Growth 4 min read

3 Reasons It's OK To Burn Some Bridges

The light will guide your way.

You’ve heard it said, “May the bridges I burn today light the way for a better tomorrow.”  Indeed, burning some bridges is sometimes the only way forward.

Our years on this earth are priceless; we must spend the time with an unburdened heart and mind.  We must distance ourselves from anything or anyone that obstructs our way forward, or that intentionally causes us pain.

What’s holding you back?  Is there a dynamic at play in your life that’s causing you anger or sadness.  Consider these three reasons why it’s OK to burn those bridges that no longer serve your best interests.

1. Some bridges only lead to your hurt.

Psychologists have found that we often help those who hurt us the most.  We believe we are the reason they can and will change.  We cling to the notion that if we love them just enough they will finally realize all the ways they hurt us, or themselves.  

But these connections only lead to pain and suffering.  We keep open the emotional bridge trying to get through to them, but we stand on it alone.  They are not ready and may never be.  

2. Your core values were compromised.  

After decades of struggles and triumphs, you have found your way forward.  You’ve made a conscious decision to integrate more laughter, honesty and less drama into your days.  Yet, that one friend who spews hateful political rhetoric towards everyone, that draining coworker, and your emotionally abusive partner are still a part of your life!

You value open-minded dialogue and peace, so burn the bridge to those who hold myopic views.  It has been found that standing up for ourselves leads to greater personal fulfillment.  Lead your days in accordance with your core values as you turn your back to the drama.  

3. You are immersed in purpose and joy.

Old bridges to toxic connections never fall easily.  When the ones who hurt you the most notice the healthy changes in you they will attempt to knock you down a peg.  Remember, people who are still tortured and unhappy in themselves will not be happy for you.  So, we must focus our attention on the happiness that comes from living in the pursuit of our purpose.

A University of Quebec professor studied the link between pursuing one’s passion and the amount of joy experienced. They found that pursuing one’s passion will add hours of joy to your week and improve the quality of your life.  

American poet Dorothy Parker said it best, “My land is bare of chattering folk; the clouds are low along the ridges, and sweet’s the air with curly smoke from all my burning bridges.” Some bridges aren’t meant to be crossed twice.  Get off the road to nowhere and give your purpose and passion the power of your attention.  

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