It’s been a hard time for our relationships.

by Ricardo Cavolo

If you clicked on this article, I’m willing to bet someone you care about did something that tipped you over your tipping point. To find out what to do now, we must tease apart two subtle parts.

Let’s start with the second question because that’s the simple one. (Simple does not mean easy.) Yes, you absolutely can love them. It’s a master move to love people you’re struggling to like right now.

This is what…

Unhooking yourself is simpler than you think.

Kiyomori and Ghost from the 36 Ghosts series by Yoshitoshi [public domain]

Somehow I found occasion this past year to date not one but two gentlemen who displayed the signature behavior patterns of narcissism. After an initial two months of love-bombing bliss, I found myself in a whirlwind of word-salad, fact-checking, confidence-slaying, nonsense arguments. That level of anger had never come up for me, even in the eight years of marriage in my twenties.

When I read Why Your Anger Toward Narcissists is a Waste of Time I learned how I was getting hooked. I’d knew how to recognize when people project their emotions onto me, but these behavior patterns were a…

Pick your poison, who would you least like to be in the back seat of a cab with?

When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Below I’ll give descriptions of how each type acts when they are unhealthy with examples of celebrities who exhibit these qualities. Sneak peek… each Enneagram type is a different flavor of horrid.

We’re all super unpleasant when we’re unhealthy.

A poem

Street art in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico. Photo by the author.

Slow down.
Slow down to the speed required to meet yourself.

She’s crossing the road towards you, now walking on the same side of the sidewalk, now waving hello. She’s happy to see you. She looks good — this older, wiser version of you. Your future self, so selfless, stopping by to speak a message to your ear.


Slow down.
Slow down to the speed required to meet yourself.

What questions do you have for her, this elder version of you with beauty and kindness woven up into her hair? Don’t be surprised if she, upon hearing your…

No amount of money will heal your money wounds.

Dragons guard the hoard of gold. Photo by Thor Alvis on Unsplash

Many billionaires are trapped inside a poverty mindset. Sure, they have money managers, private jets, chefs, and all the trappings of material abundance, but underneath it all when you scrape right down to the nub… they don’t act like a truly confident human who trusts their wealth.

Take Charles Eisenstein’s example of a man in the favela who would spend every spare dollar he had buying musical instruments for the children in his neighborhood. After buying some beans and whatever essentials his family needed, he would give all the rest away. …

The secret gift in despair.

Frankie in 16 Years of Alcohol

Despair is a heart so broken you no longer have any tears left to cry. It has a lot to say. It insists the fear or sadness will swallow us up whole and never let us go.

(No, it won’t swallow you up. Yes, it will let you go.)

Despair creeps in when our hopes have been dashed a few times too many for our nervous systems to handle. From 16 Years of Alcohol, the protagonist Frankie says –

“Hope is a strange thing, a currency for people who know they’re losing. …

A poem

Art by the author

You are love, you are love, you are love.

You are made of love. Your bones are love. Your tooth and tongue are love.

> But I’m tired. I want to go to sleep.

Sleep will come and with it your dreams.

Languages never spoken.

You are becoming. You are a becoming. That will never change.

> Will my soul come out to play?

Yes, make sweet time to speak to it.

> I’m so, so tired. I don’t know how to rest.

Rest not in supermarket fantasies of bedtime dreams. Search for simple pleasures. …

The Enneagram illuminates how you can die from chasing fun.

Photo by Melanie Magdalena on Unsplash

We all have some way in which we’re born inside out.

As I read through the stories that have recently surfaced around the death of Zappos founder, Tony Hseih, a familiar pattern emerged.

The way Tony was born inside out was in his desire to have a happy life. What could be wrong with that, you wonder?

What does it mean to chase fun until you’re miserable? What happens when all of your wealth and being surrounded by throngs of adoring, friends, and strangers still doesn’t fill the hole within you? It left Tony whittled down to 100 lbs. …

Stop asking a question that doesn’t have an answer.

Photo by Tony Reid on Unsplash

There’s an existential crisis hanging out on the weather forecast of 2020 called “why is this happening?”

Believe me, I’m with you on this one, I’ve asked myself the same thing many times this year. However, I find most of the time “why” questions have no answer … at least not one that’s satisfactory.

We live in terror of these moments when we’re called into the metaphoric principal’s office.

“Why” questions automatically enlist our minds with defensiveness. Think about the last time someone asked you “why did you do XZY?” How did that feel? Cozy? No.

No matter what follows after the word “why” we hear the question as “Why do you suck so hard…

My daddy gave me a bedroom set when I was a tiny kid. As an adult, I discarded pieces of it one by one until I only had the rickety old dresser left. I changed the knobs and silver-leafed it in an attempt to make it more aesthetically pleasing. The drawers stuck. I lugged it around in dozens of moves. Finally, my therapist asked me if having that dresser helped me remember my dad. Somehow getting rid of it felt like a betrayal of his memory, but the truth is that my dad wasn't in that dresser. …

Cris Beasley

I help heal the thought loops that keep people stuck in fear and worry. I created Becoming Dragon, a card deck about emotional resilience.

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