Be a Healthy Number – Lines, Arrows, and Letting Go on the Enneagram {Enneagram Series #12}

Don’t sit idle at your core number on the Enneagram. Move around the circle to become the healthiest version of yourself. While you remain the same number for life, the Enneagram is a system of growth. 

Use the lines and arrows on the symbol to see the optimal movements for your number. Seek your best relationships with God, others, and yourself.

Arrows on Enneagram

What Are These Lines For?

Each number on the Enneagram symbol has a line leading toward it and a line leading away from it.

These lines show you which direction you grow in maturity, and which direction you revert to in times of stress. By recognizing these, you can chart a path of growth as well as secure yourself against dangers.

Look at this symbol of the Enneagram. Find your number. Every number has two lines connected to it. Which line extends out from your number? Which line runs into your number?

Enneagram Symbol Arrows Lines

What Do the Arrows Mean?

The line extending away from your number (follow the away arrow) indicates your unhealthy side number, called the direction of disintegration.

The line coming into your number (the arrow comes to you) indicates your healthiest side number, called the direction of integration.

Here’s an example. Let’s say your core number is 5 (Investigator). If you are an immature 5, you can take on the worst characteristics of an unhealthy 7 (Enthusiast) when you are stressed. You can become superficial, aimless, overactively seeking diversions.

But if you’re a mature 5, you can take on the best characteristics of a healthy 8 (Challenger). You’re more apt to convert your knowledge into action, confidently making positive changes in the world in bolder ways.

Does that mean a 5 becomes a 7 or an 8? No. Your core number remains the same.

Use these lines and arrows to watch for patterns when you are stressed and headed downhill in your direction of disintegration. Likewise, use them to push forward when you feel stronger by reaching for higher goals in your direction of integration.

Direction of Integration_Enneagram

Direction of Disintegration_Enneagram

Spiritual Practice #8—Let Go of This and Affirm That

As you seek to follow Christ, be mindful of things you need to leave behind along the way. Use the release statement for your number (and your integration and disintegration numbers) to help you let go of unnecessary baggage.

Then follow up with the positive affirmation statement for your number and your numbers of integration and disintegration.

Remember who you are in Christ, holy and beloved, where there is no condemnation. (Both the releases and affirmations are from Don Riso’s Enneagram Transformations.)

1—Perfectionist
RELEASE: I now release holding myself and others to impossible standards.
AFFIRM: I now affirm that I can make mistakes without condemning myself.

2—Helper
RELEASE: I now release the fear that I am unwanted and unloved.
AFFIRM: I now affirm that I am honest and clear about my motives.

3—Performer
RELEASE: I now release my fear of feeling and being humiliated.
AFFIRM: I now affirm that I have value regardless of my achievements.

4—Individualist
RELEASE: I now release all feelings of hopelessness and despair.
AFFIRM: I now affirm that I open myself up to people and the world.

5—Investigator
RELEASE: I now release all feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness.
AFFIRM: I now affirm that my life and struggles are meaningful and have purpose.

6—Loyalist
RELEASE: I now release my fear of being abandoned and alone.
AFFIRM: I now affirm that I am independent and capable.

7—Enthusiast
RELEASE: I now release all reckless and destructive impulses.
AFFIRM: I now affirm that I can say ‘no’ to myself without feeling deprived.

8—Challenger
RELEASE: I now release my fear of ever being vulnerable or weak.
AFFIRM: I now affirm that I believe in others and care about their welfare.

9—Peacemaker
RELEASE: I now release turning away from whatever is unpleasant or difficult.
AFFIRM: I now affirm that I am confident, strong, and independent.


Do you see yourself in the two directions? Please share in the comments.

See the whole Enneagram series here

Enneagram for Spiritual Growth

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Previous: What Is MY Enneagram Wing? Extra Names for Subtypes {Series #11}

Next: Favorite Books about the Enneagram {Series #13} 

10 thoughts on “Be a Healthy Number – Lines, Arrows, and Letting Go on the Enneagram {Enneagram Series #12}

  1. blankMartha Brady

    yes, this is very helpful. i also see how GOD has worked in some of these ways already…even b/f i knew about eneagrams:) how cool is that?! it’s nice to see where He works and why He needs to work though.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      That is very cool, Martha. I love how God is actively involved in our lives, as much as we’ll let him in, anyway. I appreciate you reading along and commenting in this series!

  2. blankMary Geisen

    So good! I go to a four when I am healthy and eight when I am stressed. Whew! It’s not always pretty when my eight comes out to play. I love the list of what to release and affirm for each number.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      And I go to a eight in health (I’m still trying to see how that works out positively for me! ha). I liked the list too of releases and affirmations. I need all of them to some degree.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I can see how that would be really difficult with people you don’t know if you can trust. One of my sisters is a 6 also and I see how she really works hard to maintain authenticity. It’s all so interesting to see how this works its way out in each of us!

  3. blankKim

    Lisa, this is getting better and better each day! I’m shocked by how much I’ve uncovered. So very helpful. I need a way to put all this info into one place – like a workbook of sorts. But I also need the links you provide. Any ideas?

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m so glad to hear this is helpful to you, Kim! It makes me happy. 🙂 I’m *thinking* about putting this into an ebook format once I’m finished. But it could be awhile! lol. I’m going to share some links on tomorrow’s post for online sites that have been helpful to me.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I appreciate you following along, Martha! I’ve been slow to respond because I’ve been writing too much. ha. And keeping my grandkids this week, which is fun, but makes for a tired Granna. 🙂

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