiting for a savior. Between feeling innately flawed or stolen and feeling entitled. The common denominator is a belief in external locus of control over your destiny. So that is also why it's important to not only accept but own your flaws and shortcomings. Because that is the stepping stone to taking control over your destiny. It's something you need to go through.
 

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Yes, one thing I am finding very strongly now more than ever before is my need for honesty, and how much I value honesty in myself and others... and yet often projecting the need for honesty - more so now, I am becoming more focused on being very honest with myself, whilst at the same time accepting whatever dishonesty I find in myself and others...
 

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Yes, one thing I am finding very strongly now more than ever before is my need for honesty, and how much I value honesty in myself and others... and yet often projecting the need for honesty - more so now, I am becoming more focused on being very honest with myself, whilst at the same time accepting whatever dishonesty I find in myself and others...
By opening yourself for your shadow, you are becoming honest with yourself in the first place. You are facing all the vulnerabilities that the ego has been conditioned to. But you are also experiencing now, it takes courage to be honest and vulnerable. And people are not always dishonest in a malicous way. If you are not being honest with yourself, you're not even aware you are being dishonest with others. The result often being paradoxical behavior, and a large discrepancy between words and action.

But yes, honesty is where you are heading ultimately, and this will ultimately firmly establish that inner-core. In this respect I've referred before to a text from the I Ching , nr 61 Chung Fu, innermost sincerity, that I link to e1.



The hexagram consists of firm lines above and below, while it is open in the center. This indicates a heart free of prejudices and therefore open to truth. On the other hand, each of the two trigrams has a firm line i the middle; this indicates the force of inner truth in the influences they present.

I Ching : 61. Chung Fu / Inner Truth
 

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"and this will ultimately firmly establish that inner-core."

What does this inner-core mean to you? How did you establish it in yourself? What is your inner-core now? How is it consistent? What makes it consistent?
 
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