The bridge.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ― Lao Tzu

How I would describe it.

Imagine you find yourself on a rope and wood suspension bridge crossing a large canyon at night. You look down and you can’’t see the bottom. It’’s dark, dangerous, and falling means certain death. You feel alone and exposed, but you quickly realize that you’’re not alone because in your arms is a tiny little baby. You also discover that you can’’t turn back because the edge behind you doesn’’t exist anymore. You have to go forward. You have to make it across and you have to bring this little baby with you.

You have no idea how safe the bridge is, and you’’re pretty sure you’re walking to your own demise. You do have people on the far edges of the canyon cheering you on, but you also have a few people among the crowd shouting, “”You’’ll never make it! You’’re going to die!””

You know it doesn’’t matter how safe the bridge is or if you are going to make it because you have to cross. You have no choice. There’’s no going back for you or for that little baby you’’re holding.

So you start out and you whisper to the baby, “It’’s okay. Be calm. We’’re going to make it.”” You don’’t actually believe it, but you say it more for your own courage than for hers. You keep whispering it over and over again as you step onto each board. You try unsuccessfully to focus just on your feet and not on the large dark hole below. You can’’t even look at the baby because you’’re so terrified of falling.

Some of the boards creak and groan under your steps and you begin to panic because you think that this is the end; you’’ll surely plummet to your death.

You continue on, and you soon find that the bridge is pretty well made. It may sway in the wind and you have to watch your step, but you start to feel safe and your whisper becomes confident and reassuring rather than a desperate plea.

Eventually, the sun starts to rise and you look up from the boards and glance at the baby you’’re holding. You see her loving, trusting, beautiful eyes, her sweet little baby lips, her soft cheeks, and chubby body. You realize that somehow, even though you’’re in the worst of circumstances and even though it might be easier if you had never been stuck on this bridge in the first place, you can’’t help but fall madly in love with her.

You move forward in earnest. You are not crossing the bridge because you have no other choice anymore, but because the love for this little person is driving you on. You are in this predicament together. You want to succeed because you love her. Whether you chose to be there or not becomes irrelevant. You’’d rather be on that bridge with her than on the canyon edge without her.

So you hold her close and keep moving.

Eventually, you anticipate the sway of the bridge. You become an expert at shifting your weight. You look around and realize that in the light of day the view from the bridge is beautiful and expansive. You still avoid looking down into the canyon, and you still feel the sharp pang of fear when a board creaks beneath you, but you know it’’s going to be okay. You’’re going to make it.

Eventually you feel confident that you’’ll reach the other side of the canyon where you’’ll be able to live out the rest of your life without fear of falling, but you’’re not there yet. You keep walking because you know you’’ll get there. You have to get there for her.

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