By: José Humphreys
I worked as a casemanager several years ago at a community guardian program. This program was mandated by the courts to work with people deemed unable to manage their life affairs. Our responsibility (and privilege) therefore was to ensure they lived viable and healthy lives in their communities. Now most of these folks were on psychotropic medications because they were diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness. Looking back, I saw how in many cases people who were consistent with their medication would feel regulated. It was in this regulatory state that they often discontinued their meds and fell into crisis. The feeling of "normalcy" swayed them into thinking they no longer needed medicinal support.
I think this can also serve as a metaphor for leadership. We feel stable so then we ever so subtly disconnect from accountability. Or another scenario: we’re bleeding and we don’t want to bleed in front of the people who care for us the most. I remember back to Jesse Ventura’s famous line in the movie Predator. Ventura’s compatriot points to his open wound and tells him he’s bleeding. Jesse Ventura then retorts, "I aint go time to bleed". While this may wax to some as male bravado, I must underscore that there was someone there to notice his woundedness. It’s not until we’re around other wounded healers or leaders that we realize the extent of our own need (or bleed).
Latino Leadership Circle reminded me of this the other day. I was back in touch with the continued need to check-in because of the propensity to become lulled or hypnotized into a false sense of normalcy. It isn’t until someone points out our woundedness, perhaps through the narrative of their own lives, or through some valuable insight, that we once again become familiar with the incisions and fissures on the surface of our souls.
"God’s strength is made perfect in weakness"