The Dark Side of Being a Boss

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Man, I feel like a boss and not necessarily in a good way; sometimes it makes me want to cry.

Everyone is on their own journey, at their own pace, currently operating at their own level of maturity. Everyone has their baggage, their strengths, their passion, their fears, their desires, their needs, their insecurities, their lifestyles, their habits, their dysfunctions, their partnerships with evil. It’s a really interesting dynamic to have to manage continually.

When you’re leading a group, a team, a company, or an organization, your perspective naturally elevates and you end up having to address and manage dynamics others don’t need to care about or can’t see. You practically get to a place where you don’t have time or emotional capacity to pastor and father every person in their mess, you start having to draw lines and boundaries with team members who refuse to take ownership over their own lives or to change the sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that steal from their own success.

Some days, I feel like a mega winner. So much so, I almost forget my life is real and have trouble comprehending that I get to be me. Other days, like today, I feel a pang of pain for those I’m leading whom I won’t rescue. Sometimes not rescuing people can feel heartless.

It’s one of the most painful things: allowing ourselves to be susceptible to compassion while refusing to coddle destructive patterns in people’s lives. It’s a lot easier to either just give in to enablement or shut dysfunctional people out entirely. It’s more emotionally expensive and challenging to maintain connection with compassion while choosing to let people make their own mistakes and experience the consequences of their choices; but love tends to sit there.

Love tends to refuse to look away from carnage while also refusing to violate the choice of another. Often, we like to impose our will on our loved ones to prevent the pain in ourselves of seeing them struggle...but this is actually selfish. We don’t impose to help, we impose to protect ourselves from compassion. We’re not heartless, we’re cowards. It’s selfish to numb or avoid the pain and also sabotage to one struggling from a real solution, should they ever end up wanting it.

So at the end of this day, I don’t agree with defeat. I don’t agree with the idea that I’m a terrible person, that I’m a tyrant, that I’m heartless for not rescuing people. I agree that being in the midst of pain and brokenness can suck and it’s okay. Somewhere along the way, I forgot their wholeness isn’t my responsibility so I’ll crawl back into my Dad’s lap and let Him remind me of what’s real and whose job it is to hold the world. I’ll wake up tomorrow still holding love’s hand. I’ll greet the broken ones and remember what it’s like to be a kid, a responsible, productive, authoritative kid.

mike maeshiro