When closing doors and burning bridges are the only options

This Paulo Coelho quote really struck home with me today:

Paulo Coelho Doors


Each of us have a different stories, unfolding day by day, and no-one could ever really understand all the emotion and dynamics involved in your story, that much I  know.  We always hear that we should never burn bridges, but what happens when you have no choice but to burn the bridge?  What happens when your sanity, the serenity of your soul, depend on closing that door?

Who is the best person then to guide you when faced with the decision to close that door and walk away?  I once heard that for the best relationship advice you should speak to someone who is in a successful relationship, likewise the best person to ask career advice from is someone who are happy in what they do and have the money to show for it.

If faced with a failing career, do you then go to the employment guru, who will no doubt tell you to walk away, find your passion and try your hand at that?

If faced with a failing relationship, do you then go to someone who is madly in love after 40 years of marriage (if you can still find someone like that!), who will no doubt tell you to hang on there and whether the storm?

At what point do you forget about loyalty and the what-if’s and maybe’s?  And what point is it OK to stop thinking about what makes the other party happy and think about yourself, even if they might consider you to be selfish in doing so?

Sometimes we have to burn bridges and close doors that no longer lead anywhere, but how do we know when it is the right thing to do and your actions and merely being obscured by the past?

6 thoughts on “When closing doors and burning bridges are the only options

  1. You’re right. Sometimes you have to be selfish in order to ensure your own happiness. And honestly, if you aren’t happy, how good are you going to be at making other people happy anyway? Thought-provoking post

    1. Thank you. For some it is just more difficult to be selfish, even though it hurts. I guess it is something to be worked on, which will become easier with time

  2. I like to use gut-feel as a starting point for these kinds of inner battles. Then I don’t close doors in the heat of a moment. I get injured/pissed off and after take some serious time to think it through. What I weigh up is whether THIS incident is isolated or part of a regular pattern, and if it is isolated whether is is serious enough to warrant a burning bridge and a grand exit. When I can think about it calmly without getting upset from scratch and I still feel like it’s time to go…I go.

    Seems pretty rational for someone as fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants as I am sometimes, but to spice things up I usually nominate a few “holey cows” long before I get to the go stage of my method. take for instance my secret place. Am i happy here – no. Do they generally treat me well and do I have enough to pay my bills – yes. So i stay, even though I’m bored out of my head most days and know that I am capable of doing much more. In the balance of what’s important, being able to take care of my child and our needs trumps all at this stage. But I have a few holey cows, threaten these and I’m dusting off my CV – one being my flexi hours (this simply isn;t negotiable because I need to be able to pick N up from school) and Steamcleaner leaving (she has had my back from day 1 and I am very loyal towards her, i also believe she shields the whole team from a lot of the crap going on around here).

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