A bridge is mostly thought of as a structure that facilitates or supports passage and joining between two places. This broad definition is relevant in music, dentistry, architecture, and in theoretical constructs.
As I contemplated the way forward on New Year’s Eve 2015 and reflected on the past, I was struck with a vision of trying to build a bridge over a vast ocean where there was no other side perceivable to which the bridge could join land: A bridge to no-where. I realised this is a pattern I have in relationships which is a fruitless endeavour. The nature of a bridge generally is it must lead somewhere and is often supported by a minimum of two sides to enable the bridging of a gap. Bridge building in relationships can only be supported by two sides, and often other supports, willing to be present; I see the bridge as being the relationship itself. If there is only one participant then there is nothing to support the relationship sitting in between.
To add another layer I realize my greatest peace and harmony in life comes not from adding something to life, but instead, letting go of something. I cannot build a bridge by myself so my realization is to let go trying until the other ocean shore comes into view; perhaps someone constructing support from the other side. In some desired relationships, perhaps with family, this is something that may never happen.
Along with this realization is a reminder of a mantra that is magic to my ears, my heart… the Serenity Prayer.
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”
Life is filled with bridges – we are in relationship with everything we contact. These existing bridges are the structures I can care for and provide regular attention and maintenance to – The courage to change the things I can. I can be open to building new bridges when the opportunities arise. I can also notice when bridge building would be an impossible feat at the time – Accepting the things I cannot change.
So my letting go as I embark on the adventure that is 2016 is letting go of bridges to no-where, and focusing on useful constructions that safely serve all who step onto the bridge of relationship: Bridges to now-here… The wisdom to know the difference.