The Contender

55 Degrees
55 Degrees
The Contender
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The Contender. A poem by Kevin Shinn, ©55 Degrees, 2020

When a partner leaves, either through divorce or death, their physical presence might be missing, but any unresolved conflict doesn’t go away with them. In my case, I’m now forced into a one-way conversation.

When I was preparing to get married in 1990, the couple that did our pre-marriage counseling gave me this advice. They said in their many years of being together, the two things that were most important was praying together and resolving conflict together. I have new insight into this wisdom today.

I wrote this poem last June shortly after a session with my therapist who helped me identify the unsolved mystery. Her physical body was absent, but she left behind a lot emotional inventory for me to sift through without her. Much of my energy in therapy has been an attempt to resolve that conflict on my own, knowing that I have no hope of ever being able to properly resolve it together.

I likened my marriage as a boxing match with me as The Contender, going up against the 5 ft four, 110 pound Heavyweight Champion of the World. And if you knew her, you know I’m not exaggerating. She was an incredibly tough person. In the world of the Enneagram, it was Type 8 versus Type 4. Two very different kinds of strong going head to head. My greatest motivation collided with her deepest fear. And therein was the needed insight for much of the conflict that we experienced.

This was one of my earliest and certainly my favorite poem that I’ve written. I think it’s because it communicates something I felt for a long time but was not sure how to express. This is the beauty and necessity of poetry

The Enneagram and Grief – Part III

55 Degrees
55 Degrees
The Enneagram and Grief - Part III
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This is Part III of a 3-part series.

One of the most helpful discoveries for me in the last two months in dealing with grief has been the Enneagram. Unlike a personality test or profile, I found this tool to be particularly helpful in helping me bring closure to the unresolved conflict between my late wife and me. The finality of death ensures that conflict will never get talked through. But through the Enneagram, I’ve been able to find some missing pieces that helped me complete the picture that was my marriage of nearly 30 years.

The Enneagram and Grief – Part II

55 Degrees
55 Degrees
The Enneagram and Grief - Part II
/

This is Part II of a 3-part series.

One of the most helpful discoveries for me in the last two months in dealing with grief has been the Enneagram. Unlike a personality test or profile, I found this tool to be particularly helpful in helping me bring closure to the unresolved conflict between my late wife and me. The finality of death ensures that conflict will never get talked through. But through the Enneagram, I’ve been able to find some missing pieces that helped me complete the picture that was my marriage of nearly 30 years.

The Enneagram and Grief – Part I

55 Degrees
55 Degrees
The Enneagram and Grief - Part I
/

One of the most helpful discoveries for me in the last two months in dealing with grief has been the Enneagram. Unlike a personality test or profile, I found this tool to be particularly helpful in helping me bring closure to the unresolved conflict between my late wife and me. The finality of death ensures that conflict will never get talked through. But through the Enneagram, I’ve been able to find some missing pieces that helped me complete the picture that was my marriage of nearly 30 years.

For more information about the Enneagram, here are a few resources.

Discovering the Ancient Enneagram by Richard Rohr

Thanks for listening.

Understanding My Grief And The Enneagram – Part III

Here is Part III of my reflections on grief and how the Enneagram is helping me process the loss of my wife of nearly 30 years. Recording is so different than writing. I’m still getting accustomed to hearing my own voice through the speakers. Thanks for listening.

Understanding my Grief through the lens of the Enneagram – Part III
Audio by Kevin Shinn, June 2020

Understanding My Grief And The Enneagram – Part II

Here is Part II in my reflections on my marriage and the passing of my wife seven months ago. I tell about how the Enneagram has allowed me to walk back through the major events of life during my nearly 30 years of marriage and how it has given me insight into the issues we struggled with.

Understanding my Grief through the lens of the Enneagram
Audio by Kevin Shinn, June 2020

Understanding my Grief and the Enneagram – Part I

Today’s post is in audio form. It’s about 20 minutes long. I wanted to communicate some new things I am learning about myself as I walk through the loss of my wife and how the Enneagram has helped bring understanding for me.

Make room.

Understanding my Grief through the lens of the Enneagram
Audio by Kevin Shinn, May 2020