Sometimes the greatest gift you can give to someone you care about, who you know is going down the wrong path —is simply to retreat and watch them burn.
(I know, I know —this sounds harsh but stay with me for a second.)
The reality is:
You’re not in control of their path.
You’re not in charge of their destiny.
You’re not in command of their lives.
And what I mean by this is that sometimes —we have to watch people we care about hit a place of existential questioning and rock bottom.
Over the last decade, I’ve obsessively studied what I refer to as the moment in people’s lives:
The moment they become open.
The moment they become ready.
The moment they become willing.
And that specific moment in time we all have —where we make a decision for ourselves that fundamentally changes who we are.
Whether that’s getting sober, leaving a toxic relationship or committing to the path of entrepreneurship —the line in the sand has been traded for the line in the cement.
The fact is:
None of us can choose this for someone else.
(In fact, if we do —we rob them of their innate agency and it often backfires.)
Like I said above:
Sometimes the greatest gift we can give is to let others burn.
As someone who advises and coaches people —this is hard.
People come to me declaring their boldest changes and why if they don’t commit today —their lives will be a wreck.
(And often, they’re already a wreck and barely holding it all together.)
But then —their actions do not align with their words.
And there is apart of me wants to do anything I can to save them from the mess, to throw them a life jacket and bring them to shore.
But sometimes I have to completely let go and let them burn.
You and I are not responsible for anyone else’s path.
There are people who have to go through a half-decade of being lost, scattered and in the existential abyss —to see the light.
Then, and only then —will they be ready.
Have you ever had to let someone burn?