Bridges. They are incredible feats of engineering and ingenuity. I am fascinated by how lofty and expansive they can be – rising above deep gorges and over wide rivers or bodies of water.
In our early days of cruising the San Juan Islands, my husband and I took our sailboat under one of those amazing bridges that spanned Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island. The beauty of the area had competition from the grandeur of the bridge that rose high above us. How were they able to build such a structure?
Later, visiting the area by car, we stopped at a lookout at the entrance to the bridge and read the history associated with it. Early settlers would take a small ferry boat to get from one island to the other until the 1930’s when construction began to build a permanent bridge. It remains a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of men and women able to construct something of such stature that could withstand extreme weather and support heavy loads.
We typically think of bridges as those physically constructed with steel or wood or hanging cables that we walk or drive across.
But we are also building bridges in our personal lives: from the past to present; between friends, spouses, family or members of a team. These bridges are constructed of tolerance, grace, and understanding held together not with nails or cables but patience and long-suffering. They are built to withstand the ravages of time; yet flexible enough to move with the winds of assailing storms. We carry across those bridges not the cargo of people, lumber or logs, but the treasured nuggets of wisdom and information gleaned from working through the rocks and quagmires of our past that will empower our lives today.
The loads we take with us include the skills of problem-solving, negotiation and the building blocks of good communication, listening, encouragement and motivational comments needed to build better relationships. Tucked in here and there are grace, understanding, and forgiveness.
As I continue to share excerpts from my new program, “Yes I Can! Three Steps to Empower your Life” building bridges was the ending of Step one. Understanding our roots and beginnings enables us to build that positive bridge from what was to what we can do today, applying what we learned about ourselves to build a more positive tomorrow.
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