Tag Archives: Bridge

Collateral Damage

20 Dec

Everyone has their own plans about their lives and what they want to accomplish.  As we interact with one another there may be some tug and pull moving forward.  When we were young we were taught not to push or cut in line in an effort to get to the end more quickly.  Although we may think we learned that lesson well, when there is something we really want and others are in the way, we may justify pushing them aside or jumping ahead of them in order to get there.  If we don’t care what happens we may run over them or bully our way through.  Some people believe the ends justify any means necessary and if that means hurting someone else, so be it.  Every time we hurt someone serving ourselves we may be burning a bridge.  Perhaps we don’t think we’ll ever return so it doesn’t matter how many we burn pushing ahead.  But life has a way of looping back around to where we’ve been and if we must come back it’ll be harder to find success if we’ve eradicated the connections necessary to allow it.  No matter what our goals are or what time frame we’ve set to accomplish them, it is far better to work with those around us than against them.  We can find successful ways to incorporate others if they are in our way and allow them to help us move forward.  Bringing those around us into the plan will allow us to build strong connections that will help us through and be there in the future.  We can do anything on our own but sharing the journey with others will make the trip more interesting and may take us to the destination more quickly.  Collateral damage isn’t a requirement for success.  We can build bridges instead of burning them, and move forward together.

Someone near us may be very ambitious and determined in their desires.  If they want something we have they may simply take it instead of asking for it.  If we must interact with them we may feel great frustration or anger as they act out in discriminatory ways.  We don’t have to allow others to treat us badly.  We can speak up and set boundaries that bring us confidence.  We deserve respect and consideration, and we may demand it.  The world doesn’t belong to anyone.  We all have a part to play, and we can own what is ours and define what we need.

We may be a situation where someone hurts us deeply as they push forward to get what they want.  Maybe they destroy a tender relationship we have with someone else, sabotage us at work, or cast aspersions on our character.  It’s painful to go through such betrayal and it may be hard to get back up after being knocked down.  But we have all the courage and strength we need to face anything that comes, and with grace and patience can continue forward despite any efforts to stop us.  Success is always there.  There is nothing and no one powerful enough to hold us down.

Today if you’ve been brushed aside or demeaned by someone pushing their way ahead, step out of the way and let them pass.  You can move forward on your own road without interference and find success.  Trust in your abilities and strength.  You have everything you need to be happy and reach any destination you desire.  Be confident.  Everything is there for you and nothing will keep you from it.

Burning Bridges

16 May

Bridges are great when you need to cross over to get somewhere else. We can’t drive through the river, but we can drive across the bridge over the river to get to our destination. Our relationships with others are like bridges too. We need the people in our lives to make the connections that take us where we want to go, help us get to our goals, and bring us happiness. Sometimes those connections are personal, sometimes they are professional, and sometimes they are emotional. Without our personal bridges, we stand alone.

I had a friend several years ago who had a great job. He liked what he was doing but got involved in a romantic relationship with one of the founders of the company. Things didn’t work out, and their relationship ended badly. After that, he said nothing he did was ever good enough, and then one day during a big meeting, he lost his temper, said some horrible things to her and the others in the room, and walked out, never to return. Afterward he regretted what had happened, and I asked him if there was any way to repair the situation. He said, “Nope. I’ve burned that bridge.”

As we navigate our lives, there will surely be times when others will hurt us, and damage our relationships with them. They do things we can’t accept, or they say things we can’t forget. Sometimes we decide the damage is too great, and we decide to end all contact with them. We are too hurt to allow them to stay in our lives. So, we burn that bridge. We cast it up in flames, say goodbye, and decide we’ll never come back.

But life is funny. As we go forward, we may find ourselves looping back around to where we were despite our best efforts. Our jobs change, and suddenly that person you severed all ties with becomes your co-worker, or worse yet, your boss. Or you move to a new location, you start over, and then you see that person who hurt you so badly is your new neighbor. What will you do now?

Burning bridges is a dangerous game. We never know where our lives will take us. We cannot read the future. We don’t know what developments lay ahead. It’s possible that the bridge you’ve burned will return to your life in a way that you’ll need to re-establish the connection. And if you’ve really turned away, it may be hard to reconnect. People come and go out of our lives all the time. It seems wiser then, instead of burning a bridge, to simply take a step back away from it.

Today if you face a situation where someone has crossed a line you cannot tolerate, where someone has gone too far, and you feel like extricating them completely from your life from here forward, you may want to burn that bridge. You may want to tell them off, tell them you are done, and tell them never, ever, ever to come near you again. Before you do that though, take a moment and think carefully. Perhaps the better choice is just to keep your distance from them for a time. Just walk away for a while. You don’t want them in your life as they are now, and you need space from them. But don’t burn the bridge – they may change, your lives will certainly change, and you never know what the future will bring. Leave the door open a little for now. Then if they return back into your life, you can decide how far you will let them in. And the bridge to allow that will still be there. Burning bridges is a dangerous game. Be careful how you play it.