Hey Beautiful W3,
I have been sitting watching the rain out my living room windows (as well as the people running by in the rain – seriously to all you runners out there, you inspire me … it is so not my thing!) tidying up some work things before a few coaching sessions today.
I have been sitting quietly reflecting on messages we have received lately, from “colleagues / sister professionals” and they made me sad for a moment.
Now, we all know that nothing anyone says can dictate how we feel. Only we can do that.
I am not hurt by these messages … at all. They are “professional”. They are distant / disconnected / wavering on unkind in their delivery / unnecessary and infinitely ‘unhelpful’.
AND they may even be coming from an assistant or VA, without even a personalization or acknowledgement of the years we have worked together and collaborated. Oops.
That’s ok. That’s a choice. And of course my choice … is how I’ve chosen to interpret them. 🙂
So let’s cut right to the chase and talk about it. Let’s talk about burning bridges.
I am the first to say that I have made some definitive and clean breaks in my life – personally more than professionally – from energies that I needed to completely 100% disconnect from.
I do not regret a single one of those clean breaks, and I know that I am truly better for it. I also know that as I threw the match that would destroy the bridge that connected us … it was done consciously, thoughtfully, after communication and forgiveness (with them and my own self as the situation called).
It was not done thoughtlessly, carelessly, dismissively. And I can be confident that I honoured my integrity (so important to me) with this choice, and that it was not led by ego or arrogance.
I feel clean with the break – no residue – because it was done with an intention that honoured me and my boundaries, and a process that left no room for regret. There are no bad feelings left behind.
Now, I also want to say there have been other times when burning the bridge – like a roaring wildfire – could have been an option I chose. Deep in the heat of emotion, triggers, projection, and reaction, MANY relationships could have been rendered to ashes.
But, because of consciousness, communication and completion – this didn’t happen and I am so thankful. Burning those bridges would have been unnecessary, and a mistake.
One of my super-powers actually is to be able to come back from intensely negative situations (come on, we’ve all had them for one reason or another, regardless of how or why they were caused) with an even stronger relationship and bond with the person involved.
A lifetime bond, even though our relationship has shifted and changed, that is positive, contributing, respect and love-filled.
And each of us has been able to call on the strength of that bond to assist and support each other in some way. Sometimes personally – providing friendship and love in a time of need … and sometimes professionally, resulting in opportunity and financial reward too.
All of this today, dear W3, to say … be conscious in your relationships – personal and professional. Do not burn bridges unconsciously, dismissively, unnecessarily. And when you do decide to light that match (because some bridges must be burned) ensure you have the pieces in place to step away from the heat feeling complete.
And if you have been unconscious, dismissive, unintentionally unkind and led by ego for a moment or two … get conscious, communicate with the person involved, clean up the mess and get complete.
Life is messy. Relationships, personal and professional, can be messy. There is a time to burn that bridge. Choose it wisely and do it well.
You Are Loved,
PS. Let’s talk about it! If you would like to take part in a group or one-on-one session about burning bridges and doing so in healthy ways – reply to this message and let me know! Based on interest I will set something up!
PPS. I will be speaking with Andrea Harrison, Family Counselor and Parenting Coach this week on putting parents back in the driver’s seat, raising grateful, responsible, polite children, and setting boundaries that will decrease the stress and anxiety in your child’s life! Email us with your questions!