I am a “four” on the enneagram. Fours tend to focus on what’s missing in their life, whether that is meaningful relationships, meaningful work, or simply meaning itself. As a result we often feel defeated, and frequently battle despair.
Fours can be a dreary lot to hang out with.
When this fit takes me, it can be difficult to find my way back to hope. But I have found some things that help.
Probably most helpful is to stop and open my eyes; to give thanks for the things that aren’t missing. When I do this I am always astounded at just how remarkably blessed I am. Savor those blessings, linger over them, and meditate on them; especially if you too are a four. There is nothing like genuine gratitude to chase away despair.
Another thing I do is to try to keep moving, like Dory in “Finding Nemo,” just keep on swimming. I’ll do simple things, like washing the dishes or vacuuming the floor. They remind me that I can get something done.
Make a list of the things you have accomplished, no matter how small.
Or bring to remembrance those times you’ve been a blessing to someone. I remember a line from The Brothers Karamazov, “I threw an onion.” I try to be a blessing in some mundane way. Maybe I’ll go to a rest home and just listen to an old person’s story. Just listening to someone can be a great blessing, especially to those in whom the world no longer has any interest.