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Monday, February 25, 2019

Book Review: The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile

BOOK review
Started on: 6 February 2019
Finished on: 13 February 2019

Title: The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
Author: Ian Morgan Cron, Suzanne Stabile
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Pages: 238 pages / 241 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2016
Price: Rp 329,380 (

Rating: 5/5
"The Enneagram is a tool that awakens our compassion for people just as they are, not the people we wish they would become so our lives would become easier."
In this book, Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile teamed up to forge a practical and comprehensive way of accessing Enneagram wisdom and exploring its connections with Christian spirituality for a deeper knowledge of ourselves, compassion for others, and love for God. This book is filled with various stories from people around them, the people they met, and even stories about themselves that will reveal the mindset behind each personality type. Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you will also start to see the world through other people's eyesunderstanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do. This understanding will lead us on the path of spiritual discovery and paving the way to the wiser, more compassionate person you will be able to become.

"Once you know the dark side of your personality, simply give God consent to do for you what you’ve never been able to do for yourself, namely, bring meaningful and lasting change to your life."
"Working with the Enneagram helps people develop the kind of self-knowledge they need to understand who they are and why they see and relate to the world the way they do... When that happens you can start to get out of your own way and become more of the person God created you to be."
I was first introduced to Enneagram by a close friend of mine who loves knowing more about personality types as much as I do. When she showed me the Enneagram diagram, I was a bit overwhelmed because it kind of looks like the pentagram 😂 and it seems overly complicated for me at first. Thus, I wasn't as excited as her even though she said Enneagram has really helped her understand herself and the people around her better. Until I stumbled upon this book—the first book about Enneagram that managed to intrigue me and makes me want to read it. After I finished reading it, now I understand what makes my friend so hyped up about Enneagram. If you're a newbie to the Enneagram like me, The Road Back to You will be a great introduction that gives practical ways to examine our motivations and consider the best path toward growth.
"To know oneself is, above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against Truth, and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge is humility."
This book starts off with the story of how Ian Morgan Cron discovered Enneagram and how it has changed his life ever since. And then he briefly introduced the nine personality type numbers in Enneagram: Type 1: The Perfectionist, Type 2: The Helper, Type 3: The Performer, Type 4: The Romantic, Type 5: The Investigator, Type 6: The Loyalist, Type 7: The Enthusiast, Type 8: The Challenger, and Type 9: The Peacemaker. Afterwards he also explained that these numbers are divided into three triads: three in the Heart/Feeling Triad (2,3,4), three in the Head/Fear Triad (5,6,7), and the last three in the Gut/Anger Triad (8,9,1). Because of these triads, the writer choose to not describe the types in numerical order, but to group and discuss them in the context of their respective triads, starting from Eight, Nine, One, and so on. This way it is easier to understand and also makes it easier for the reader to search for your number.

After the introduction, each chapter then starts to unfold the personality type numbers one by one. The chapters start with What It's Like to Be a/an (number), which consists of a list of "I" statements that will give you an idea of how people of that particular number might describe what it's like to live in their skin. However, keep in mind that your number is not determined by what you do so much as why you do it. Then, there's a brief description on how that number typically thinks, feels, and acts when they're Healthy, Average, and Unhealthy. Throughout the chapter, Ian will share several stories about people with that personality type. The author will then share the number's Deadly Sin, their lives As Children, how they will act In Relationships, and their behaviors At Work. There's also a brief description of the Wings (the numbers on either side) combination. Lastly, the Stress and Security shows the number we move towards when we're either feeling stressed or secure. At the end of every chapter, you will find a Spiritual Transformation section that offers each type a few suggestions on how they can what they've learned about themselves to good use. Ten Paths to Transformation is like a guide help us be a better and healthier version of ourselves.
"The Enneagram is not exclusively psychological, nor is it feel-good, self-help pabulum when taught correctly. (By the way, if my "self" could have helped my "self", don't you think "self" would have done it by now?) The true purpose of the Enneagram is to reveal to you your shadow side and offer spiritual counsel on how to open it to the transformative light of grace."
"No one should work with the Enneagram if what they seek is flattery. But no one should fail to do so if what they seek is deep knowing of self."
Now that I've shared the general overview of the book, I'm going to start sharing my personal experience and how I've discovered myself further with the help of this book. As someone who's really interested in personality types, I've challenged myself to grow and do a lot of things that are out of my comfort zone over the years. That's why I wasn't sure about my personality type when I read the description about my number. But as the author dig deeper, I start to see myself being reflected in the descriptions of a Nine, The Peacemaker. There are so many statements that are just right on the spot 😂—even my boyfriend agreed that it describes who I am perfectly. One of them is Ian's story when he texted his wife, Anne (who's a Nine) where does she want to go for dinner; and the automatic respond is always "I don't know, where do you want to go?" 😂😂. I laughed so hard at this part because it's so me! Not only do I find it absolutely hilarious knowing that I'm not the only person doing that, now I know the reason why Nines automatically respond that way. At the core, Nines tend to avoid asserting their preferences for fear they will create conflict or arouse unpleasant feelings. Nines want to know what the other person wants so they can adapt or merge with the other person's desire. This is really fascinating to me because it reveals the motivations behind my actions that I usually do automatically.

I was also really interested with the part that explains each number's childhood that shaped their personality. For example, many Nines grew up in homes where they either were, or perceived themselves to be, overlooked and where their preferences, opinions or feelings were of less importance than those of others. Which makes sense for me since I'm the youngest child in my family and most of the time my dad is in charge of all the decisions, so I just have to follow whatever's decided. And the Spiritual Transformation was really helpful for me; it encouraged me to not be afraid of having opinions and express them, resist the urge to fall back on passive-aggresive behaviors, and many more. I think I'm going to print out that page so I can be reminded every single day 😂.
"The Enneagram should only be used to build others up and help them advance on their journey toward wholeness and God. Period. We hope you take this to heart."
Like I said earlier, if you're new to Enneagram, this is a really good book to start with because it's really practical, full of daily life examples, and it's not overly complicated. I think the most important thing about reading this book is to have an open mind and really tune in to ourselves. It is very easy to deny the descriptions written in this book; because Ian Morgan Cron lists not only the strength of each number, but also their weaknesses and flaws as well. Another thing that I really liked is how the writer ends the book on a very positive note—which emphasize on having greater compassion for others and ourselves instead of judging them based on what we know about their numbers. Because it is when we stop trying to change people and simply love them that they actually have a shot at transformation. The Enneagram is a great tool that awakens our compassion for people just as they are, not the people we wish they would become so our lives would become easier. This mindset is what really makes me love Enneagram. It teaches me to have self-compassion and also compassion toward others who might think/see the world differently than us. This will be the start of my self-discovery journey with Enneagram because I'll definitely be picking up more books related to this topic 😊!

by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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