If your heart tells you the only way is forward, you don't need the bridge.
I can be a little hot-headed. It doesn’t happen often, only when I’m pushed to my limit. I like to keep that tiger in its cage. Today, I flung the door to the cage wide open. I make no apologies.
I have struggled with a break up for two months. That’s about one month, three weeks, and two days longer than I should have struggled. I’m soft emotionally. My heart is tender.
My last relationship ended after a seemingly kind break up where he came to my house and told me through tears that he loved me and that I was the most wonderful woman he’d ever met. He had too much work to do on himself and couldn't do it while in a relationship.
Then I saw his new dating profile today. It noted he was looking for a relationship.
I wish I could have let it go. I wish I could have been the person that just swiped left, moved on, and kept going. I didn’t do that.
I shot off a scathing text letting him know that seeing that profile hurt me deeply and acknowledging his dishonesty and that I regretted ever meeting him.
It was dramatic and angry. It was a bit much but justified. It lit a match and burned a bridge that I can never walk back across again because it no longer exists. I questioned myself for about an hour before I realized it was the best thing to do.
Sometimes, we need to burn a bridge. Not always, but sometimes. It serves a purpose. Our hearts may need the fire. It’s the only way to keep the flame inside of us alive.
Some bridges are never meant to be traveled again. Still, they may call us back. We survived walking across it once and we didn’t die. As long as it stands, we can convince ourselves it’s sturdy enough to travel across again.
Rarely is that the case. Bridges don’t regenerate themselves and rarely do the people that built them take the time to revisit them and reinforce them. If they couldn’t hold our weight once, it’s not likely they will again.
The truth is that had this man called me in six months and told me he had done some hard work and wanted to try again, I would have. I would have taken him back and most likely ended up hurt again. Those that hurt us don’t deserve an opportunity to hurt us a second time.
Burning a bridge keeps what’s on the other side from finding us again. It allows us to move forward when we need to and feel unencumbered in doing so. The path is ahead of us and not behind.
A burned bridge is closure. It’s final. It’s liberating. In lighting that match, we let ourselves go and let go of the place we came from. It allows us to feel strength in decisions that are in our best interest.
It’s a last resort to be reserved for when need to consider our own emotional safety. I don’t advocate throwing matches around like confetti, landing where they may. That creates mayhem. But, it’s what we do when we need to put distance between us and the hurt we’ve felt.
In burning that bridge I freed myself. I felt warmth on the skin I feared was growing cold.
I have other bridges to cross. Ones that feel steady. Ones that can bear weight. I can’t spend any more time thinking about the bridge that won’t stand and could drop me, leaving me clinging to the side with no one to pull me back up.
I don’t regret it but I regret that I felt I had to. No one deserves to feel like this is the only option. Next time, I’ll linger a little at the start of a bridge. I’ll walk more cautiously instead of running across. But letting go of this one keeps me from fearing the next. It allows me to keep hope on my side, not the side with his name on it.