The Helper | Enneagram Photo Project

I have now completed the two on the Enneagram, also known as the Helper.  There was no better person to photograph and interview for this number than my friend, Ariel.  Below is a snippet of our conversation and a few photos that represent the wonder and beauty of a two.  For more information on the Enneagram or to find out your own number, go to The Enneagram Institute.  


Enneagram 2 | The Helper ⠀⠀

What is hard about being a 2?
Getting your expectations in check about what others can bring into your life. I find that I overextend & take care of people that can’t give me anything back. I have found that I seem to attract takers so I’m learning to try to surround myself with other givers but finding it lonely in this journey. ⠀⠀⠀⠀

What do you like about being a 2?
I like being empathetic & caring that much about people. I know that being a 2 allows me to feel love deeper than most & I’m grateful for that.


What is something that you can share with fellow Enneagram 2s that they could possibly identify with? Or to help them feel less alone in their “twoness”?
“I have found that dating has been very hard. Twos are natural fixers & you can’t fix another person. My life has been heartache after heartache of trying to fix someone who doesn’t need me to fix them. I am trying to learn how to hone in on my nurturing abilities instead of my natural inclination to be someone’s caretaker. Twos will give to their detriment, both in friendship & in love relationships. In the past, I have allowed relationships to run me dry. And I don’t want to do that anymore.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


What is a practical way for you to get out of the hard places of being a two?  

I journal, meditate, do yoga.  I talk about it right when it happens.  I try not to go to bed angry with anyone.  But I do tend to move towards food for comfort and feeling loved.   I just stopped binging on food a little over a year ago.  This is the most vulnerable time of my life.  The dark side of the two doesn't exist for me much anymore.  If I was my "old two", I would be really self hurting through food but I don't do that much anymore.  But I struggle everyday to fill that void with food but I now ask myself, "what would Zeita do?"  We all need those friends who will hold us accountable and allow us those safe places to land.    


Enneagram Project | Nashville Portrait Photographer

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” 
― Brené Brown

I can remember the day like it was yesterday.  I was sitting in a comfy chair in the front, sun-lit sitting room of my beautiful home that I had dreamed of for years.  I had it all.  A family.  A home that we built in the perfect Nashville neighborhood.  A dream job.  Really good friends.  And here I sat, lonely and sad.  Really sad.  I was seeing a therapist at the time that suggested for me to read this book by a researcher named Brene Brown called "The Gifts of Imperfection."   Another "one of those kinds of books" I thought to myself.  You know what I am talking about:  the self help kind of advice that motivates you for like a day and then you forget about it the next.  I didn't need another reason to feel like a failure.  But, like I always do, I ordered the book and started to read it.  And, sitting in that chair, with my sad, heavy heart as the sunlight tried unsuccessfully to cheer me up, something in me awoke.  It was one of the first times in my life that I thought, YES, YES, YES, this person GETS IT.  They get me.  I felt seen.  I felt heard.  And I no longer felt alone.  

Brene gave a voice to my heart.  She gave me permission to step into the vulnerability that I always desired.  She named this dirty, ugly thing that I had been carrying around for way too long: shame.  And she also pushed me to be honest about my story.  To truly delve into the deepest, most shameful places and live there for a bit, to tell the truth about who I really am.  Now, let me tell you, it SUCKED.  It was not a fun journey.  To "explore your darkness" is a slow, painful exploration.  It was as if I was only given a scalpel and a very, small flashlight to find my way out of this hole I had buried myself in for years and years.  But the beautiful thing was that I had help.  And the honest thing is that I could not have done it alone.  I had the help of a professional therapist that sat with me in my tears and questions.  I had the help of my dear friends that did not give up on me, even when they had every reason to give up.  And I now know that I had help from a God that loved me regardless of my darkness.  

So, years later, I sit here in the light.  Am I happy?  Sometimes.  Am I lonely?  Yes ,a lot of the times.  But do I know myself?  Hell yes.  And that is the greatest gift of all.  And it is a gift that I want to give to others.  One of the tools that I was given to help me better know myself (besides therapy, Brene Brown and wine) is the Enneagram.  If you don't know much about it, I would suggest heading to the Enneagram Institute website  for a better description than I can give you and a test to take that can help you know your type.  

For those of you who know your Enneagram type fairly well, I would love your help.  I am going to start a project this month on vulnerability and the Enneagram.  I would love to photograph one or two people for each type, men and women.  If you are interested, please email me at misty@tronephotography.com with a current photo, your type and a brief explanation of what your type has taught you about yourself.  

My hope is that we can feel less alone.  That we can encourage those who have not "explored the darkness" to step in with brave hearts because the journey is painful but damn worth it.  And that there is LIGHT on the other side.  Love and peace to all of you!