By Dr. Steve
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One of the most
in life can be
trying to put all
of these things together.
- Humpty Dumpty
you have it. I have given you access to all that I know about relationships. We gave it a
catchy name, Relationship Bridge-Building. And we talked about several examples for each
of the Relationship Bridge-Building tips. There is nothing more to be said.
told you, I have covered everything. Were done.
youre going to keep reading, huh? OK then, I lied. Theres a little more.
truth is, almost everyone I have ever worked with ends up knowing these principles
intuitively. I saw that some individuals did well in the skills of Relationship
Bridge-Building, and some did not. So why do some Bridge-Builders have great
relationships, and others, who know the same principles, have poor relationships?
After all, they possess the same tools. They know many of the same techniques. Why do some
Bridge-Builders get different results?
the answer is simple, but hard. The real secret to Bridge-Building is putting the pieces
speak for myself and everyone I work with when I say Bridge-Building is tough work.
Its a constant effort to do things right.
theres one more secret.
cant do it alone.
have a friend who is the head of a major corporation. She works hard at her job and is
seen by the outside world as wonder-woman. She is friendly, kind, smart, powerful, and
feminine. Shes perfect. At least thats what most people think.
truth, I know she relies on several close friends for support and nurturance. Shes
part of a small group that relies on each other to nourish and provide feedback in a safe
and positive way. Im part of the same group. We spend time talking about the loose ends that the rest of the world is not
other day as a couple of us were talking, my friend walked in, kicked off her sneakers,
and joined the conversation. The subject was this close support.
smiled and asked, Do you know whats funny? she looked up at us through
the steam of a hot cup of coffee. Most people think I have some special talent with
people. Last week a man at work asked me why I am so good with clients. I told him the
truth. I said that I have the same skills as many people. My secret is that I am grounded
by close friends who help me refine those skills. My big
secret is that I know I cant do this alone.
truth is, none of us can do it alone. I want to encourage you to find some good, high
quality places to practice Bridge-Building. The places you choose to start are going to be
very important, because theyre the place youre going to try out new things. It
needs to be accepting of some of the rough edges and loose ends you may bring along. And
it needs to be a positive, safe group.
a group of friends or people that you know. You may want to use them.
leave you with just one more story. Once upon a time, there was a man whos father
gave him a field full of stones. And, let me tell you, where this guy lived, a field full
of stones was no great gift. Our friend needed a field to plant crops. Well, he sulked
about his gift for a long time. He eventually
became so discouraged about the hopeless state of his land, he did nothing more than lay
on the side of the road, next to his field of stones.
one day, the man was lounging along the roadside, next to his field of stones. Along
walked a stranger. The stranger led an ox which was pulling a small cart.
are you laying on the side of the road, friend? Dont you know that a passing ox cart
might step on you and cause an awful accident?
cares? our hero answered. I am really down about this field of rocks I
inherited. Its worthless.
it will make you feel better, I will trade you my ox and the cart for your land, the
sooner did the words fall from his lips than the man accepted, grabbed the ox, and shoved
a deed into the strangers hand. Off our hero went, laughing as he walked into town to show
off his trade.
stranger looked out into the stone-covered field in awe. Slowly, he walked over and picked
up a small stone. He took it to the edge of the field and placed it carefully on the
ground. Over and over he picked up stones, some little and some big, and placed them on
the edge of the field. But the task was too great for him to accomplish alone. He knew he
would surely become discouraged working by himself. So he sent for his friends to join in
the effort. In return for their labor, they would each receive part of the land.
Slowly, the stones began to form a fence along the roadside. The man ached from moving the
rocks, but day after day, as he moved the stones, he became very strong.
our hero? Several months later he passed by and saw a very muscular man leaning against
the new fence of his beautiful field, enjoying his friends.
me, I must have the wrong neighborhood. Can you tell me where the rocky dump is that I
owned last year?
right here, said the man.
I traded it to a traveler. He was only a fraction of your size.
that the muscular man laughed, and replied, That was me, but things change. I
cleared the field, I feel great and am wealthy for my effort.
first man complained about being tricked out of his land.
strong man replied, All of us have chances to grow--they are presented every day. I
took the chance you wasted. Do not stay here and moan a missed opportunity. Go and find
the next one. Chances happen all the time, take advantage of yours. With that he
turned and joined his friends.
wish for you that same kind of success, as you join me on the journey to build
relationship-bridges. Dont forget, you deserve it.
Look for your next
chance to practice Relationship Bridge- Building. And take it.
chemical dependency and its toxic impact on family members. Raise your
children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs
free. Learn how
to in Dr. Frischs, Psy.D. Recovery book series.