bridges · forgive · walls · whatever!

Monday musings…

Walls turned sideways are bridges.
Angela Davis

To build sturdy and safe structures takes training and practice. I wouldn’t want to live in a house that was built by someone without experience, without help and advice from others who know what they are doing. Likewise, I wouldn’t want to cross a bridge over a swift running river or drive on a highway overpass that was built without trained engineers and skilled workers.

I have never built an actual wall or bridge. Not a wall you can paint or hang a picture on or a bridge over something that you can walk or drive on. But I have built a lot of metaphorical walls and bridges. I have lots of experience with those sort of structures.

I built walls usually because I was unsure or afraid of something or someone. Sometimes they were built because of stubbornness or spite or just because I didn’t want to do something. It took a long time for me to realize it was not a wise or loving way to live. It is difficult to break bad habits and to unlearn unhealthy thought processes and practices. Friends and family can help; often it takes professional help.

Building bridges takes lots of work and cooperation. The greatest hindrance to bridges is pride. Not just the pride of the builder but also the pride of those the builder is trying to reach. Building walls makes barriers. Communication is difficult when a wall has hurt someone. When someone has been shut out by a wall they often become defensive or hardened and in turn they may reinforce the wall on their side. Time and patience may breakdown the wall, but sadly, there are times that can’t be done.

It has been my experience that bridges are harder to build. They take more thought and time and consideration and the help of others. When they are completed and reconciliation happens it is wonderful, but some bridges may have a locked door at the other end. That happens. All that can be done is to accept the decision of the person with the key. Keep the bridge in place and clear of debris and open for travel. Forgive as you wish to be forgiven and move on.

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Can’t have a post without a cat!

16 thoughts on “Monday musings…

  1. Balance in relationships is key. Boundaries rather than walls preferable. I’m all for bridges but sometimes you walk across them alone. I’ll quote Maya: we do the best we can until we know better and when we know better we do better. Wonderful essay Patricia. Couldn’t have been easy to pen. A bit Painful I’d imagine.

    1. Balance is key, although there are times when one needs more and the other has to step up. Boundaries are necessary for sure. Give and take are part of the deal. I have found that most often walking the bridge is done alone, though sometimes, there is a meeting somewhere along the way.
      Maya always has sage advice.

      1. Yes, she sure does. I’m hoping they include her in the Last Interview, and Other Conversations series. Again, I really loved this recent post. Very candid and honest. Never easy Patricia.

  2. move on
    good advice
    takes time
    i am being used
    how do i feel about that
    not good
    but this situation
    her feelings
    are not in my control
    so no matter
    i continue
    at the one thing i am good at

  3. Socialologist Peter Berger called this kind of walls and bridges our plausability structures. Each person designs their universe to achieve safety and comfort.

    1. Maybe, but sometimes walls become prisons, and bridges are avoided. We must have balance, and that is often difficult if we depend only on ourselves.

  4. Yes, bridges are hard to build but once you get to the other side you’ll find you enjoyed the journey!

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