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break on through to the other side


Gatlinburg, TN recently opened the longest suspension bridge in North America. It sways in the wind, rocking side to side and up and down. When you first step foot on the bridge, your steps are uneasy, slow and calculated. Slow and Steady - holding onto the railing. It is almost as if you slide one foot and then the other as if you are skiing, not allowing that foot to come up and lose balance. This feels foreign, unfamiliar, uncomfortable. You stop along the way, take a break and hold on. By the time you've edged yourself about half way - you reach the glass bottom. You know the old phrase when the bottom drops out... well, that's where you are on the bridge. Not only can you start to see what is out before you, but you can also look back to see how far you've come; all while mustering up the strength to look down below you to see all you've overcome. Now that you've crossed the midway point, the end is in sight, your steps become easier and lighter, your pace has quickened, and you aren't stopping along the way anymore. What a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of strength takes over. This is the result of a little KPT, you crossed the bridge.


Yes, we just did this very walk earlier this summer, but I realize, I've been doing this walk my whole life and a lot more lately. Where does a lot of the heavy lifting take place in the healing process on the road to recovery? I believe the healing takes place on a bridge between where you, a point or place in time to where you want to be.


As I shared earlier this summer, working through the seven grace journey - you reach a bridge chakra during this process - the heart chakra. It was at this point in the journey that I really started to grow, almost as if my heart was opening up and changing - I was feeling stronger. This particular chakra is so important in balancing energy and bridging the lower (grounding) chakras to the upper (spiritual) chakras. Crossing this heart chakra bridge was transformative.


Have you crossed any life bridges lately? Have you found yourself stuck? Nine times out of 10, if you are feeling stuck, there is usually a conversation you aren't having that you need to - there is a bridge you need to cross.


I think one of the longest bridges to cross exists between trauma and recovery. Trauma is such a distressing and frightening experience. There are different levels and variations of trauma. I would imagine anyone surviving - beating the odds of something life-threatening, definitely find themselves on a bridge - working towards recovery. That being said, I believe I am over the glass bottom - half-way point to recovery, but there is a long way to go. This particular bridge is difficult to navigate, sometimes finding yourself moving back in the wrong direction at times. You just need to keep pushing through and slide your feet, one baby step at a time towards the other side.


No two bridges are the same, I would imagine, as we navigate life every day, a number of bridges are crossed. Think about your commute to work, how many bridges do you encounter? Now think about your daily interactions, some are very easy bridges to cross - whereas some days it probably feels more like a tight rope than a bridge.


The bridge between sickness and health exists every day at varying degrees. You have someone with a chronic condition and they feel as if they will never get off the bridge. For them, they may reside on the glass bottom, sure they've come along ways and they can look down and see what they've overcome, but they also know they probably won't make it across the bridge to health because diabetes never goes away.


The bridge between hurt and forgiveness glides at a different pace for everyone. Strolling through the airport, you have people walking on the moving sidewalk - they are moving right along and that is the case for some when it comes to forgiveness, their faith is strong and their heart is big. They walk on that moving sidewalk across the bridge to forgiveness. While others at the airport would not even consider getting on the moving sidewalk, they are walking on the carpet and they get sidetracked into every Starbucks and Hudson News along the way - they eventually make it to their gate, they cross that bridge, but it's not as smooth as the moving sidewalk bridge.


The bridge between drunk and sober is poorly constructed and very difficult to navigate. If trauma is the longest bridge, sobriety is the trickiest. The bridge between drunk and sober could very easily be a quick walk with some Advil and water; not a big deal at all - never realizing there was even a bridge there, to begin with. For others, this bridge is shotty. It is poorly constructed, falling apart with gaps you can fall through all while white-knuckling it along the railing. The fortunate ones cross this bridge and never look back, while others may cross this bridge numerous times in their life.


Whatever bridge you are crossing day - love and hate; head and heart; fear and safety - whatever it maybe - if you keep pushing through with a little gratitude and grace - you will reach the other side.


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