Everybody has heard this particular particular phrase in some form or another, “don’t burn your bridges”, and that saying is very true. Though I think the application of the concept has been misunderstood. The other day, I got roped into an argument. One that didn’t need to take place and wished never happened. But I did learn a lesson from it.
Don’t burn your bridges, just close them off instead.
Burning bridges severs connections abruptly and violently. Ugly scars are left on both sides and by the time they heal, that previous connection may be completely forgotten about. Though it may be a good idea at the time, repairing the bridge is also an option. Closing off the bridge for repair allows you to heal and take a new route.
Create sound bridges, make new connections
Sometimes when you close off a bridge, you lose access to certain resources. While that be an issue, you can compensate in other ways. Using the bridges that are in place as support can help with the transition. During this time, do some maintenance. Are the piers holding it up stable? Are the deck and railings sound? If not, fix it. It might also be that the current bridges do not provide the support you need and in this case, create a new one. There are just some things that certain people cannot provide for you in life.
Revisit old bridges, repair with new knowledge
After the healing is done, visiting an old bridge should not be an issue. The memories will likely be reminiscent of the good times spent instead of those that caused the bridge to be closed in the first place. A good inspection of the bridge, taking inventory of the damage, is a good way to start repairs using the new tools gained. It may take outside help but with determination it can be done. New repairs can make new memories even if the bridges’ purpose has changed.
If a bridge cannot be fixed, close for good
Though there are times where repairs cannot be done, even with outside help, and the bridge needs to be torn down. Tearing down a bridge can be as quick of a process as you want it to be. You can tear it down at the first moment you find that you cannot fix it or wait and see if you learn a new technique to repair it. It is up to you whether you want to keep it for sentimental reasons or get rid of it so that there is room for a new bridge to be built in its place.
Replace old bridges with new connections
As I have said earlier, when you close a bridge you look to the other bridges to help provide the support that you need. In some cases, that cannot work and a new bridge needs to be erected. Since we are the builders of the bridges to these connections in life, we use what we know to construct them. Our influences and upbringing play a major part of how we build new connections. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot learn new ways of construction. Building new connections, quality connections, is what is most important.
I hope that this shed new light on an age old saying and has given you new insight on current, budding and old connections. Maybe that argument you had wasn’t as superficial as you thought or the lack of communication could be the product of something dire. You never know until you inspect those bridges.