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brian_finalBuilding relationships is no different than building a bridge. It takes time, a lot of thought, a lot of effort, and a lot of patience.

This morning I caught part of a program about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge and its designer, John Roebling. John was a brilliant but reclusive engineer. Getting the Brooklyn Bridge financed and built took 15 years and hundreds of meetings with toxic politicians and trustees who had their own agendas.

John didn’t attend those meetings despite their demands, however, his wife Emily did. She was the one with the diplomacy skills, the confidence and the determination to support her husband, the bridge and the people who would ultimately build the bridge. Emily was known to visit the construction site and cheer up the workers. She was involved with the people at every level of the project.

One of Emily’s greatest gifts, I suspect, and one of the keys to her effectiveness was that she realized she wasn’t building one bridge, she was building many.

A bridge is a connection between two things, pieces of land or pieces of the heart. Emily was passionate about both. In order to make sure her husband John’s vision was realized she needed to build a bridge between herself, the politicians, the trustees and the workers. She needed to connect with the hearts of those whose hearts needed to be invested over the 15 years it took to build the bridge, or it wouldn’t have happened.

Build your bridge

Today I saw my boys off to school. I hugged them, told them I loved them and I was proud of them. Those are two things I never want them to forget. Each time I tell them that I love them and that I’m proud of them, I am sending love across the bridge that connects our hearts.

Across the Brooklyn Bridge there is an endless stream, of cars, trucks, people all bringing theirs joys and pains back and forth back and forth. All day long.

When it comes to the bridges that connect us, we must be more deliberate with what we send across.  Why would you send something to someone else’s heart that you wouldn’t want in your own? You wouldn’t, would you?

In time there are some bridges that were once strong that begin to fall apart because of poor maintenance. Sometimes because the quality of what is passed down the bridge diminishes.

A bridge that was once a passageway for love becomes a throughway for pain. That is when it is time to burn the bridge.

We do our utmost to pass along to others the best of ourselves through the bridges that connect our hearts. But of course, bridges go two ways, back and forth.

When you consistently go forth and get only or mostly garbage back, its time to burn the bridge.

Bridges take a long time to build, but a short time to burn.

Be mindful of what you send across and remember. If you don’t want it in your own heart, don’t put it in someone else’s.

Thanks For Being You.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian R. King LCSW is a Relationship Breakthrough Specialist. His breakthrough strategies draw on his experience as a 24 year cancer survivor, adult with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, A.D.D., the father of three sons on the autism spectrum as well as someone who lives on the autism spectrum himself. His books and seminars have garnered him worldwide attention for his innovative communication and relationship strategies.

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