By Stew Bittman, D.C.
I've always been fascinated by bridges (and more than a bit afraid of them ever since seeing that video of the Bay Bridge collapsing during the 1989 earthquake). To this day, I haven't the faintest notion of how they build one, and would be embarrassed to share the ways my imagination pictures it done (how do they hold their breaths that long?).
Growing up in New York City, bridges were a part of life. Only the Bronx is on the "mainland", so to get just about anywhere from Queens meant crossing a bridge. And while the differences between the banks spanned by some bridges didn't seem to warrant the effort involved in building them, crossing most bridges brought a dramatic change in feeling and energy. Such warm memories. Leaving on vacation in the summer to upstate New York or to New England always felt like a daring escape as we crossed the Triborough Bridge. I would be immersed in daydreams about fresh air, trees, mountains, and other things that New Yorkers are deprived of, feeling the gaze of the skyline on my back, and a few miles later (which sometimes took an hour or so - we weren't the only ones escaping) we would pass Yankee Stadium, the last outpost.
Ahh, freedom. The energy would be a tad different, however, on the return trip, and my dad in particular would go into Mr. Hyde mode as we crept back over the same bridge, undoubtedly saddened by the prospect of going back to work. But my favorite bridge, by far, was the 59th Street Bridge, the link to Manhattan. Crossing this bridge brought an indescribable thrill as "the city" beckoned. The huge buildings loomed larger and closer as the traffic crawled along, reminding me that on the other side the pace was quicker and the stakes were larger; nothing was the same. Less than a mile in length, in many ways this bridge connected two different worlds. (Bear with me as I reminisce, I am going somewhere with this)
Now I realize I have become a bridge myself. In what I am and in what I do. I am a bridge between different worlds, between earth and heaven, between the Twinkies and the Spirit, between the Giant and the pygmy, between the head and the heart. It has become apparent that where earth meets heaven there is magical creation and manifestation, and I believe we are here to create and to manifest love and beauty.
I had spent many years digging out a huge gulf between head and heart, then stood on the head side gazing in many different and useless directions as the other side of the gap seemed to disappear in fog. When chiropractic provided a bridge, and I rediscovered my heart, for a while I forsook the head side, declared war on it, and reveled in my spiritual self-importance.
Regardless of which direction I chose to travel between the worlds, it seemed there was always a stiff toll to pay. So now I have decided on a truce, and I am working on accepting and loving all my sides, knowing that love is indeed the carpool lane on the bridge that I am (and hoping there aren't too many more sides I haven't found out about yet). For now, I am content in being a bridge.
At the same time, what I do provides a bridge for others to use. Each adjustment blurs the imaginary distinction between flesh and spirit, and clears the way for people to step into their own bridge-ness. Each adjustment allows a connection to something greater, bigger, wiser.
Each adjustment, delivered with love, helps bridge the gap of emptiness and separation that many people perceive. I serve by offering a bridge, spanning across one's fears and doubts, to a whole different world of wholeness and holiness. To Innate. Layers of interference and sundry masks are shed every time this bridge is crossed, and a different level of vibration and energy is attained. I offer a bridge for others to find their own power, their own self-awareness, and their own purpose. I am not responsible for what the traveler will find on the other side, only for facilitating their passage.
To be maximally effective as a bridge, I must remember that a bridge does not attach to he or she that crosses over, does not fear rejection from anyone, does not fret over one's personality or finances or health condition, does not alter its purpose depending on appearances, and certainly never attempts to figure out the benefits that might come with the crossing. A bridge serves the purpose for which it was created, and that's enuf. More than enuf.
Just as bridges need to be maintained (they sort of forgot about that with the 59th St. Bridge), I need to nurture the bridge that I am with love. If I send love across that bridge, and only love, then what returns is the fulfillment of my dreams and the answer to my prayers. If I open my heart fully and use my head (instead of it using me), and pour out my deepest and highest Self onto that bridge, the universe opens to me. If I continue to become more of a bridge myself, people can continue to cross me on their paths for a long, long time. Some will and some won't, and that's OK. I'm just the bridge, and I rest easily knowing that even one crossing changes lives.
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Dr. Stew Bittman maintains a box practice in South Lake Tahoe, CA along his wife Hillary and daughter Ari. For our more "scientific" brethren: Stew Bittman graduated from LACC as Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA. On the first set of National Boards he scored 4 perfect "800's" out of 6 exams. He has a video, "The Mission of Chiropractic" that is available for purchase through Planet Chiropractic. In his video, recorded at one of his weekly evening talks, Stew communicates the big picture of chiropractic - the ability to express our life's full potential free from interference.