Life After Burning Bridges

Have you ever made life changing decisions?  

All of us have at some point in our lives and if you haven’t, there will come a time when you will.  Unfortunately on this journey we all burn some bridges along the way.  We used this term when we make decisions to cut off relationships that once we have made a decision we can never go back. 

The term “burning our bridges” means:

  • To cut off the way back to where you came from, making it impossible to retreat.
  • To act unpleasantly in a situation that you are leaving, ensuring that you will never be able to return.
  • To make decisions that cannot be changed in the future.

People often refer to burning their bridges in a negative way but sometimes, in order to have peace in your life, you have to do it.  It is sad that sometimes we get to that point but we have the choice to either stay in a bad situation or charge ahead and make positive changes.  It some situations, it is hard to decide to severe relationships we have with people.  We unfriend them from Facebook and block their numbers from our phones to ensure that they will no longer bring their negativity into our lives.  At other times, we unintentionally burn people out of our lives because they refuse to accept the decisions we have made.  They are the ones would put the torch to their bridge to us.  It is of their own choosing to do it.  

Regardless of your religious beliefs, there is nowhere you are going to find where everyone likes you and you like everyone.  This isn’t a perfect life and we aren’t perfect people.  Although I enjoy watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, we do not live in a movie where everything in our lives will work out in the last 15 minutes.  Reality isn’t like that and sometimes it really sucks.

Even when we burn bridges in our lives, we must always be open to rebuild new ones if changes come along in the future.  Forgiveness is always a good thing but only if the forgiveness leads to real change and not just the same old cycle of drama from the past.  Be quick to forgive but don’t leave your brain behind in the process.  Yes, I know the Bible says “forgive and forget” but you do not have to succumb yourself to the same negative treatment over and over again.  That’s just stupid.  

Regardless of the true reason you have burned bridges, people will believe whatever they want to believe.  People will even alter their recollection of events that led to your actions so they won’t have to admit their own shortcomings.  It my experience, people will prefer to believe lies than the truth in order to spare themselves from looking bad or face the fact that they have failed you in some way.  I said this to a former preacher friend once and instead of trying to be encouraging, he took offense and turned it around on me.  Prideful people will do that.    

The last thing about burning bridges is that in some way you always get burned in the process.  It will leave scars on your emotions.   If you aren’t careful, you will carry it with your emotional baggage.  Deal with the hurts and move on.  Don’t project your past burns onto new bridges that you build.

We are often told that we live and learn.  This is true.  Life is an experience and we try to do the best that we can with what we have.  It is sad that some people will choose to stay miserable for 20 years or more just because they don’t want to hurt other people or make people mad at them.  Living in a prison of fear is the saddest of all.  Don’t live in fear of what you didn’t do.  Make the best decisions you can make and don’t let the worry for people’s approval dictate the steps you take.

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