The Recovering Farmer

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Building a Bridge

How many times have you heard the phrase “get over it”? Certainly if you have had anything to do with kids, whether your own or someone else’s, you will have heard that. Often times, I am sure, you have felt like using it yourself. And I would bet there are times when you did use it. As many of you know by now, I often slip into a state of rumination. I stew about things. I have, on occasion, wallowed in self-pity. Some time ago I was worked up about something. Can’t remember what anymore. Perhaps that in itself is a sign that it happens to often. My wife finally had enough and told me to get over it.

Just recently one of my kids said to one of their siblings, “get over it”. In the background I heard someone else say; “build a bridge”. Excuse me. Build a bridge? Sure they explained. When you are told to get over it what do you need? You need a bridge. That simple.

You know me. I started applying the concept to life. Instead of muddling our way through, fighting everything we are trying to avoid, we need to build a bridge. In my mind I conjured up this picture of a crisis being like a river. A river with a swift and turbulent current. As you start across the river the water gets deeper. Mud is sucking at your feet. The current is throwing you off balance. An alligator or two are nipping at your heels. The water gets colder. Then when the water gets too deep for walking you start swimming. The current takes you down stream and you end up in places you had not wanted to go. In a worst case scenario you can drown.

Now picture crossing that same river on a bridge. Sure, having to build a bridge will take some time and some effort. But when it is built it becomes a way to circumvent a lot of problems. You stay dry. You stay on course. You stay safe. Now you can observe the river from above. There are no threats to life or limb. And once that bridge has been built it can be used time and time again.

There is another side to this. Very often we find it difficult to respond to friends or family members who are hurting. Perhaps it is because we feel that to respond means we take responsibility for their problems. Maybe we are unsure of what to say. Trust me. I know from experience that people experiencing mental pain wish they were not. They would like to be part of a normal world, whatever that means. So by simply being there, normalizing and validating as you listen, you are in fact helping to build a bridge from your side.

As awareness grows more people are talking about it. More and more people are reaching out for help. And for many there is a better level of comfort in helping those that are hurting. The challenge is to become more proactive in building bridges regardless of which side of the river you find yourself.

The tools are available. And the best part of this is you don’t need to do this on your own. Find your supports. Friends, family, neighbors, professionals, they are all prepared to be on the “construction” crew. They are your supports. So let’s build more bridges and together "get over it". Make it a good one.

“When it hurts to look back and you are worried about the future look beside you and you will find your friends.” unknown

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