Recently on a blog, in the comments, we were talking about burning bridges and it came to me.
Some bridges need burning. Down to the pillars. Chopped from the banks.
Bridges can do two things - allow access across and back. That's it. Two way traffic. Or a one way invasion.
Relationship bridges are like that. Some need to be kept up, even if they get little traffic because who is across the river of distance, time, healing is worth keeping access to.
Some are old, forgotten even, and the places they used to go may not be there anymore. They are not really even in our minds.
Some are current and alive with traffic and we use them daily.
Among these are the bridges that are seemingly innocent but are used for invasions and attacks and those are the ones that need to be closely looked at. Sometimes, regardless of who is on the other side, the attacks that come are not worth keeping up the bridge!
If someone is sneaking across your bridge, smiling like a friend, and then attacking you this is not a good use of the bridge. Bridges give access to our lives and sometimes we need a toll bridge, sometimes we need a four-lane super highway and other times we need a rickety swinging bridge with missing planks and sometimes no matter what kind of bridge it is we need to burn it down.
You bet, you heard me right, burn it to the ground. Stop access. Stop contact. Make a personal boundary that is not easy to cross. When you are healing and choosing not to cross the bridge why should you allow them to cross to you if they are not supporting that healing?
There should be no automatic passes on our bridges. Everyone should have a good reason for being there. One that is safe and healthy for us. Sure, some may challenge us or give us a reason to think but they should not be attacking us or using their access to our lives to cause us harm.
Some examples? I am a person who cares deeply for others and sometimes that leaves me with very open access in parts of my life. Such as time. Emotional energy. And when someone comes across, dumps their garbage and then leaves it is a violation. It hurts. They don't clean up. They don't work on coming to be a part of my life. They are there to bitch, whine, dump and leave. Sorry, you may get my prayers and my love but no more access. And I'm not even really sorry about it either!
Another example? Family! They troop across the bridges with suitcases, motor homes and buckets of stuff to bring you. Is it your stuff? Or is it old garbage that belongs no where but the trash bin? If it feels like, sounds like or acts like guilt and blame, invalidation and control burn that bridge!
Some bridges are one ways, and should only be crossed going towards the healing, building the faith, towards life and going backwards shouldn't be an option. Keep going. Don't let anyone call you back to a dark place because they don't want you to move forward! It may sound like this, 'I liked you better when'.
It can be easy to decide when to burn a bridge, it can be natural as moving on in life. Not going back down an old road, or taking that path again. It can be hard too, what if I'm wrong and what if I want to go back or what if ____________...
When I look back upon my burned bridges and I don't miss what is on the other side and I don't miss the stuff that came across then I feel pretty confident that it was right to do!
I love watching movies where they blow up bridges because it reminds me that I can do that too! In my life, right now even, an interruption stopped me from finishing this blog. A bridge I had kept open for a few friends has now gotten a closed sign and a chain. I may be stacking kindling there tomorrow! Why? Because what came across with them, their need and drama was and is not healthy for me. There is nothing over there I need! So it is closed, and may be burned finally! Maybe I held on too long.
What is across the bridges in your life? Who comes across the bridges in your life? Is there some burning that needs to be done? You have to think about it, pray about it and consider what it means but if you come to the conclusion that this is right for you then light'er up! There is a freedom in burning a bridge who needs burning, there is a peace in watching it fall into the waters and be washed away.