Burn The Bridges!
The mindset when I was coming up was that the proper flow of life was to be a child and learn, graduate high school, go to college, score that great job with a fantastic paycheck..then stay put right there. Job hopping was frowned upon because you should just stay put! Thinking “outside of the box” and working that non-traditional J-O-B was seen as too risky and irresponsible.
If I ended up on the other side of something unfavorable on a job, I was taught to keep my lips sealed, remain friendly and ignore the true issues…”because you never know when paths might cross again and you might need those people.”
WHY??? Why was there that impression that I need to think that every one in my life is even in that category of “forever” connectivity? Why did I need to stay in one job that may not continue…or even ever have truly been…aligned with my purpose? Why can’t I think, AND DO, things that are outside of the box? I was encouraged to be independent, so why shouldn’t I live that way?
Throughout life we change. Life is not a static thing. We learn and grow…AND CHANGE! Our interest change, we gain experience and, therefore, our paths switch-up. Things change, people change, interests change and needs change. Our individual directions change along with the redirection of our life paths.
Some people are meant to enter our lives for a moment…some for a year…others for a season…but few are actually ones for a lifetime. This doesn’t mean that we don’t gain from any of them based only on length. There are some who’s path intersects our for a moment, but their impact in the trajectory of our life is even greater than those you come in our lives for extended times. All are important, all are not always forever…AND THAT IS JUST HOW IT SHOULD BE! This was a valuable and self-nurturing lesson for me to understand.
This concept is valid whether it is about personal relationships, social circles, hobbies, and jobs or careers. I believe that this concept of not burning bridges has taken a sideways scoot that doesn’t allow for the forward movement and success in current society and culture. A misunderstanding has caused individuals to actually stunt their progress and create unwell individuals who lack the confidence. There is an epidemic of people who remain connected to unhealthy situations, circumstances and people.
Let me put it in another way…We have a society of HOARDERS! Oh my! Yes, I said it. People hoard things, situations, relationships…because we think we need to save them for later. We have been told by others and then tell ourselves that we may need those people or things for later. BUT WAIT!!! What if those things are not healthy for us to have? For crying out loud, even the leftovers in your fridge go bad and you need to dispose of them!
I am not implying that people ned to be treated an inanimate objects. I am in no way suggesting that we should be inconsiderate or thoughtless in our interactions with others. If we are holding on to people who no longer positively impact our lives AND we not longer have a place in theirs, then does this cease to be beneficial? Can’t this potentially become a negative connection?
Remember, all people or circumstances are not meant for a lifetime. We need to release those relationships — whether they are work, social or familial —that break our spirit (or theirs) down. We mustn’t hang on to something that is a barrier to wellness. Doing so only brings dishonor to ourselves, our purpose and our unique journey.
BURN BRIDGES! There are times when “burning bridges” is EXACTLY what is required! Burning bridges MUST BE DONE! In fact, it needs to be done more often. Burning bridges has taught me to LET GO and MOVE ON! I Stopped giving myself the out and opportunity to return to that which doesn’t serve me and potentially causes unhealthy or harmful living.
Don’t get it twisted…I am NOT saying that anyone should try to intentionally move through rough patches and give a genuine and earnest try to resolve issues. I was married for 20 years…without any intention of ever divorcing. I continually encourage others who might be moving through a rough marital space to work on reconciliation and healing. The roar of a lion should not send you running — it could be a recording of a lion, as a decoy, right?.
When things become challenging, instead of stepping up to the challenge, it’s easier to retreat into something of familiarity or temporary comfort. In my case, when my spouse decided he was no long in it for the long haul, I decided that I needed to allow that bridge to no longer stand. I made the decision that once the divorce paperwork was finalized, there would be NO TURNING BACK. I had NO interest in returning to the relationship. I burned that bridge — not the ability or willingness to communicate with my now ex, just the interest and ability to return to a relationship with him.
If you are in an unhealthy relationship, stop allowing the unhealthiness to continue. If you are in a job that calls question your integrity, find another that is in alignment with your values. Unhealthy relationships and unethical jobs bring dishonor to our soul. Harmful connections block our blessings.These situations are not an indication of you taking care of self. Instead it is an example of willingly mishandling or abusing ourselves.
When we allow ourselves to be mistreated by another, then we are giving them approval to continue and incorrectly acknowledging that you accept the mistreatment.
When is comes to a job, The job that is right for you when you graduate from college is not necessarily the right career for you when you are 30 years old. I know my first job is FAAAAARRRR from my current J-O-B and divorce and wellness coaching business. Why? Because I have additional experiences, growth and interests. Why wouldn’t they be different? Instead of a neuro-cardivascular surgeon, with a touch of trauma, I am a passionate, fulfilled 46-year-old, divorced, mother of two grown children who has owned numerous businesses and now is a divorce and wellness coach who focuses on helping women who are moving through divorce to discover self and live FANTABULOUSLY healthy and amazing lives! WHEW!!!! And did I say that my life is filled with fullness and aligned with my God-designed purpose?
My journey has not been easy…nor do I expect for there not to be potholes on my path. Those potholes and rides on the struggle bus are there to build my muscle and prepare me for greater things ahead. Through the struggles come greatness and strength. If I allow myself to retreat on the bridges that SHOULD have been burned, what growth can occur? Again, how can I grow?
Understand that there are plateaus in life. Those plateaus are meant to give us a breather — an opportunity to figure out next steps. The plateaus are different than retreating back over on an unhealthy bridge.
Sometimes an immediate change and correction is not possible. Sometimes there is a process that must be followed. It is not always about an instant change, but intentional and steady movement to resolution is imperative. Don’t sit around complaining while making no steps towards correcting the situation or moving yourself out of the situation. Don’t be all talk without any action behind it.
ANNOUNCEMENT: It’s is NEVER too late to make a change! It doesn’t matter if you have been an a relationship for 2 minutes or 2 decades. If it is wrong or harmful, it needs to be seen as such and addressed. CHANGE IT! If you have been at a job that is in conflict with your values or ethics, then CHANGE IT! If you are living in a place that causes you harm, then CHANGE IT! If you are in a situation and you know that you need to think or act outside of the box, then DO IT! In any of these situations, make at the decision to ACT, take the steps to CHANGE IT…then BURN THAT BRIDGE so there is no turning back to an unhealthy or harmful situation.
And understand that just because something has “always been that way,” doesn’t mean reconsideration and a different direction aren’t in order. Just because someone tells us that we can, can’t, should or shouldn’t, walk our journey a certain way, doesn’t mean that is exactly the way it should go! BE TRUE TO YOU! Honor you, your belief, your faith, your integrity…be genuine and authentic in all you do. Never allow someone to ignore your boundaries.
If you have boundaries that you know you should NEVER cross and you have gotten beyond them, don’t allow them to be an option. The bridges to those things must be burned. Love yourself enough, respect yourself enough, honor yourself enough to step away from the hoarding or accepting of unhealthy circumstances and BURN THOSE BRIDGES!
If you are reading this and can describe yourself as a woman navigating your divorce or post-divorce experience, I WELCOME YOU! I encourage you to:
Follow Journey2Jamaica: My Path to Discovering Authentic Me, to learn more about my personal journey to discover authentic living,
Check out my other blog, Hummingbird Labyrinth, to gain more insight and resources to grow through the experience of divorce into a happier and healthier woman,
Scoot on over to see my additional resources on my website, GerriPrince.com, where you will find information on my health and wellness coaching services and woman-focused retreats.