The Hero’s Journey and The Enneagram

Photo by Slava on Unsplash

The Hero’s Journey is the classic tale of a protagonist who goes out on an adventure, faced with conflict, fights the wicked person or monster and returns having learned many lessons. It’s used in many popular films like Star Wars, Rocky and Lord of the Rings to name a few.

My Hero’s Journey has played in many forms throughout my life, although not a mythical epic tale but one of peaks, valleys and triumphs. One Journey earlier in my life was the time I moved across the country from Massachusetts to California. Graduating college during a recession, no direction for a well-paying job, and unable to live on my own to pay the rent. An ordinary story that people can relate to became an adventure when I met my future husband who was visiting Boston for a wedding and spontaneously called me up as we were past friends. The blossoming of the relationship was risky because of the distance and I’m reluctant, but I do not deny it. An interminable distance relationship ensues for 6 months with visits back and forth and finally leaping into the move across the country. Still faced with finding work and other obstacles, and I am forced to deal with conflicts that reveal my true personality.

The Hero’s Journey helps us to fight the shadow monsters of the personality. When we encounter the deeper pain and know more of who we are, then we can expand. A tool that’s really helped me understand myself is The Enneagram. While the ego is important because it protects us from pain it is helpful to have the coming home for liberation of self. This is not religion or dogma.

Pride is my faithful ego shadow. It lurks beneath the surface, simmering, waiting to prevent me from asking for help. It is difficult for me to ask for help because I don’t want to bother anyone with it. When I’m at my lowest and I don’t ask for help, I numb out on t.v. and food. My rationalization is that everyone has problems and my suffering is no different, so I don’t want to burden them with mine. I have no problem giving help, being of service to others, and it truly brings me joy.

Once I learned this was a personality pattern of my personality type on the Enneagram, it has helped me to uncover how to move beyond this “pride.” I am a 2 on the Enneagram which is also known as The Helper. The Helper has characteristics like warmth, receptivity, softness, emotional receptivity and openness to others.

I asked myself questions like:

  • Who is it easy to ask for help and why?
  • How has pride or embarrassment stopped me from admitting that I need help?
  • What would help me deal with my frustrations and begin moving forward to the ideals?

I could not have progressed unless I knew about the Enneagram. The Enneagram is an ancient tool describing the main 9 personality types and is for growth and ability to make more conscious choices.

The Enneagram allows us to see how our ego’s play into our daily lives, the decisions we make and the actions we perform. It provides a map to helping us in remembering who we are at our core. It is also a typology which shows us the unique ways we go unconscious with specific characteristic and exact ways of how we go to sleep to who we really are. If we can see these blind spots, we can access the parts of us beyond the ego.

While this is difficult we can create a larger space for ourselves in this world. The day to day of getting up to the same routine is mundane and paralyzing. When you achieve and “have it all” and yet still are unhappy and unsatisfied it is because you are not truly connected to yourself. The materialism, the car, the money, the job, the house truly means nothing. It is not the purpose of life.

It is painful to move beyond our personalities. When we engage deeper with our shadow we can create a larger space for waking up. We become present to the inner witness, observing the stuck feelings the presence will bring us back to our true selves. Meditation helps us to accept what is, open our hearts and shine the light into the cracks.

I am glad I have found this tool and the Enneagram type that has helped me get to my heart and true nature. If you are interested in learning more about the Enneagram and your type check out my site to begin. As an Enneagram guide, it is my goal to help you find the hero in your own story.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Shelley Karpaty

Shelley Karpaty


Meditation and Musings - navigating life as a human BEing connecting the dots of the Universe.