Our journey through life takes us down many roads and pathways occasionally augmented with bridges. Bridges take us from here to there. Usually they traverse an otherwise un-crossable chasm of some description. It’s a short cut in many ways. A high and lofty path. Yes – every once in a while we are lucky enough to come across a bridge. Bridges, metaphorically speaking, are mystical things. They are neither here nor there. They are ‘in between’ places. They take us from one reality, one expression of life, or one understanding to another. Anything or anybody can present a bridge to us. They can also appear anywhere and anytime; in fact, in the most unpredictable places and in the most unexpected moments.
Standing in the middle of a bridge is similar to sitting on a fence. It can be really nice to stand on a bridge for a while. We get to witness the whole scene as it unfolds around us and see both sides of the proverbial coin without being attached to either outcome. They are usually peaceful places where we can take some time to build our confidence in our ultimate right to choose the direction of our next step. We can take all the time we need crossing the bridge. We can daydream, zone out and just rest for a bit but eventually to get anywhere we have to get off the bridge and go to either one side or the other. We can either go back the way we came or we take a chance and move on to the other side. Unlike a fork in the road where both paths may lead us to equally unpredictable paths a bridge presents us with a kind of parallel reality. It will take us to the other side of something that is eerily similar to the side we just left but somehow clearer.
These days my work is about building bridges and guiding people over them. I have earned my stripes as a bridge tour guide. I have stood on many and sat on either side of many too. I have also missed many bridges, failed to recognize them or not trusted in their safety. I have found that the worst thing to do when a bridge is offered up is to ignore it no matter how risky it looks. You can end up literally miles out of your way, confused and lost and then when you finally resolve to go back and try to find the crossing over spot again it seems to have disappeared. Bridges will rarely be found again in the same place twice. They seem to be more connected to right time and not necessarily place. When the bridge you didn’t take has disappeared you have to wait for another one to appear. This waiting may take a significant amount of time and we are an impatient species. But the magical appearance of a bridge isn’t determined by our desire or impulses. Bridges seem to appear when we surrender, when we let go a goal of an outcome. They appear when we have sufficient faith that there must surely be another way.
Bridges are Personal Things
A bridge that appears to one person may be completely invisible to another. The opportunity to cross to another reality depends largely on our personal preparedness to change. Not everyone you care about may be ready to cross at the same time with you – not even the people you love the most. It’s a difficult conundrum to have to face going it alone for a time, leaving family and friends to explore something new that may seem undeniably important to you but ridiculous to them. Crossing a bridge may seem the fools journey or the hero’s journey in the same breath, and the truth may not be known until after you have crossed but the pull to cross is irresistible.
The main thing to remember when standing before a bridge is that you are being offered a two-fold opportunity. It offers you an opportunity to address a new potential of yourself and simultaneously that you are being allowed to cross over an obstacle that has appeared before you. The obstacle could be emotional or physical, psychological or spiritual, but which ever it is you will feel saved from a foreboding fearful outcome. A bridge may appear as a one time win fall, an unexpected influx of money for example that can safely carry us to a reprieve before financial ruin. Or it may show up as a new job or project that saves your brain from terminal boredom allowing you to grab hold of a new lease on the same life you already had. A bridge can be simply a helping hand that restores a lost faith in humanity. Whatever the case, whenever you choose to cross a bridge you will experience a deep sense of relief and gratitude for the path taken. A bridge gives us a chance to take a different road with potentially different outcomes.
I have crossed many bridges in my career, in my personal life, and in all my relationships. I am grateful for those bridges. In moments I have crossed from times that felt as barren as a desert to as rich as a rainforest. I have felt the pressure and fear of ominous, unspeakable danger and have crossed to places of radiant, loving peace in the space of a breath. I have been given spontaneous insight into right action when I’ve been hopelessly mired down in quicksand thinking. Suddenly a bridge appeared that allowed me to climb up and over safely to a new way. I know now that when I am in need of a bridge it appears. I am never left stranded. My faith in my universe, in omnipotent love, and in our inherent shared oneness ensures that a bridge will be spontaneously built when I need it – all I need to do is have the eyes to see it and the brave heart needed to cross it.