By now, there are a lot of things that are just expected to happen. 8 a.m. classes are expected to be impossible, breakups are expected to suck, and late-night McDonalds is expected to taste amazing.
Especially concerning breakups, whether they are two friends parting ways or a relationship that has run its course, there is that constant expectedness that when it is all said and done, your paths will likely never cross again. What’s done is done. In many ways though, as much as we want that to be the case, we are often not granted that clean of a break. People come in and out of your life more often than you would think which leaves you with the option of mending a previously burnt bridge.
There are many reasons why mending bridges is so monumental.
For one thing, it requires an enormous amount of pride swallowing. Maybe you swore off this person and promised yourself you would never speak to them ever again. It then so happens you run into them at your favorite coffee shop on campus and they ask to sit down to catch up. As much as you want to follow through on your own promise to swear them off and maybe even throw your coffee on them, there is a little piece of you that holds back on making that scene.
At that moment, you have already subconsciously made a decision to determine whether or not this person is worth your time. Is your pride worth a chance for forgiveness?
Forgiveness and mending bridges go hand in hand and just like mending bridges, accepting forgiveness is not always an easy task as well.
I have and still struggle with learning to accept forgiveness. It can be a very difficult thing to do especially if the person that is offering the forgiveness did a lot of damage to you in the past. In many ways, holding onto that familiar resentment is comforting because it protects you from potentially getting into the dreaded place of vulnerability all over again; the same place where you got hurt. However, forgiveness can be in many ways be liberating. It can provide you with the much-needed closure you never knew you needed so badly. It can also reaffirm your feelings towards someone.
I think it’s important to know that you can forgive someone, but it doesn’t mean you have to go back to the way you both were in the beginning.
There is also this preconceived notion that when you are open to forgiveness, everything suddenly falls into place and you both end up best friends. This is obviously an idealized concept because not everyone is cut out to be compatible. However, when you are open to accepting the forgiveness of another person, you can get to a point where you aren’t holding on so tightly to that resentment, and you are given a chance to ease up on it.
After all, it takes up a lot of mental and emotional energy that you certainly don’t need. But, reaching that neutral territory between someone can take that weight off your shoulders.
So, if you have an old friend or ex from your past reaching out to you, I encourage you to approach it with an open mind before you come to your own verdict. Forgiveness is not always the best route to go and some things are better left untouched, but if there the opportunity presents itself for a change to mend your bridge, it can make a world of difference.