Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Throw the Match

When I was in high school, my mother used to tell me to be careful regarding the bridges I might burn. She warned that I might want to cross back to the other side and need the bridge to do so.

I listened to her warning. Through most of my life, I laid careful plans to include others, to keep my opinions to myself and to be fair and kind.

Recently, I've discovered another version of my truth: the place where I am in total alignment with this quote. Burning a bridge isn't necessarily a bad thing. In general, it's not my first choice. Leave the doors and windows open, allow for fresh air and sunshine, support free movement in and out. Rarely, in all honesty, do I venture to throw that match and burn the bridge so I can never cross it again.

One occasion where I felt the need to do this concerned a man who repeatedly chose to ignore everything I said. When a man repeated my words or paraphrased what I said, this man would respond to the other man's words. I finally got fed up and left the work group, letting go of supporting concepts that were important to me and taking my considerable knowledge on the topic with me. It was not only the man who ignored me that was intolerable, but the others who, by their very silence, condoned his actions. Bridge burnt.

When would you consider burning a bridge? What would bring you to that action? Have you ever done it? What happened? How did you feel afterward? If you've been in a difficult or intolerable situation, what stopped you from burning that bridge?

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