A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
With the Enneagram, She’s Got Your Number
Suzanne Stabile says the ancient system pins down your personality type and draws you closer to God.
By JACKIE BLALOCK ROBINSON
“Wow! I can’t believe I just did that!” Does that sound like you?
Do you ever wonder why you say or do the things you do and about their effect on your relationships at home, work or school?
Suzanne Stabile, who co-wrote The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery with Ian Morgan Cron, said the Enneagram can lead to a better understanding of yourself and improve your relationship with God as well.
The Enneagram is an ancient personality type system that Stabile says is uncannily accurate in describing how human beings are wired, both positively and negatively. The book provides step-by-step instructions on how to determine your personality number from the Enneagram’s nine personality type numbers.
“One thing about the Enneagram that is different from all other systems is that it is non-static,” Stabile said. “At any given time, the associated numbers can be used so when you’re really stressed, you can adapt your behavior from your own number and take better care of yourself.”
Cron and Stabile include humorous stories that keeps the book entertaining while showing which characteristics make up your personality.
The Road Back to You not only helps you learn about yourself, but also helps you gain insight into how other people view the world, Stabile said.
“You learn how they think, feel and act the way they do,” she said.
No personality type, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, is better or worse than another, she said.
“And I would let people know that the Enneagram is not the end all, be all or answer to everything,” Stabile said. “It is one spiritual wisdom tool that is very helpful to the people who get to know it and get to know themselves better.”
Stabile became interested in the Enneagram over 20 years ago through author Richard Rohr and is now considered a master teacher of it. She believes the Enneagram helps articulate what people already know about themselves.
Many are skeptical of the Enneagram, but Stabile says it is compelling and popular enough that she is on the road constantly putting on workshops in places including universities, hospitals and churches.
College freshmen and sophomores figure out their number in half the time that it takes her to teach it to adults, she said.
“I think the young adults get it quickly because when you are already out in the world [like adults], you have to behave in certain ways to make your way in the world,” she said. “So you have to take the edges off your natural behavior in order to behave appropriately for certain responsibilities. Young people aren’t at that point in their lives yet. So if adults have a difficult time finding their number, I tell them to think about when they were 20.”
When not writing or traveling, Stabile relaxes with her husband, Joe, a United Methodist pastor who she is “crazy in love with.” Together, they are co-founders of Life in the Trinity Ministry, a nonprofit, nondenominational ministry committed to the spiritual growth of adults. She also has four adult children and six grandchildren.