photo by Jenny Ingalls Nelson
I used to have a friend who said, "Build a bridge and get over it". He would say it sarcastically, but it's something I've thought a lot about lately, as people seem to be building more and more walls.
We build walls by making assumptions and not asking questions. We build them by avoiding difficult conversations and holding grudges. These walls separate us and are most often built from fear. Walls keep us separate.
Human beings are wired for connection. We crave it, yet we still build walls. It's vulnerable to build a bridge, and trying to connect means taking a risk. You may ask the question you've been avoiding and get a negative answer. You may apologize and not receive forgiveness. Taking these emotional risks takes enormous amounts of courage.
Connection takes courage. Fear is easy, but it keeps us separate. It makes us think we're playing safe, or keeping everyone happy by avoiding conflict, but it really just keeps us small.
Building a bridge is a deliberate practice when we are so used to building walls. We must choose courage to build a bridge. We must make space for vulnerability, and be gentle with ourselves, as we honor our basic human need for connection. Start small...just keep building.