The Bridge connecting your emotions with your words
We all admit there are areas where we can improve. It’s painful to the ego but a dose of humility can keep many things at bay.
My wife told me I had become very militaristic in my communication with our teenage daughter. I had no idea. Of course I thought I was showing up to do my dad job by instilling good habits. Good intention with poor execution. The reality for my family was that I was now irritating; at best. And my approach would have become alienating if my wife had not mentioned it to me.
The point is to get more references/ education/ feedback/ input. These are the materials to build a bridge to cross from the ignorant side of the river to the other side. So there can be change from one reality to another – also known as growth:).
Change doesn’t make us wrong. It means we can grow. Especially for adult men this can be a bridge we don’t want to be seen crossing. Often we don’t know how to accept being wrong, or deal with feedback. Especially from our wife or children. Likewise we don’t know how to express ourselves. We don’t know how to say that we want to grow but don’t know how. We don’t know love can be expressed in words as well as actions. Small words, quiet words.
So to help to grow let’s picture a bridge that can help us cross from one perspective – our current outlook – to integrate a new mentality into our range of options. Your bridge can be made of wood and rope straddling high above the river. Or it can be an abandoned wooden railway bridge, made of massive steel beams or a beautifully designed stone bridge with arches.
This bridge spans the River of Accompaniment. The water of this river is soothing because it makes us feel welcomed. We are not alone when we take off our shoes to walk ankle deep in the cool, cool water. We switch from the side of loneliness to the other side various times in an hour, day, life depending on our emotional equilibrium.
One side of the river you look up and down the river bank and there is no one; at least no friendlies.
Having built and crossed your bridge to the other side you realize the river is the flourishing of you and others. The river is life. The river is what you make it.
You crossing the bridge may be an act of desperation because you feel left out and lonely. Paying attention to your spouse according to their need now has relevance to you. Or crossing the Bridge of Strength can be because you want to offer your spouse a good relationship.
The challenge here is manifold. However the response is singular: build a bridge through belief in action.
It’s your bridge. Build it as you wish so that others can experience the best of you. So your family can benefit from your accumulated wisdom from a history of accomplishments. Which is what you want too.
Build your bridge because you want to understand and accompany your spouse with respect. Even if you don’t really know what you are doing (be that on the dance floor or in bed or at an awkward social gathering or talking about your marriage or stages in life). But there you are looking good and participating.
It’s you leading – laterally. Which moves your marriage forward – simply in a sideways spiral – meaning you won’t be alone.