Scott and I have been in couple’s therapy, on and off, since we first met. I’d never been to therapy before, but I was a psychology major in college, so it was all very intriguing to me. I’ll never forget a metaphor one of our early therapists shared with us.
It’s helped me so many times over the years.
I was feeling angry and frustrated with Scott and we were getting nowhere. Suzanne asked me to close my eyes and imagine a bridge. She said, “That bridge is your relationship. You are on one side and Scott is on the other. What happens next?”
He needs to come right on over here to me, of course!
Clearly not the way a relationship works. She taught us the concept of meeting, out on the bridge. The only way to meet is the walk out there and wait. I instantly felt vulnerable and afraid. I wanted to run back to the safety of my side and wait for him to walk out there first. Standing out on the bridge alone, without any protection, and without knowing what Scott would do next, seemed so scary. I didn’t understand him and I was angry, but I learned (I’m still learning) that anger is my fear & sadness trying to look strong.
It was my instinct to stay safe, and angry, on my side.
Throughout our relationship, there have been beautiful moments of meeting in the middle of the bride. There have also been standoffs, where we both dug our heels in, demanding we be met on our side. But we’ve learned the only way forward, real connection, is found when we are standing, vulnerably, together on the bridge.
As humans it’s our instinct to reject, ignore and sometimes even hide, from what we don’t understand.
We don’t understand the bridge. Sometimes we can’t even see it for all the fog. We can’t even imagine what a bridge would look like. We get angry to protect ourselves.
It’s our human instinct, but it will destroy us.
We must meet on the bridge instead.
“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is fear.” ~ Gandhi
Perfect love casts out fear.
Will you meet me on the bridge?
to more love,