AmyRuth Bartlett, MA, LPC
201 S. Skinker Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63105 (314) 520-8167

What Good Am I Then?

I realized Tuesday, for the first time in my 32 years of living that I am not a leader.  Wow- just writing those words moves me at some cosmic level.  I had no idea how highly I valued the idea of being a leader until I came face to face with the reality that I am not one.  Not to say that I never lead, because I do.  But to realize that organizationally speaking, I much prefer to be lead.  Leading is exhausting to me.  I feel tethered to ideas that I only wanted to flirt with when I have to lead based on the ideas that I’ve had.

I feel like admitting this is some kind of deep confession of my soul – some dark secret making it’s way for the first time into the light.  I wonder what people will think of me when they find out.  I think especially of the people who shaped me throughout my developing years – will this news disappoint them?  Worse yet, did they already know this about me?  Am I the last to figure this out about myself?

Tears are now present as I ponder these thoughts.  What dreams must be lost in facing this new reality?  I am not a leader much less a great one.  I am actually waiting for a good leader to choose me to come along as wing man, or flighty side kick.

I apologize for the negative connotations that can’t help but ooze through my descriptions of my current self-revelation. I am just so sad.  So much of who I thought I was, or perhaps who I thought I was supposed to be has in some way been wrapped up with my perception of this word leader.

Leaders make things happen and others come along.  Leaders change the world and others follow in their footsteps.  Leaders head into the unknown, alone and courageous.  But….leaders need people too, and apparently I am one of the people a good leader needs among his or her confidants.  But I…am…not…her.

The tears, though accompanied by grief, have the sting of freedom to them as well.  Like light first touching the eyes after emerging from darkness.  It hurts, and I can’t quite focus yet.  But at least I can begin to see now.

I hate this revelation even as I cherish it’s truth.  So on to the question: What good am I then?

I asked this with true self-reviling of the person who impressed this realization upon me.  But now with a bit more integrity, though certainly not free of skepticism, I ask “what good am I?”  If I am not a leader, then who or what am I?  And just as I thought I was familiar with the roles and contributions and value of a leader, I now come to ask a much freer question about how I have been made.

Since I have been exposed for the non-leader that I am, I may as well go the distance and find out if the way I have been made is any good.  Can I be valuable as this non-leader, ambiguous, what purpose do I serve kind of person?  Certainly the answer is yes even as Christ has made the body with many different parts – each to serve a purpose – and each part in need of every other,  but to experience that answer as a yes and not just to say it is a pursuit I have only just begun.

And I don’t even know how to begin….because I am not a leader