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Building Bridges
by Jackie Lapin

Our lives are filled with crossroads where we make choices and then move forward with little reflection. Most of these crossroads seem inconsequential, but at some of them we may never have really realized the implications until much later on. As humans, we can be very singular creatures, and sometimes we don’t stop to see the collateral damage we may leave behind. In making some of the choices we do, we are unconsciously creating consequences with other people that may later come back to haunt us.

That’s why we have to live a life of conscious intent to build bridges instead of burn them.

Burning a bridge may not be an intentional act that involves a deliberate outburst toward someone with which you have a difference of opinion or perspective. It can be much more subtle-- ignoring someone, leaving them behind as you forge forward, judging them, denigrating them to others, being unobservant, being thoughtless and unkind, being distant, having little faith in them, withholding praise and recognition, being too busy to care, always putting your interests first, leaving hurt feelings in your wake, talking over them, or being oblivious to their needs and desires. Eventually, someone treated thus will erupt and a relationship will be irrevocably broken. A bridge burned.

On the other hand, building bridges is about creating communion with one or more people. Communion comes from having respect for others and treating them as equals, or valued partners. Communion is about listening, exchanging ideas, seeking solutions, finding commonalities, exploring options together, being present and receptive, valuing their opinions or at least agreeing to disagree, jointly deciding on a course of action, and moving forward as a team and of one mind. A bridge built.

As we go through our lives arriving at those crossroads, it behooves us to think carefully about which path will result in a burned bridge or a built bridge. Who else will be impacted by our choice? How will this action manifest for others? Is there a way to find a middle path that will have a neutral impact? What will be needed to construct a strong bridge that will be sustaining? How can any resulting changes be crafted to respect the needs of others, yet still allow us to move forward?

Here are some thoughts to consider for bridge building:

  1. Who could be impacted by this and how are they likely to perceive this?
  2. Is there a way to make this a positive for them?
  3. If not, is there a way to soften the blow?
  4. How can I present this in a way that will allow me to be sensitive to their needs and concerns?
  5. What can I offer in return if I am seeking their blessing?
  6. How can I include them in the decision or make them feel included in the decision?
  7. How can I stay open to supporting them?
  8. How can I allay their fears and present positive options/positive perspective?
  9. What new opportunities does this change represent for them?
  10. What would I desire to be the outcome of this dialogue?

We can all make decisions in a vacuum, but in true Conscious Creation fashion, that can have unfortunate consequences that come back to us later. Why not set the intention to be a bridge builder and always look for ways that will send positive ripples out into the Universe? Be a force for positive transformation in whatever you do, spreading goodwill as you travel down paths and through the crossroads.