"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." -Ephesians 4:29
"You are communicating for a better tomorrow, not to spoil today." -Yogi Bhajan
Bridges carry cars and bikes and people from one side of something to the other. We're told not to burn them, but how many of us have been instructed in how to build them? Revenge is far more sexy and exciting than forgiveness, but ultimately it is cowardly. It takes far more courage to forgive or ask for forgiveness. We must be very brave to tactfully articulate our grievances or concerns to another, or to respectfully listen to this feedback.
Bridge building is an act of grace and love, making a way for peace in our relationships. It is also an act of great vulnerability, trusting that the recipient of our offer will be open minded and listen. To admit you were wrong or forgive a wrong requires a softening, a letting go of "being right," which is a seductive but alienating sort of armor. Soften. Drop the armor. Speak the words that need speaking. Listen. Allow your softness and receptivity to build a bridge so that you may find harmony in all your relationships, especially the intimate ones.
But. Just because we build the bridge doesn't mean that the other person will cross it, or that they have an obligation to do so. Pride or hurt may prevent them from admitting their wrong or forgiving you yours. We can only control our own words and deeds. What matters is the sincere, expectation-less building, the catch-free offer to clear the air. We make the offer, softly, with curiosity and openness, and we let go of attachments to the outcome. Be brave. Be vulnerable. Build the bridge to peace in all your relationships.
Here is my invitation: if you have a grumble or grievance with me, please tell me. I am building a bridge between us, offering you this opportunity to (respectfully) confront me and have a dialogue about how I've hurt or offended you. I want to experience peace and ease in all my relationships. If you feel a lack of peace or ease with me, please say so. I am curious, open and ready to listen. Thank you for the chance to do my part to make it right, whatever it is. I love you.