Relationships & Bridges 

Do you feel like relationships are a struggle? Ok, maybe not a battle but a constant drain when it comes to some people. Would you be surprised to know that this feeling is normal? The strain of a relationship is tough, especially when you do not like the person or they have become unlikeable. The truth of the matter is every relationship will have its periods of strain because relationships are just like bridges. There are new bridges, old bridges, toll bridges, and even moveable bridges, but they all have one thing in common, they serve a purpose.

Memorial Bridge

A Means of Handling Obstacles

A bridge serves several purposes. On the surface, it appears as a means of spanning an obstacle below. For example, the Memorial Bridge in Washington D.C. spans the Potomac River. Although a boat can cross the river, it would be inconvenient. There are some places where a ferry boat will work, but this is not one of them. The bridge is estimated to have 54,000 vehicles crossing daily from Arlington into Washington DC and vice versa. So a bridge is also about creating convenience by simplifying movement from one place to the other. In other words, accessibility. It allows people coming from different directions to access a separate site in spite of the obstacles. Access, convenience, and a means of handling obstacles describe the original work of a bridge. What does all this mean as it relates to relationships? Everything, when we look at the purpose of relationships.

Where We Begin To Learn

Relationships are one of the ways that we learn. The beginning of human learning starts in our relationships. The mother is often the first teacher of the child. As we approach Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, many of us will be acutely aware of what we have learned. In most cases, this is our first relationship, our first bridge. Beyond our first relationship, we meet other people, family, people from different cultures, backgrounds and experiences. Then we become friends with these new people (building new bridges). We will spend our lives building relationships everywhere we go. So it is vital that we learn how to construct and maintain bridges (relationships). Build new connections that allow us to have new experiences, see things from a different perspective and sometimes solutions to our problems.

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Misery and Isolation 

A fair measurement of a life well lived is the quality of their relationships. Show me someone with no good relationships, and I will show you a miserable person. The old saying goes that misery loves company; even miserable people want someone who can relate. When it is all said and done, relationships are all we have. That is why it is crucial that we do all we can to build and maintain them. I understand relationships can be taxing at times. There will be times that a bond may require more than you are willing to give. However, do not give up on it. It is better to leave a bridge for a while as opposed to burning it. Whenever you burn a bridge, the only way back is to rebuild it. Rebuilding a bridge takes more effort than maintenance, and so it is with relationships. When we build and maintain our relationships, we will experience joy, sorrow, and fellowship together. Remember the people who made you feel special, feel loved, feel empowered, feel as if you can conquer the world. They did it because there was a bridge from where they were to you. If we take the attitude, bridges are all I have we will do a better job building and maintaining them.

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Motivation On Moment At A Time 

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E.N.Howie is a native Washingtonian who has been fortunate to experience some life-altering circumstances that have given him a different way to look at challenges. In some circles, he would be described as an eternal optimist. He believes there is a bright side to even the darkest of experiences if you will search for the light. He is a husband, mentor, community-centered individual and a sharer of inspiration.