“What happens when you are crossing the bridge and heading toward the light but no one is on the other side of the bridge waiting for you or cheering you on – everyone in your life is on the side of the bridge that you know you have to leave or die. You know it is you or them – “do or die” so to speak. But, what are you crossing the bridge for? Letting go and falling in an abyss doesn’t seem sensible.”
Do you know the bridge she’s asking about? I bet you do. It seems like everyone I know has taken a trip or two across that thing. It’s the bridge that connects the life we used to live and the one we want to live. It covers the gap between the two, all that we’ve done while we weren’t living in alignment with our true selves. Life happens, we wander off course and the bridge carries us home, back to ourselves, hopefully without losing everything in the fall to rock bottom.
It may be the bridge between addiction (with my clients the addiction is usually in the form of codependency) and sanity. It may be the coming out process for someone who is gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, or questioning but has been attempting to live like a straight person because they either didn’t know their truth, or weren’t yet prepared to live in alignment with it. The bridge may be between life with someone who abuses you and a life without violence. The bridge is the beautiful transition that begins where we are living in reaction to everyone and everything around us, and ends where we’re living our true lives, cultivated from within.
The journey across this bridge is about freeing yourself to live a life that is true for you.
Next: “But, what are you crossing the bridge for?”
“But, what are you crossing the bridge for?”
I remember feeling confused about what a “recovered” life might be like. I had no concept of how it could be if it wasn’t like the hell I was currently living in. I couldn’t see the other end of the bridge. I had no assurance it would be better. I felt afraid of leaving behind the life I knew. I felt scared about leaving people behind and was downright terrified that those same people would think ill of me because I left them behind.
The things people were saying about me, and even to me, were upsetting and it seemed certain to escalate as I continued across the bridge.
Who do you think you are?
You just think you’re better than us.
You used us when it was convenient for you and left when we were no longer part of your plan.
You don’t care about anyone but yourself.
Your children deserve better than the choices you’re making.
You’re so selfish.
You’re going to hell.
Mostly, I was afraid it was true.
In the end, I walked across the bridge–scared out of my mind–because staying was no longer an option. I was dying inside. The manipulation, the lies, the insanity… being out of alignment with my truth was killing me. I prayed for those I loved and I walked out into the fog, unsure where I was going. Finally, I could do it because I realized that what was ahead couldn’t be worse than where I’d been.
It helped that I knew a few sane people, people who seemed happy even if their lives weren’t suddenly simple and flawless just because they walked across the bridge. I recognized that they didn’t expect perfection from me on the path ahead, and that I could release that expectation of myself. They wanted to support me but they couldn’t do anything for me until I took those first steps away from the old place. They couldn’t drag me across the bridge, or even reassure me how my life would be on the other side, but I could see that they had something I wanted.
I used to be afraid of the unknown. Then I realized that the life I was living was destroying me… and the unknown became hopeful. After all those years of staying stuck because I was afraid of the unknown, I finally found hope in the possibility that life for me on the other side of that bridge had to be better. It was my life, how could it not be right?
I crossed the bridge for a chance at a life that’s true for me.
I can’t tell you what you “should” do but I can tell you this. I’ve stood at the threshold of that bridge several times throughout my adult life, and I’ve never regretted moving forward. Yes, it takes courage but you have courage, but you can do whatever needs to be done to make that journey back home to yourself.
Your life is waiting for you.