Relationships can be crazy! How much ever one may claim to be practical, logical, and grounded, when they end or don’t work as we wanted them to, they cause inexplainable hurt and trauma. But when they end without closure they can leave behind a trail of devastation that can take a long time to heal from, sometimes the whole life.
Why moving on without closure is so difficult?
Wanting closure is human nature. Not getting one is sometimes a divine plan.
As children, we have been conditioned to see things as whole and complete, and not to leave anything mid-way, unfinished and incomplete. Remember, when your parents urged us to finish that drawing, or when you were punished in school for not completing your home-work, or the time you were frustrated with yourself for quitting that marathon halfway?
Our brains are wired to see things in fullness. See the beautiful painting below. What do you see? A half-painted flower. Right? We immediately see the unpainted petals and make the guess that it’s half-done. In our mind, subconsciously, we complete the picture with the obvious color scheme. But, just imagine, what if the artist purposefully made it just that way? What if I tell you it’s perhaps an expensive piece because the famous artist died before he could complete it?
As kids, we are never taught to be okay with half-things. We see it as failure and incompetency. It makes us uncomfortable and builds a poor self-image of ourselves. When something goes awry, we doubt our own efforts and seek answers to justify the situation.
Now, put this in the context of break-ups, ghosting, divorce, and separation. We need, want, and for formal closure. Why is she ghosting me? Why have I not received a call after the job interview? Why is he avoiding my calls and texts? Why did my friendship of years turn sour? These are some common situations where moving on without closure can be hard, especially when you are “too invested in them” in terms of time, effort and emotions.
Well, either you can go down the dark self-sabotaging rabbit-hole “seeking closure”, which you may never get or “finding closure” on your own. The choice is yours to make and the choice you make will shape your life. You may not have the closure you want, but you must have the healing you need. Accepting that it’s okay to not have a formal closure is closure!
Here are some give-it-a-try worthy ways in which you can help yourself find the closure you’ve been waiting for which pave the way for you to move forward without emotional burden, guilt, pain, anger, or bitterness.
- Understand, acknowledge and internalize that it’s okay for some beautiful things to end, and sometimes end in a way that you didn’t like it to, abruptly and without answers.
- Don’t waste your time looking for people or situations on whom/which you can pin the blame. It won’t resolve anything or give you the closure you need.
- Know that waiting for closure, is like giving power to someone else to control your life. Find your own closure and take the power back from them.
- Don’t judge yourself. A broken friendship or divorce does not make you a nasty person. Go through the pain only to come out on the other side of the tunnel.
- Don’t give it too much space in your mind by holding on to it. Remember. what consumes your mind is what controls your life.
- Practice gratitude! I can’t ever emphasize the power of gratitude enough. Be grateful for the experience. Learn and grow from it.
It’s YOUR life. Hence, it’s YOUR responsibility to make it more meaningful, rich, and fulfilling. You owe it to yourself. You’ll soon learn how empowering it is to be able to let go and move on without closure.