I had always been told not to burn bridges – you never know when you want to cross them again. You know what, I’m not really sure I ever really want to. I think there are a lot of us that think about our past relationship or past goals and yeah, maybe we consider them, but then we get back to reality and think no.
The past year or so, I’ve been thinking about this one, and again the past few weeks and again the other morning when I talked about it with a client as we discussed how relationships impact our choices, how our habits impact our future experiences and relationships.
We learn a lot about ourselves from how we engage with our environment. But what good is information if you don’t use it?
Relationships take work including the one with ourselves. It’s not just because of this that they fade or waiver. Some relationships aren’t healthy and that isn’t a reflection of the effort put into them. What are you trying to force? And at some point, when you have clarity to look back at them – you need to see them for what they are and decide if that’s what you would want to welcome back into your life. Are you keeping bridges for security or because you actually believe those are relationships that you want to consider again?
There’s a reason that some relationships or habits don’t have a place in my life anymore, so forget keeping the bridge – pour gasoline on it and light that shit up. That’s actually what my therapist told me two years ago, swearing and all – and that’s what I fully believe in.
The saying burn your boats supposedly dates back to Captain Hernan Cortes in the 1500s. The story goes that he told his crew to burn the boats when they landed so it would force them to take over the island and prevent them from retreating. So, like the bridges, the boats are a security blank – a connection to something that may hold you back. Simply, if you get fearful, you can load up the boat and sail away. But by burning them, you have to face your fear and keep pushing on… I guess another option is jump in the water and potentially drown, but that’s another story.
I think you can only go forward. Robert Frost’s poem A Servant to Servants says, “the best way out is always through.” And while sad, forest fires always lead to new growth.
We all have shit to deal with and facing it can be hard. There may be some days it seems impossible, but avoidance may be more detrimental to the future.
So, think about what holds you back. Maybe it’s a fear you have or a relationship. Maybe it’s something you thought you had already moved passed, but it’s clear the tether is still there.
What can be set on fire so you can move forward? What does set on fire mean for you?