The fire chief cut off my wedding ring yesterday.
My finger had swelled just enough that I couldn’t get it off, a combination of a little jam several weeks ago, some excellent Mexican take-out, and messing with it to try to get it off with soap, oil, ice, and thread.
So, why Sunday morning? What changed?
I lost the diamond.
What was once a simple, circular stone setting became a dangerous four-pronged spike slicing my hands.
And goodness knows we’re all washing our hands! I was like Edward Scissorhands just trying to clean up from breakfast.
I was pretty content living with my slightly snug ring. Until it became so unhealthy, it was damaging.
What do you do when how you’ve been living doesn’t work anymore?
Have you had that moment? When suddenly how you’ve been living doesn’t work anymore? And you realize you are hurting yourself and others? Fed up with making the same mistakes that you just can’t seem to change?
What brought you to that moment of self-awareness?
Often, it’s not so much the circumstances or the mistakes you keep making, but your thought, feeling, or action in response. Each person has a unique experience, but there is a pattern that emerges by Enneagram number.
In the anger triad:
Eights: a rock-bottom moment that shocks them out of numbing the emotional pain.
Nines: an experience of anger that wakes them up to required action.
Ones: a situation they absolutely cannot control, and they turn the anger to their inner critic instead of themselves.
In the shame triad:
Twos: a time when they must recognize their own needs.
Threes: a significant failure that shatters their image-crafting.
Fours: a choice of letting go of old wounds from false self-stories.
In the fear triad:
Fives: a relationship that can’t be solved by research.
Sixes: a choice of inner trust in uncertainty.
Sevens: a grief they cannot reframe in their minds and must feel.
These experiences present an opportunity, often disguised as a frightening or foolish choice. “Hi, in the middle of a global pandemic, can a first responder come and cut off my wedding ring?” Yes, that is exactly what I needed to do.
How to stop making the same mistakes:
- Admit it’s not working. This way of viewing and behaving is holding you back, causing issues, or even harming you and others.
- Ask for help. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who changed all on their own. Healthy change requires new information into your life and encouragement to apply it, even when it’s so very hard.
- Do the work. We can’t just imagine our way to healthier choices. We have to make new choices.
After Chief John cut my ring, he pried the ends apart, and we worked to move the ring up my finger. In the end, I had to twist and tug myself. He stood there encouraging me, but I had to work the ring off. Not gonna lie, it hurt. The rough ends of the cut white gold sliced my skin and bruised some vessels on its way off. My hand didn’t magically return to perfect working order, but it is healing.
Inner work is yours to do. When you have an opportunity to make a healthier choice, no one can do it for you. And sometimes, it can be a little painful. It’s rarely pleasant and always a bit awkward.
Inner work is yours to do.
But let me encourage you, cheer you on a bit—on the other side, there is health, peace, and freedom! I promise. It’s ALWAYS worth it.
Take a moment:
Do you have a pattern of mistakes that you just can’t stop?
Or maybe, why do others react this way to me?
What do you want to do about it?
Are you ready to get some help?
(And for those of you worried about the diamond…I found it in my bed! Happy ending all around!)