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Our Bridges

We all have bridges in our lives. Over our lifetimes, beginning as little children, we built bridges. At the same time, people, events and circumstances built bridges to us.

As you are reading this, pause for a moment and look inward and observe the many bridges that connect you with the “external” world. The picture below may help to visualize the many types of bridges that are possible.


 

Okay, maybe its hard to visualize too many at this point in the article. But let your thoughts be free to understand the idea I am presenting here.

Bridges take us somewhere. They take us to places that may be impossible otherwise. There is always a beginning and an ending. A starting and a finishing. When you look inside, you can see the beginning, and when you step back, you can see the finishing. Like the picture to the right, some of our bridges cover great expanses between “me” and there. And like the one below, very small.



The idea presented here is one that will allow us to see the nature and power of the bridges we use to control and bind our lives into patterns of repetitive ritualism. For instance, if I am addicted* to shopping, through internal observation, I will begin to “see” the bridges that I use to make this addiction possible. There may be so many I can’t see them all. They may be as varied in size and shape as we have seen in the pictures so far.

 

 

One thing I can see is that some, or many of my bridges are built as strong and seemingly indestructible as the bridge above on the left. I have so many reinforcements (excuses, reasons) built into it/them that it appears in-destructable. It/they will serve me for many years to come. Besides, with something so strong, supportive and “functional” in my life, why would I want to tear it down or have someone, or something else tear it down? It was built this way to carry me “safely” and “consistently to my “destination”–my addiction. Besides, “It’s mine.” “I possess it, and I will maintain and control it.”

 

Every moment, we are standing “here” looking into, or down our bridges. Every moment, we are given new choice. The step we take onto, or away from the bridge, will be our choice. Familiarity and history makes us comfortable as we consider our next step toward the bridge. Often the thought of “not” stepping onto the bridge feels as dis-comforting as turning our backs on a life-long friend.

Look down that bridge. We’ve gone down it a thousand times. What could ever go wrong? Where are the dangers, or what should I fear? Often, the bridge is not the problem. The problem is where the bridge takes us.

 

I found the bridge to the right on the internet. Isn’t the location beautiful? Where could you find a more beautiful place to build a bridge. If you look closely, the bridge is a beautiful bridge.

Isn’t that how we see many of our bridges. All beautiful and safe? All supportive and dependable–short-cuts to addictions–our “relief”?

 

 

Look at the same bridge now. One day it just collapsed. Something broke. A weakness in the bridge gave way, sending it crashing into the sea. People were stranded on both sides of the bridge without a way to get to either side. There are people from all over the world investigating the collapse to see what caused it. So far, no answers.

Remember that strong, seemingly indestructible bridge above? Here it is in July, 2003, after a tornado swept through Pennsylvania. But then you say, “tornados are not supposed to sweep through Pennsylvania. That is true. That is what makes this story such a unique one. It illustrates the idea I am leading to in this article.

The bridges we have built, or have been building between us and our addictions are not indestructible. It may take a power larger, or more powerful than the bridge to destroy it, but it can be destroyed.

Another point comes to mind that is important to understand. Our recovery from our addictions does not come by “dealing with”, “working through”, “confronting”, or “facing up to” our addictions. Our addictions are not our problems. They are the manifestations of our problems. Our problems are the bridges we have built to our “addictions”. Our problems are what we use to maintain and defend the bridges that we use.

 

Caption to this picture: Today one views a moment in time when that link to history has fallen.

In our healthy psychological functioning there are no bridges. There are no chasms, gorges, rivers or expanses that need to be “bridged”. We are together–joined to our life activities, and one another, within the experience of Mind. In our healthy thinking, we have no need to go, be taken, or journey to any other place than we are. Here is where we find our lives, now is where we experience our lives, not there, not then, not when.

When I stop believing in “my” bridges, my bridges will collapse. The pathways to my problems and addictions will terminate.

Since we had the power to create the bridge, we have the power to destroy or collapse it. We are the power greater than the bridge–we are the power greater than any thought-creation that holds us hostage.

D. Tully


*An addiction is a pathological (sickness, not a sound condition) relationship to a mood altering event, experience, or thing, [or person], that has harmful, life damaging consequences. --World Health Organization

 

Phoenix Counseling-L.I.F.E. Programs Las Vegas, NV  © 2012
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