I thought long and hard before writing this. But I have something to say that may help someone else.
I am not a bridge burner. I love people. Men, women, kids. They all fascinate me. Different beliefs, different socio-economic situations, and different cultures. I love to study the different personalities because it is understanding them that helps us all play well with each other. When I make a friend, it is for life. I give a lot of grace, I ask for forgiveness easily and I forgive just as easily
But there is one thing that will cause me to burn a bridge. I have only done it twice in my life.
If I am with a friend, and find out that they intentional harm another person, I will investigate to make sure that I understand exactly what happened. Then I start looking for my matches. Once I have my matches, I still take a long time to make the decision to burn that bridge.
Once I was with a very good friend whom I had known for about 3 years when she picked up the phone and called the zoning department to “turn in” one of her other friends. When I asked her why she did that, she told me that this other person was not taking the best care of her animals-according to her standards. The issue that I had with this situation is that when I asked if she had gone to the person about the situation, her answer was “no-we are friends and I do not want to hurt her feelings”.
I did not end our friendship that day, but what I found was that I began to pay closer attention to this person, and found other inconsistencies and dishonest behavior. I do not end a friendship easily, and I do not take it lightly. To be honest, I actually go through a mourning process when I leave a friendship.
The other situation was very similar to the first. This person was extremely competitive by nature and spoke of others in a way that belittled the other person, and built herself up. I did find out that she was the one who turned me in to the zoning department for keeping chickens in my backyard. Even after I found out, I continued to work with her because we hung out with the same community. She will never know- that I know-that she is the one. I believed that I could forgive and forget. But because I remained hyper vigilant to things that she did or said; I discovered a pattern of her attempts to destroy others who she saw as a possible competitor. Now that I have backed away, I wonder what I ever saw in her in the first place.
That being said-my friends will tell you that I am loyal to a fault. I work hard to pursue a new friend, I work hard to keep the relationship going, and I treasure the miracle of each new friend in my life. It is my intension that my friendships are friendships that will last a lifetime. Oh I know that people come and go in and out of our lives all the time, but for the most part; we can still enjoy the fact that we have crossed each others paths.