How many times have you gone into a conversation with an ex hoping for closure, and only come out feeling more confused and upset?
Whether your answer is once or a hundred times, you’re not alone.
Most of us believe that closure is something we get from other people.
We imagine talking to an ex-partner to get closure about how the relationship ended.
We imagine talking to an ex-boss to get closure about how or why we were fired.
We imagine talking to a parent to get closure about a childhood trauma.
We imagine that if we could understand why they did what they did, if they could acknowledge our pain and apologize for it, then we would feel better.
It’s a misconception, but it’s understandable. We are taught both that:
- other people cause our feelings, and
- that it’s important to understand what happened in the past in order to move forward with our lives.
Put those together, and you get the idea that closure from the past comes from whoever else was involved in the event.
But I want you to consider a new definition of closure that will bring you more peace than all the apologies in the world.
I want you to think of closure as emotional resolution that you create for yourself.
As accepting reality and making peace with things happening exactly as they did.
When we think about closure in this way, we gain full control over our relationship to the past.
We get to decide how we want to think and feel about anything that has happened in our lives.
This isn’t an easy shift.
Most of us are consumed by our thoughts about the past. But here’s what we know about the past: it only exists in our minds.
Your current emotions are created by your current thoughts.
This is why even if someone DOES apologize for past behavior, you may not automatically feel better – because as long as you are still thinking about how they harmed you and how they should have behaved differently, you will continue to feel angry and powerless.
Only you can give yourself closure.
We have everything we need to create closure for ourselves, now.
We don’t need more information, apologies, acknowledgment, or anything else.
We simply need to make a decision to accept reality, rather than resist it.
Whatever happened, happened.
We suffer when we resist what happened.
When we accept that what happened in the past had to happen as it did, when we accept that the past means nothing about what we can create in the future, we are free.
When we stop resisting the past, when we stop relying on others to “give” us closure, we can see that we have the power to shape our lives however we want them to be.
Closure is always available to you, but it’s not something you passively wait for another person to give you.
It’s a gift to yourself that has to come from you.