How the Enneagram Is Helping Me Find Peace with Anger

Sometimes the hardest moments for me are when my girls are upset with each other. Somebody does something the other one doesn’t like, or there is a particular toy that both parties desperately need to play with in that second, and so they whine, pout, shove, hit, scream, chase. You know, sister things.

In March, I identified that I am an enneagram 9. I enjoy personality tests in general, but this was the first time I read a description and actually felt understood. So, while the test didn’t define me, it certainly helped me understand more about myself and why I respond in certain ways in certain circumstances.

9’s are known as peacemakers. We love harmony and unity. It eats us up to think others might be offended, hurt, neglected, misunderstood. We have a tendency to avoid conflict because we thrive in peace. Different people have different ways of handling this. Personally, when I sense an underlying or impending conflict, I want to dive in right away to fix it before it blows up.

So, back to my girls. When they aren’t acting peacefully, I respond out of an imagined immediacy that everything needs to return to status quo within minutes. I am prone to diving in quickly in order to dissipate all issues as promptly as possible. I just want the fighting to stop, and when I sense it isn’t ceasing right away, my heart beats anxiously.

I hate the way I feel when my peace, or my peaceful environment, is disrupted. When I lose that sense of peace, I feel my body turning to anger as a response, and I despise it.

This probably explains why I’ve talked about anger so much on my blog. I absolutely hate the feeling of anger. What I didn’t know, before discovering the whole enneagram 9 situation, was just how anti-anger I am. I hold so strongly to a concept of living peacefully in all situations, that when my own anger rises, I feel like I have fallen.

It’s as though, when I am angry, I’m perpetuating the whole decline of peace. I’m creating my own barrier, blocking me from the thing I’m striving to accomplish in the first place. It’s maddening in the moment, revealing in the after.

One might think, as much as I talk about this fight with anger, that I deal with it all the time, but that isn’t reality. It’s actually good for me to realize that the overwhelm of anger only happens on occasion, because when I identify that it is only a small part of me, it begins to lose control over me.

The enemy wants me to think that I’m a hopeless wretch. And you know, without Jesus, that’s what I would be. But with Jesus? With Jesus those anger flare-ups are only one tiny piece of who I am. With Jesus, those bursts of anger can be turned around and made into something good and God-glorifying. By doing the dirty work of digging deep, claiming truth, and seeking His perfect peace, I give Him permission to use my life for His glory.

Earlier this month I posted a series of 3 blogs on the 3 hardest days of my postpartum depression. I talked about: 

  1. the initial situation 

  2. learning to deal with anger in practical ways

  3. coming to the end of myself and relying completely on Jesus 

Since publishing those words, I’ve had numerous women approach me about their own story. Several stating they were ready to start the work of counseling. My personal struggle of finding peace is helping others find their own.

The enemy wants us to think we are failing. That our issues are too much for anyone to handle, even Jesus. But Jesus says something quite the opposite. There is nothing too big for Him to handle. None of our emotions frighten Him. He’s there through it all and with us for it all. He is the ultimate Peacemaker, and should we follow His ways we will find the true, real, altogether perfect, supernatural peace.

I’m running after it. Care to join me?

God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God
— Matthew 5:9