When closing doors and burning bridges are the only options

This Paulo Coelho quote really struck home with me today:

Paulo Coelho Doors

 

Each of us have a different stories, unfolding day by day, and no-one could ever really understand all the emotion and dynamics involved in your story, that much I  know.  We always hear that we should never burn bridges, but what happens when you have no choice but to burn the bridge?  What happens when your sanity, the serenity of your soul, depend on closing that door?

Who is the best person then to guide you when faced with the decision to close that door and walk away?  I once heard that for the best relationship advice you should speak to someone who is in a successful relationship, likewise the best person to ask career advice from is someone who are happy in what they do and have the money to show for it.

If faced with a failing career, do you then go to the employment guru, who will no doubt tell you to walk away, find your passion and try your hand at that?

If faced with a failing relationship, do you then go to someone who is madly in love after 40 years of marriage (if you can still find someone like that!), who will no doubt tell you to hang on there and whether the storm?

At what point do you forget about loyalty and the what-if’s and maybe’s?  And what point is it OK to stop thinking about what makes the other party happy and think about yourself, even if they might consider you to be selfish in doing so?

Sometimes we have to burn bridges and close doors that no longer lead anywhere, but how do we know when it is the right thing to do and your actions and merely being obscured by the past?