From: The Guardian

This column will change your life: burning bridges

The Guardian:

Not long ago, in an interview conducted at his home – the Butner Federal Correctional Institution, in North Carolina – the convicted fraudster Bernie Madoff said something surprisingly profound. “I have… no decisions to make,” Madoff, who’s scheduled for release in 2139, told Barbara Walters. “I know I will die in prison. I lived the last 20 years of my life in fear. Now I have no fear because I’m no longer in control.”

In all honesty, the interview hardly gave the sense he’d seen the light, and I suspect the world’s not yet ready for a book entitled The Spiritual Wisdom of Bernie Madoff. (If it ever is, I’ve got a great marketing wheeze: the first 100 buyers get 80% off; everyone else pays full price, gets no book and never sees their cash again.) Still, his insight’s worth mulling. All anxiety stems from the fear that we’ll lose what we have, or that the future won’t be what we want. It seems rational to quell the fear by winning those battles. But perhaps an equally effective, even preferable, solution might be to lose them, decisively and irreversibly – eliminating the sense of fearful struggle by eliminating the struggle altogether.

Read the full story: The Guardian

Comments

Recently I have burned a number of bridges (relationships with people) that I chose not to maintain under their terms. Those superficial relationships were more pain than worthwhile. At the age of 64, dishonesty from others simply became a burden I chose to no longer allow or be an enabler to continue. What I wanted was a truthful caring person, and the test I devised determined that and in all cases the bridge with them was burned, probably forever. But enabling that relationship to continue on his or her terms became unbearable. So I had to test the relationship and if faulty, torch it. I did so at great risk to myself and I should have chosen other means to do so, but there is a certain amount of freedom felt from being released from the bonds that others place upon you. As traumatic as it was, it was also liberating. It could easily have cost my marriage because of my marriage as I burned the bridges with other family members. Basically, my wife passed and all others failed. Yet I know even she has limits of tolerance and a lack of understanding as to why I would do such a thing which she never ever would do herself.

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