BY REBECCA COOPER
Just to recap last month’s discussion on the topic of closure, from the perspective of it’s not always possible or needed, this month I’m playing devil’s advocate and looking at closure, focusing on why we do need it and how to get that elusive ending of a relationship. So, how do you get closure if you believe you absolutely need it? I am so glad you asked!
Closure Can Be Needed in Many Relationships
Anytime there’s an ending to a significant piece of your life, whether that’s a relationship, job, or stage of life, moving on can be difficult and painful.
Closure means letting go of what was – of something or someone who was important in your life at one point. People talk about ‘finding closure’ rather flippantly at times, but that statement implies an acceptance of what has happened and an honoring of the transition of the next step, from what’s finished to something new. There are a few steps that professionals suggest to get the closure process started and move through it to a new beginning.
Take Responsibility for Your Part in the Situation
It is ultimately up to you to make the decision to move forward and away from the ending. This is going to take some self-dialogue, maybe a list of the pros and cons of what has happened.
Ask yourself …
- What or whom are you holding onto and why?
- Does holding on make you happy, or are you hanging on to a situation or person because of what you wished was the case and not reality?
- Are you ‘holding on’ because you feel safe in what you know and the unknown of the future is scary?
- If you are willing to let go, what does that mean or look like moving forward?
- What do you believe will happen if you let go and are you ok with the options ahead?
Grieve the Loss at Your Own Pace
Take your time in grieving what you are seeking closure for because there’s no rush. Don’t listen to those who say ‘just get over it.’ However, grieving shouldn’t go on for years – that is called being ‘stuck’ and that isn’t healthy.
We’ve all heard of people having ‘unfinished business,’ so to move on you need to resolve and finish, tying up the loose ends of your situation.
Get Your Feet Under You and Rely on Your Strengths
When coming out of an emotional situation or relationship, you may feel down on yourself, so make yourself focus on your positives, like your strengths, talents, gifts, and assets.
Surround yourself with people who know you well and encourage you in this journey. Assess where you can make positive life changes and focus on the here and now, not too much looking into the future.
Make a Plan for the Days to Come
Make a concerted effort to determine what’s most important for you moving forward. If necessary, reorder your priorities to allow yourself to explore different possibilities and opportunities that may present themselves to you. Be open to trying new things and if they don’t work out, move on because at least you gave it a go!
Finding closure allows you to move into your future, not held back with the past and optimistic about the next chapter in life. Hopefully, in the end, you will have learned something valuable from all of the events and people in your life that have been significant in some way, even if they didn’t work out as you thought they would.