Are you still hurting from a relationship that just ended in a snap without any explanation whatsoever? Did someone put you aside for another lover and don’t know the reason why? Perhaps you’re missing someone you never got a chance to say goodbye to? What you need is closure, and most of us are looking for closure with respect to something hurtful, abrupt, confusing or tragic. Closure is a gift. How do you get the gift of closure? You give it to yourself!
Things don’t always turn out the way you want them to, and sometimes the things you never thought would change up and change on you. When this kind of change happens, it can leave you feeling cold, lonely, and wanting answers. Maybe you just want to feel like you have a say, if not the last word.
What Trips You Up
Even if some of the things you seek closure on weren’t good for you—the job that was going nowhere, the relationship full of problems—sometimes you simply can’t get over them because they didn’t happen the way you would want or expect. It’s never easy to just accept change, especially when it blindsides you or you don’t get to defend your position, but why is it so hard to give yourself the gift of closure?
- It was something that affected you but was out of your control
- You feel like something was done to you without having your say in the matter
- It seemed to just come out of nowhere unexpectedly
- You simply can’t understand why it happened at all
The Brick Wall Analogy
If you are walking down the street and come upon a brick wall, what can you do? Can you stand there and wait for someone to move it? Will you want to know why they put it there in the first place? Should you wait for them so you can tell them how stupid they are? Or, can you work your way over or around the wall, so you can get to where you’re going?
Perhaps It Saves You
Just because something happens in a way other than what you envision, that doesn’t mean it’s already over and done. You still have options and choices and can try again in a different way, or at a later time. Another way to look at this situation is to think that perhaps the universe is saving you from something worse—the consequences of what you want could lead you down a bad path.
Need vs. Want
Do you need closure in order to move on or survive? No, you don’t need it; you just want it. The truth is that you can’t look to others to give you closure; the only real gift of closure is the one you give yourself. Wanting closure but not getting it is like being in a jail cell. You can’t go anywhere. But when you realize that you’ve had the keys to your cell all along, you can set yourself free and move forward and seek the next chapter.
Speaking of chapters, think of how boring a book would be if it only had one chapter that you kept reading over and over again, and worse, what if you kept reading that chapter hoping that the next time it would have a different outcome. It’s time to turn the page to a new chapter of your life! However, as long as your closure depends on speaking to or seeing someone else, you’ll remain right where you are.
How to Give Yourself the Gift of Closure
1. Take Time to Grieve
Whether it’s a person you lose through death, a relationship that’s over or even a lost job, no one is denying that there is a void where none was before. In fact, this process is a necessary step in healing, but it becomes unhealthy if you stay in that place too long. Let go.
2. Honor What Was Once There
Give your situation a little “funeral” to put it to rest. Write down the name of your lover or your boss (or whatever or whoever let you go) on a piece of paper and have a burning ceremony. Wish them well, thank them for the lesson/the journey and announce that you are ready for the next phase of your life. Burning that paper will give you a sense of closure to the subject. However, burning a paper with someone’s name on it while saying, “Burn in hell,” is not closure—it’s just mean.
3. Don’t Try to Fix It
If someone can’t/won’t give you closure, you may feel that putting all the blame on yourself allows you to fix the situation. However, there’s nothing to fix. As postmalesyndrome.com put it, “…being a ‘closure hunter’ and humiliation go hand-in-hand.”
4. Plan Your Next Move
Your next move should be one that is only limited by your own belief in yourself. Trust that whatever has left your life wasn’t meant to last forever. Tell yourself that you’re ready to start that new chapter.