Closing the door on closure
By BELINDA KUO
Closure: something we all seek yet many times have tremendous trouble achieving.
According to Psychology Today, closure is “a letting go of what once was” or “the transition away from what’s finished to something new.” When a chapter of our life ends, we often feel the need for closure to move forward with our lives. For example, when a romantic relationship ends, we may seek an apology or explanation as to why the specific relationship has ended.
However, we should not obsess over obtaining closure because it does not change the outcome of the situation, and life will continue no matter what obstacles we encounter. With time, closure will come on its own, and we will enter a happier era of life.
First and foremost, closure does not alter the situation’s outcome. For instance, if your relationship with a significant other has ended, closure will not change the other person’s feelings towards you. Therefore, we should not seek happiness from a former partner’s reassurance because sticking around will not assure that you will get closure from them.
While closure will not change the past or present, we can choose to learn from our challenges and learn to treasure the person we have become today. Instead of actively seeking closure, we should look forward to the million other fishes in the sea and discern these challenges as a chance to become a better person. Yet, by forcing closure, we may only feel worse because of how fake and awkward the conversation may be. With a positive outlook, you can escape a downward spiral and move on with your life.
To those who believe we still need closure after hardships, by no means am I saying that we should not grieve over the loss of a significant other or loved one. In a sense, grieving begins the process of moving on, but keep in mind that we should not expect closure from someone else. Instead, by sometimes forgiving an unsaid apology, we allow ourselves to move on by finding closure within ourselves.
Over time, the closure will come naturally when we least expect it. For instance, you may one day find out that you no longer think about him or her and the happy and sad memories no longer evoke bittersweet emotions. Thus, instead of waiting for someone else’s permission to move on, we should understand the universe’s seemingly cruel way is simply its eccentric way to make sure we are on the right path.
In fact, it is important to recognize that life continues even if we do not acquire closure. Often times, people may leave or change unexpectedly without explanation; however, their actions should not establish who you are as a person. While we may initially agonize over unanswered questions and ambiguous explanations, we can turn this gloomy situation into a learning experience and confidently begin a new chapter in our lives.
At the end of the day, closure may merely be something we think we need. In contrast to moving on, closure is peace with inner and external conflict. According to blogger and author Andrea Davis, it is important that we do not allow ourselves to “become so obsessed with the idea of getting closure that [we] don’t allow ourselves to move forward” because “closure really is just a gift you keep giving yourself.”
And as Sylvester McNutt once said, “Closure happens right after you accept that letting go and moving on is more important than projecting a fantasy of how the relationship could have been.” Eventually, time will heal all wounds. Even if you lose that someone special, you will surely find yourself in the process.