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New Year, New Books #12: The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan cron

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If you read my last post about realizing I was a 2 with a 1 wing, then you already understand the impact Enneagrams can have on your world. There are more books, podcasts and articles on Enneagrams than a human could read in 12 lifetimes but I picked this book up on the suggestion of a friend and I’m sure glad I did!

I love the way the authors structured the information in an easy to understand and follow format. There’s a brief overview of what led Mr. Cron to Enneagrams and how the diagram, Enneagrams, wings and other aspects work. You do not have to understand anything about this subject to dive right in. Personally, I had already taken a quiz to know what number I was but each chapter begins with a list of characteristics for each number that I would read and highlight if I felt the were applicable. If the quiz didn’t tell me I was a two, the fact that I highlighted 17 of the 20 descriptors sure did! You can definitely just go off the chapter you share the most with and not take a quiz if that’s not your thing.

Another thing that I really liked about this book is the thoroughness without being overwhelming. Every chapter has a story that showcased quintessential behavior for that number and then breaks down the good and bad in a variety of realms.

For example:

  • Healthy Number Descriptor

  • Average Number Descriptor

  • Unhealthy Number Descriptor

  • Number’s Deadly Sin

  • General Overview

  • Number as Children

  • Number in Relationships

  • Number at Work

  • Wing Option A

  • Wing Option B

  • How Number Reacts Under Stress

  • How Number Reacts When They Feel Secure

  • How Number Effects Your Walk with the Lord

  • Ten Challenges to Help Draw You to the Healthy Side

The authors are concerned that you not only understand yourself but that you learn to show compassion to the world around you. Therefore, it is essential that you recognize where your children fall or your coworker or your pastor. As I was reading each chapter I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw those I love in certain numbers. By then end I had my mother, father and brother all easily tagged but more importantly I was amazed at the explanation for why they do something that has always irritated me. Cron was right in saying that understanding where someone is coming from can help with showing them compassion. I hope the next time one of these traits pops up that I will be as gracious to them as I hope they will be when my issues arise.

I also like that the authors give some practical challenges that are well within the realm of doing for each number. You may be uncomfortable with some of them but they will help keep your negative side in check and help stretch you in a positive direction. It’s also a great reminder of the struggles for those we love that are a different number and how we can help them. (There’s that two coming out!)

Finally, I love that there is a big emphasis on how this affects are relationship with God. In the chapter on twos, the story of Mary and Martha is brought up and how Martha was OBVIOUSLY a two and in her two-ness she was so focused on being the hostess with the mostess that she missed the opportunity to rest at Jesus’ feet. As a two this hit home with me because I’ve always felt that Martha got a bad rap because if she wasn’t in there cooking and cleaning for all those people, most importantly the Messiah, who was going to do it? The book makes the case that Martha didn’t ASK Jesus if she needed to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off but rather she just ASSUMED that was her job. Did they need food? Maybe they had just eaten? This is Jesus after all… he did some pretty impress food tricks and yet Martha felt obligated and then overwhelmed by her need to be helpful when help may not have been needed.

Overall, I found the book as funny as it was introspective and I appreciated the honesty with which is was written. I highlighted the heck out of it in the hopes that I can return to it often enough not to forget where I stand and to understand those around me. I pray I will be more understanding and accepting of a world that doesn’t see everything just like me and that’s okay!

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