On asking yourself, "Self, what's your deal?"

Of course it's happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?

I've always loved this quote from Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows so much that I've considered getting it as a tattoo. Back when I got the idea, it called forth my belief about the power of words and creativity, the legitimacy of what one imagines.

But I'm mercurial, believing nothing for too long before questioning it. I read books like The Secret that convinced me of the power of my thoughts and intentions, and then read others like The Untethered Soul that proclaim the path to spiritual freedom is not being deceived by fears and beliefs inside your head. Two conflicting worldviews, each with anecdotal merit at some point in my life.

I've dabbled in the Enneagram and have mentioned it before, at least in one of my videos if not on the blog proper. It's a fascinating system of nine personality types. Within each type there are levels of functioning. I'm a Type Six, The Loyalist, and there are behavior patterns typical of all Sixes and patterns specific to Sixes functioning at healthier or less healthy levels. The goal is to function like your best self.

A Six's main motivation is security. Sixes "look to structures, beliefs, allies and authorities to put their anxiety at rest," according to the book Personality Types by Don Richard Riso with Russ Hudson.

Sixes contradict themselves at every turn. They want to be independent and can be rebellious, but they "have difficulty trusting their own minds, their own ability to know what to do without reference to ideas that are not their own." I blame my Sixness for my polling of my committee — my unfortunate inner circle — whenever I'm stressing about something that I think but almost certainly isn't major.

The Loyalist part comes in, as I understand it, when Sixes find something on which to pin their hopes for security, be it a job, a lover, a church or anything else. Sixes want to believe in something and feel certain.

When I think of Type Six, I think about Katniss Everdeen. All Katniss cares about is a secure life for her family. Like any Six, she's keen in her awareness of what the rules are, who is in charge and what is expected of her. In all things, she looks for who she can count as an ally, but she fears being betrayed. For all her self-questioning and general dislike of herself, contradictory Katniss relies first on herself.

So I've got this quote that I love, but I don't know how it fits in my worldview. My worldview changes. That's probably normal and healthy.

I know that my mind can be an enemy when it wants to convince me to be frightened and fight back even if I'm just punching walls or the air, accomplishing nothing but tiring myself out. But I know my mind can be an ally. Everything I have, I got because I wanted it and set out to get it. Came up, that's all me, just like Drizzy said.

But why should you believe anything happening in your head when, clearly, not everything happening in your head stands up to logic?

Because you are the ship traveling through your universe. You are the vessel carrying you. That's why I'm so into this self-discovery business. I want to get why I think the things I do, wrong or right, because whatever I believe about my life is true. I'm the one experiencing it. So if I have a belief or feeling that's an unhealthy fallacy, I have to validate its existence as part of me before I can abolish it from myself.

As a Six, where do I find my security?

That's what I'm trying to figure out. Like Katniss, I'm my own best ally. Like the evil Queen Catherine on my new favorite show Reign, I believe "History is written by the survivors. And I am surely that." I think my sense of security feels so unstable because of the very thing that keeps me going — a sense of destiny, that I'm meant to live a BIG life, but not knowing exactly how to get there. (I think my destiny has to do with writing, but I've written enough for today without getting into that.) I believe in love. I believe in a just God. I believe the universe has a sense of humor. I believe in kindness. I believe in being a light amid the darkness and negativity. I believe I'm powerful. I also believe I'm human and insecure, and that I will forget all my beliefs and freak out on a whim at least five times a week.

That's just the Six in me.


  1. You KNOW I love me some Albus D. This is actually one of my favorite quotes of his, too. I think it would make an AWESOME tattoo!

  2. One HP tat that I saw and loved was a girl who got "Protego" right over her heart. Quotes, spells, so much tattoo potential! My phoenix idea probably originated with Potter, too.

  3. that would make an incredible tat because it's 100% true. and you know what they say: those who are most successful are the ones with no fear.