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  • Writer's pictureShari Rossow

Lynn and the Enneagram

I was first introduced to the Enneagram by my mother-in-law, Lynn, in 1999. She would go on to be a leader in the Minnesota Enneagram Association and her teachings live today thru many who have found a connection to the methodology of explaining human development and behavior.

A consummate dabbler and learner, Lynn loved to go to the ooey-gooey deep center of all things to do with you, where you came from, who you came from, why you are the way you are, and why you do the things you do. She was a teacher, she went to seminary, she was a life coach, an Enneagram coach; and ultimately, while battling cancer herself, sat at the bedside of those taking their last breath because that’s who she was… a good balance of selfless and selfish.

When I first met her, she was a lot! I mean, A LOT! It took me a few years to truly appreciate and ultimately love all of her.

When Brian and I got engaged, we went to Dayton's dept. store to register for wedding gifts. When we got to the fine dining flatware, I picked out the most lovely pattern, cream center, very colorful floral with gold and Navy. Brian didn’t love it and convinced me to go with a solid white pattern. I didn't love it, but was picking my battles. A week or so later, he took his mom to show her what we (he) had chosen, and she asked if that was the one I wanted and he said “no, she wanted this other one (and showed her). She said, “you do not get to choose this, Brian, let Shari have the dishes she wants.” So, he and his mother changed it back. While they were doing this, the salesclerk asked, "Is your fiancé ok with you and your mother changing the dishes?" Brian said "yes, it's the one she wanted." I believe this was a first for this salesclerk. I knew I would be the 2nd most important person in his life for a while yet.

When we moved into our very first house in New Hampshire, Lynn and Jerry (Brian's dad) came out to visit. While I was at work, she completely decorated our only guest room. Went out and bought the bedding, pictures, etc. all of it! She also rearranged our kitchen and put the dishes where she felt they should go vs. where we had them. When I was about 6 months pregnant, we flew home to MN for a visit. While there, the entire family went out to dinner. While at the table, to my surprise, Lynn shared she would be coming out to NH for a MONTH when the baby was born. A MONTH! We were both surprised by this. I got up from the table crying and ran out. That would be too much for me!

While all of this drove me crazy at the time, these memories aren't what defined our relationship. She was a badass, strong, independent woman! She empowered me and gave me confidence! She encouraged me to do things for myself and to take risks! She was a hip chick! She had cool friends, she wore cool hats, she had very cool taste, she was extremely creative, deep (and a bit of a princess). Most of all, she loved her kids and adored her grandkids. Once I became a mom, I understood all of it! Every single moment over the years of what I felt was intrusive was the love a mother had for her son and she just wanted to help (and a little bit have her way). I would be so lucky to have the kind of relationship with my sons as Lynn had with her children! She was very close to all of them. We miss you so much Lynn. We think about you every day!

When Lynn introduced me to the Enneagram in 1999, I had no idea the impact it would have on my life and the lives of countless others.

Next up: There IS crying in retail

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