Closure Is Up To Us
Some of our current relationships (intimate, work, familial, friends etc.) have existed beyond their expiration date in our lives, minds, or hearts. We cannot accept that their chapter has BEEN over and it is up to us to conclude it. Similar to healing, closure is our responsibility. This perspective may be difficult to embrace since we often ruminate on the ways people hurt us. We have strong urges to return to the scene of the emotional crime. We want the individuals responsible for our pain to also be accountable for putting us back together again. We struggle when they fail us time and time again. The emotions that arise from this confusion are difficult to face, especially when we are alone to navigate these emotions. In these times of uncertainty, we may lose sight of who is there for us while we seek an unattainable end. In our convoluted search for closure in the places where we were hurt, we forget that the Universe ALWAYS closes the circle in its time. Our role is all about making a conscious choice to release the emotional strongholds of a traumatic event and start a new chapter. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that we need to remember when embracing closure in our lives.
We Cannot Heal In The Same Place We Got Sick Some of us believe having the “tough conversations” means digging into the vault of our trauma histories or current lives and demanding answers from people who wronged/abandoned us. Although this can be therapeutic for some people (i.e. sexual & child abuse survivors), this is not always the case even for this population. We don’t always have the ability to talk with someone or the emotional capacity to do so. Also, delving into discussions unprepared can open old wounds and create fresh ones. When we decide to work on closure from a harmful situation, removing ourselves and seeking an objective source of help is healthier than returning to the source. Every relationship cannot be salvaged and we don’t need to expose ourselves to further abuse for the sake of closure.
Our Power Is Built In The Wilderness
Many of us have experienced our version of “the wilderness”. This space of confusion, uncertainty, and insecurity can occur after a loss, breakup, or stressful life event. We want OUT of the wilderness by any means. For some of us, this means staying in an unhealthy/abusive relationship, having uncomfortable conversations or experiences to feel connected, or accepting a lesser version of our worth. These options are chosen over the wilderness because this space is not comfortable and we don’t know how to proceed alone. I tell my clients all the time, “When you don’t know what to do, do nothing.” This may feel like a time of worthlessness, but when we are taking a step back to acknowledge that we don’t know what to do, we are bravely accepting this space. Closure is all about acceptance. We build strength in “the wilderness” by repurposing our sense of self without our comfort zones. (We’ll talk about the comfort associated with traumatic bonding another day.)
The Wilderness Exposes Our True Supports
Another great and transformative aspect of “the wilderness” is the discovery of our authentic support system. Closure is about ending a chapter and we cannot take everyone with us. In this transition stage, our new (and familiar) tribe can support our process if we allow them. They can also help us discover the language we need to finish writing the last chapter that needs to be closed. Some of us even find our next chapter in the wilderness, but we have to withstand the discomfort long enough to grow. Our ego and pride often stand in the way of letting others help us in these times, yet our stories need the richness of others’ experiences. We should never be afraid to accept the genuine and loving help that comes our way. This stage is truly up to us and can only be helpful if we are open to releasing old patterns.
The Universe Always Closes The Circle
I genuinely believe that every experience we face is comparable to a circle. Regardless if we get in the way of the circle’s formation or allow it to form on its own, the circle will always close. Unhealthy relationships, health struggles, incarceration, loss, abuse, and other traumas can feel endless. Even after we survive hellish experiences, our need for closure takes on a new life of its own. Despite the feelings of longevity, everything has an end if we allow it time. What’s up to us is how we choose to show up in our lives and accept what is, not what we think or believe to be true. Our decision to choose healing over hurting and our next chapter over our next confrontation are what is in our control. Allow the Universe to take care of the rest.
We are powerful women with the choice to decide when our story shifts. Some chapters linger because we want or need them to and that is ok. We also don’t owe an explanation for our decision to grow or transcend beyond an experience. Closure is an executive decision that does not require multiple opinions or input/permission from those who hurt us. Give yourself time to process your experience and the ways it has impacted your life. Revisit your story as often as you need to through journaling, therapy, talking to healthy friends, taking a much-needed vacay, spiritual practices, etc. until you are ready to release what hurt you. Remember that you are the only one responsible for how your journey turns out. Reclaim your power by reclaiming your closure!
P.S. Special thank you to my colleague & friend A.P. for the inspiration for this post!