“No one can “give” you closure except you. Don’t try to find closure by trying to figure out or invent a reason why. Instead, find closure through acceptance, through enough self-love to stop the torture of reliving a painful event over and over again. Stop waiting for other people to give you closure and instead give it to yourself. Let go. You deserve peace.”
― Akiroq Brost
Today I’ll be sharing on finding closure (or not) and embracing new beginnings in our lives as well as the day to day lessons I’ve been learning from this.
PT says “Closure means finality; a letting go of what once was. Finding closure implies a complete acceptance of what has happened and an honoring of the transition away from what’s finished to something new. In other words, closure describes the ability to go beyond imposed limitations in order to find different possibilities.”
From the death of a loved one or colleague, to the loss of a job, to the loss of a pet or to the coming to an end of a deeply felt relationship. From the end of a meaningful friendship to the subconscious reliving of a past filled with sexual, verbal or physical abuse. From experiencing a childhood filled with terrible memories to undergoing feelings of constant betrayal from loved ones and/or being in states of depression and even harbouring suicidal thoughts, questioning what our purpose in life is…the experiences are endless.
But there is always one short and simple but emotion-filled question we constantly find ourselves asking.
Why did he/she have to die and leave me all alone? Why did my childhood have to be the way it was in a way that I could not have any control over what happened to me? Why did the person I love leave me without any explanation? Why did i lose my job after all the hours of sacrifice I put in? Why did that friend I trusted with my heart say those mean things behind my back? Why, why, why?
And most times, in asking why, we want answers, we want those answers to be resolved immediately and when they’re not, we feel a sense of dissatisfaction, restlessness or even anger and bitterness at a situation which has already occurred, some of which we had no control over in the first place. And that makes us crave that “closure”, that feeling of “if only I could talk to this person one last time” or “If only they could tell me why they acted this way perhaps I would be able to understand them or where they are coming from”. Sometimes, we even make excuses and seek to answer the “why” question ourselves by filling our minds with possible reasons why things happened the way they did.
Yesterday, I had a tear-filled moving conversation with a good friend and as we spoke deeply about her past and childhood experiences. All she kept asking through the tears was “why”, “why”, “why”? She desperately wanted to know why all the unfortunate things happened to her as though if people from her childhood had suddenly appeared with the answers, she would have felt somewhat better. And the same is for most of us reading this.
Most of us have definitely gone through disastrous phases in our lives where we have experienced grief, loss or betrayal and it hurt. Most of us have been desperately waiting for that apology that never came, that “I’m sorry I hurt you and caused you so much pain all these years”, that “I did not mean to do this, please forgive me?”, that “I never meant to abandon you or send you off to live with someone you didn’t know when you were younger”. And sometimes, we find ourselves crafting up scenarios where we are apologised to and how powerful we feel when someone is asking for our forgiveness, but like I shared with my friend, once in a while, forgiveness and letting go have to occur within us even when the wrongdoer never even sought forgiveness in the first place, when they never said they were sorry.
When we desperately hold on to things of the past and negative past experiences, we are robbing ourselves of the opportunity to be filled with love, to grow, to experience joy and happiness, to give happiness to others and to see the beauty in life. When we cling to the past, waiting for that “I’m sorry” or explanation as to why things happened the way they did, we find that we become very consumed with negativity, harbour bitterness, rage and even anger. We begin to release only angry, negative and bitter vibes in every aspect of our lives. We get doubtful or distrustful of people and build a thick wall around us to prevent the bad experiences from happening again. We judge people even before getting to know them and we continue to drown in negativity…
I would briefly like to share on some of the ways we can learn to find closure within ourselves after going through unfortunate experiences.
1. Acknowledge and Accept
Sometimes, we live in denial about the things that have happened to us or the things that we have had to go through. We tend to ignore and shut down some of the scarring experiences that we have faced because they are too painful to bear.
However, we need to accept and acknowledge that these things have happened, some of which we had no control over in the first place. But they have happened and the first step to moving on is to acknowledge and accept them. There is nothing we can do to go back in time to change them and we cannot rewind the hands of time. Accept it.
So in accepting, it’s okay to grieve the loss of a loved one or even an innocence that was taken away from you as a young child or a broken relationship or experiencing growing up in a broken home. It’s okay to feel the pain, to cry, to feel bad and to mourn. It’s okay to break down and be vulnerable, to open up your heart to the right person to allow yourself to be healed. But it is not okay and it definitely is unhealthy to shut down or pretend that it never happened.
3. Focus on the Positives
I guess it would have been easier if most of what we had to deal with after these experiences happen are physical wounds, but sometimes the emotional wounds dig deeper and come with negative thoughts, thoughts of bitterness, anger, rage and just feelings of sadness. One way we can find closure within is to fill our minds with positive thoughts, keep busy and focus on the future. Your past experiences do not define who you are, where you’re going and what you can become in life.
4. Move forward!
Dwelling on the past would definitely change nothing. It would not bring back the person that was lost or correct the unfortunate inexplicable experiences. It would not erase the scars, some of which are physical and others which are the result of our souls being torn apart.
But we can move on, and we can let go. We CAN let go. We can choose to forgive and we can choose to heal on the inside. We can choose to let go of the negative thoughts that may constantly fill our heads and we can choose to be happy. We can choose to share our story and inspire or even make someone feel better. We can move on.
And while these may seem easier said than done, remember that you can find closure through acceptance, through enough self-love to stop the torture of reliving a painful event over and over again. Stop waiting for other people to give you closure and instead give it to yourself.
You deserve peace.
And for the “sorry” that never came, remember that sometimes, you don’t get “closure”.
Sometimes and for your sake, you just have to let go and move on.
Picture Source: Thewayestherseesit.blogspot.com