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Feeling Into Type Two

Twos are helpful and generous souls. However, while Twos are very good at seeing and meeting the needs of others, they often have trouble both identifying their own needs and believing that those needs deserve attention.  Their constant giving helps them to feel loved and accepted by others, but their feeling of having to earn love can also leave Twos feeling undervalued by and resentful of the very people they are helping if they don't feel their self-sacrificing is being appreciated.  

With Twos out of touch with their own needs, caretaking others - especially when help is not actually needed or asked for - can leave others feeling smothered and guilty.   

Can you begin to feel into some of the key struggles for a Type Two?   

Here are a couple of poems and explorations that might help...  

The Journey

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice --

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

"Mend my life!"

each voice cried.

But you didn't stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voice behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do --

determined to save

the only life that you could save.

forest meditation.jpg


by Martha Postlethwaite


Do not try to save

the whole world

or do anything grandiose.

Instead, create

a clearing

in the dense forest

of your life

and wait there


until the song

that is yours alone to sing

falls into your open cupped hands

and you recognize and greet it.

Only then will you know

how to give yourself to the world

so worthy of rescue.

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In a world that demand so much of do we recognize our own voice, and - having done that - how do we say what needs to be said?

How do we recognize our own life, "the one that is our alone to sing", and then sing it?


We all have (at least) a bit of Type Two in us – wanting to care for others in healthy - and sometimes not so healthy - ways.  Here are some questions to help you explore “Two-ness”.  (You may want to go through this round of questions a few times, noticing how your answers deepen as you do.)  


How do you show up for other people in healthy ways?  In unhealthy ways?

How is the balance between your giving to and receiving from others?

In what ways might you over-use flattery?

How does pride show up for you?    

What does it mean to be a separate-self? 

What does humility mean to you?

st francis.jpg

Holy humility confounds pride

and all the men of this world

   and all things that are in the world.                          - Francis of Assisi

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