When Ashley approached me about doing a Story Session, just for her - for all that she's learning about herself in this season and how that's shaping who she wants to become, I was flooded with excitement that she had caught the vision for how special and unique these sessions are, and also wonder at her courage to devote this whole experience just for herself. I want to have that same confidence for myself, and the experience of working on Ashley's Story Session was nothing short of inspiring.
This session is just one incredible glimpse into all that I believe Story Sessions can be for people - and you can read all about Ashley's experience from her point of view here at the bottom of the page.
Ashley's Story Session was largely based on things she had recently been learning about herself through the Enneagram and how that has impacted her views on her relationships, how she interacts with others and moves through the world. She shared her feelings about all that she's learned - both good and bad - and also talks about what she wants to remember from this season of her life.
(I'd also like to note that it is incredibly generous of her and precious to me that she's agreed to share her session here on my blog - Story Sessions can be so personal - which is what makes them so valuable and special. I am always so honored to be a part of documenting stories like Ashley's, and very humbled to be able to share it now! Thank you Ashley!!!)
"When he told me, my immediate feeling was, oh crap, I’m going to have to go along with him. Because that’s been the way that I move through life. - That’s what I feel like has been really eye opening about my number and my faith is I want to be in community with others and I don’t think about my own thoughts or my own needs, so I just say, 'What do you believe? That sounds good! I’m going to be with you and believe that with you.' And so really I have outsourced a ton - I would say all of my beliefs to just whatever I’m around, my environment. 'This feels good and I want to feel good, so I’m going to go along with it.'"
"We are so complete opposites, and I really am so glad for that because I can show him this world of feeling and emotion and he can show me that world of thinking and how beautiful it can be when you know what you believe or when you have thoughts and have a deeper understanding of God through intellect, and then for him to also experience a deeper understanding of God through feelings and emotions."
"I feel like this is kind of the time in my life that I’m finally standing on my own two feet and not just being dragged along with everybody else. And I’m owning who I am, and being happy about who I am, and feeling worthy of having a place in the world. Because for so long I felt like I had to earn it. I had to do so much for everybody else and then they would be able to say Ashley was a worthy person to be on earth. I feel like I’m starting to break down that lie by just knowing more about myself and what am I here to do, what’s my thing to do here, and really feeling like I’m becoming more and more independent."
"The other part that I think is really great about the enneagram is learning other personality types and being able to see how we can relate with one another and how we’re different. How you view the world versus me, and what are your motivations for moving… especially with my closest relationships. Learning their motivations and their core struggles and stuff like that has been really helpful for me to understand and bring a lot of clarity to (my relationships.)"
"I do feel like I’m entering a new season of not just going along with what everybody else is doing but having my own thoughts and my own opinions and believing those are valid to have. I don’t need anybody else to tell me that they’re valid but I’m truly trying to believe – and it is a trying thing – but really trying to believe they’re valid just because I exist and I am valid. I want to remember how hard it has been but how beautiful it is do this hard work."
"I know for me that I really need to be in solitude.
It’s not that I’m void of thoughts – I am thinking – but it’s never about myself. It’s always about what’s going on with other people.
…I hope that maybe that’s a piece of that genuine goodness. The times where I can feel really confident in myself, I do feel like that is a piece of God’s character that is in me. So I know that there is some good to it."
"The enneagram has really made me aware of how I make decisions.
This is what I heard recently, that 2’s need to stop asking themselves what feels good and start asking what feels right.
…It is so tough though. And it is really tough for me to distinguish the two. But the best way that I can explain how I’m trying to understand the difference is not doing something that feels good because I know I’ll be wanted and needed but something that feels right because that is what I’m made to do."
"The immediate benefits that I felt once I did identify as a 2 was reading all of the books that I could, really just about the 2, and feeling so validated for who I was and how I move through the world and that I’m not crazy and that I’m not ridiculous. That there are others out there who are moving through the world exactly like I am with a super similar story. That was really comforting too, to feel like there are other people who have these same thought processes and are wondering about their worth and their value too in the same way that I do. For some reason that was comforting to me to know that I’m not alone in that."