When we rest in this expression of life -- the four point of the enneagram -- we experience life at a deep and powerful level. Some people would call us dramatic or overly emotional, but for us, we feel the most alive when we encounter life in all its beauty, intensity, depth and color.
We often have artistic and musical gifts. We love aesthetic beauty in many forms. We may write poetry or make films. We may compose music, sing or play instruments. We feel moved by the multitude of miracles taking place each day. We want to engage with the dance of life and we naturally assume other people do as well.
That's where we get surprised and saddened. It catches us off guard -- every single time -- when we realize that others aren't processing life the way we are. When we can't connect with others at a deep level, we feel a profound sense of loss. We feel lonely when other people don't see what we see, feel what we feel or show interest in meeting us in the depths of our hearts. We can feel physical pain in our hearts and in our bodies, when this aloneness happens. A kind of existential sadness and depression can fill us up, and we can feel stuck there and disconnected from what seems to be meaningless moments of regular life.
There is a painful split between our loyalty to the depth of our hearts and our wish for authentic connection with others. This split causes feelings of helplessness and longing, but it is also the doorway to our peace. Fours want to belong as all humans naturally do. But fours want to be themselves in all of their intensity and belong.
As fours, this moment of inner conflict brings us to a great opportunity when we can witness the two parts of us at play. We want to be ourselves and we want to connect. When the other person isn't available to do this with us, we can see a fork in the road if we stay with our awareness.
On one side of the road, we watch ourselves unconsciously merge into the other person's experience and then we have some minimal form of contact with them. But in the process we lose our connection with ourselves. This is a kind of negative merging with the other person that feels bad for them and bad for us.
Or we can visit the other side of the road. This may be less familiar to us, and our mind may fear it. This side of the street involves staying with our own experience. Often there is love there and we feel held in that love. But we fear that staying with this kind of unfamiliar individuation means the other will go away. We believe that. But is it actually our experience? That is the opportunity for us as fours. What happens when we stay with us? Does the other person go away? Do they feel our love for them? Do they want to connect with us?
In my experience, fours discover a powerful opening to true and deep connection when they follow this second choice. They receive permission from themselves to stay with their abundant inherent gifts and also connect with others. They feel a sense of wholeness they longed for but thought they had to leave themselves to find.