I can't sleep at night, I toss and I turn,I keep losing sight of the lessons I've learned
I'm standing at the crossroads with just one concern..
Which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn
I need to reach a decision..And get on with the rest of my life...
~ Vince Gill
At one point in our lives we have all been faced with this decision...do you leave the bridge standing, do you cross it and never look back or do you burn that bridge and all that it represents and forge a new path of your life? Do you even cross that bridge? That bridge over the course of your lives could represent any number of life's lessons. Bad relationships, jobs, toxic friendships, life's status quo. At one point you find yourself in a situation where you have to either cross that bridge and start a new chapter, choose a different path and leave it standing just in case or cross the bridge and burn it with the finality of never ever going back.
This is one of the hardest Life lessons we are faced with. Which bridge to cross, and which bridge to burn. If we walk away from a situation in our lives and leave that bridge standing, it allows ourselves the option of returning to what it was the drove us away in the first place. We can always go back if crossing this bridge didn't work out.. kind of a safety net to catch us if we fail. Sometimes this is ok.. to leave that option open, but when is it not? When is it time to torch that bridge to our past? When do we finally decide that enough is enough and we will never go back. Back to a certain person or situation that drove us across the bridge in the first place. How many times do we get right up to the entrance of that bridge.. and panic or second guess ourselves and turn around, never even taking that first step.
What is the driving force behind us that even gets us to this point. How do you know when enough is enough and it is time to move on, no more second,third,fifty chances..That internal struggle is different for each of us, but the same too. We all battle the same question..when is it time to walk away? We never really want to give up on someone, or something in our lives, but there comes a time when we really do not have a choice. Its not healthy for us to stay, we are unhappy or unfulfilled, we begin to refuse to sacrifice ourselves and stand up for what we need.
Over the years I have faced my own share of bridges. Some I have crossed and left standing because maybe at that particular time something minor wasn't right for me, but maybe after some time had passed, I would like to be able to return. I made the decision to walk away based on feelings or where I was in my life at the time. This is usually the case, but there have been a couple that I have decided needed to be burned to the ground. Usually the ones that I have burned have been to people that were to toxic to want in my life any more. I had gotten to that point of no return, where I had tried and tried to make things work and had failed. It takes a lot to get me personally to this point, but it happens and I am ok with that. What I had to figure out though was, when was enough..enough?
Is there ever really a solid point when you realize that you can't do it anymore? Does it build up and build up until that proverbial straw breaks your back? Is it one event that opens your eyes and asks..what are you still doing here? Honestly I have had both. That lighting bolt from my subconscious that said.. The time to move on is now! Other times it has be gradually over time and once it took me 30 years to figure out. I guess it depends on the person or situation. Nothing in life is black and white, there are always shades of gray and in those shades of gray is our life.. it is the balance between doing what is right and what is right for ourselves. Therein lies the Lesson that life is teaching us. We can't always do what is right for others, we must come to a point where we do what is right for ourselves. Burn down that bridge and move on. Others in your life may not get it or understand and that's ok, you can explain to them or not. I usually say that I needed to honor my self, my life and made the decision to stay or go based on that. While people may not understand, if they love you they should respect it.
Burning Bridges is something at one point we all must do in our life time, usually more then once. We all have the strength inside of us to make this decision, to know when to walk away, what we just need to realize is that it is ok. Staying true to yourself is so important that sacrificing it to a job you hate, a bad relationship or family member that crosses the line is never really an option for long without losing that one thing that is so worth fight for, starting over for... and that is, you.
1/25/2013 09:07:02 am
Great article. I relate totally. Luckily,mi am 48 and just had to burn my first bridge - a painful mistake of a second marriage to someone who I thought was one person and showed their true color as someone totally different. Painful lesson and growth experience. But, burn baby burn. Here's to better things.
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