Exploring the Enneagram – The Number Seven.
Basic Fear: Of being deprived and trapped in pain
Basic Desire: To be happy, satisfied, to find fulfilment.
Superego Message: You are good or okay if you get what you need.
Sevens are the most energetic of all the Enneagram types, they are enthusiastic and a source of freedom and imagination in the world. They are bold and vivacious pursuing what they want with a cheerful disposition. They can often be mistaken for being in the heart/ feeling centre but they are found within the Head Triad. Their thinking is anticipatory as they generate ideas off-the-hoof favouring activities that stimulate the mind. They are exhilarated by the rush of ideas, of being spontaneous and the initial creative stages of a project. They often have quick, agile minds and can be exceptionally fast learners. They possess an abundant vitality, are naturally cheerful and good-humoured and don’t take themselves or anyone else too seriously.
Although they emote positive feelings and are ways “doing”, beneath the surface there is a deep-seated fear present.
Their fundamental need is to avoid pain, so Sevens are perpetually looking for distractions and opportunities to stay as far away as possible from their inner aches. They are out of touch with the inner guidance and support of their Essential nature which creates a deep anxiety. They feel as if they don’t know how to make decisions that will be beneficial to themselves or others. Scarcity of options and opportunity creates tremendous anxiety for Sevens. They are terrified of being stuck with their own pain, so they stay overly active to stave off the inner ache they desperately avoid facing. On a very deep level Seven’s don’t feel that they can find what they really want in life and they respond to this by having any experiences on offer. This quest can become gluttonous as they have tendency to overdo everything that brings them gratification.
The childhood wound of the Seven came from a perceived feeling of disconnection from the nurturing caregiver (often the biological Mother). They may carry a deep frustration at having been cut off from this nurturance at an early age which led them to unconsciously decide to nurture themselves.
The way home for the Seven is to rest in silence. Intentional, engaged silence is a way for the Seven to cease from their constant drive to escape, imagine and inspire. Here they are invited to face the undramatic pain of the ordinary. It invites them to welcome the emptiness they are afraid awaits them within the silence and creates a space in which the they can face into their pain and in so doing allow it to be healed.
Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson write about how Essence emerges in Sevens:
Sevens realise on the most profound level of their consciousness that life really is a gift. One of the big lessons that the Seven offers is that there is nothing wrong with life, nothing wrong with the material world. It is the gift of the Creator. If we were not to take anything for granted, we would be flooded with joy and gratitude all the time.
Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations
Don Richard Risso and Russ Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram
Christopher L Heurtz, The Sacred Enneagram