The truth about closure

Sometimes we have certain issues from our past that we feel like we haven’t quite moved on from. Something feels a bit unresolved and as though we cannot truly move forward. 

Perhaps we dwell on the past and wish we could go back in time and change things we said or did. Or we feel that until we have a particular conversation, we won’t be able to move on with our lives.

We might think that if we can just get something from another person we’ll have what we need to move forward in life. An apology. An explanation. A chance to be heard and understood. Forgiveness. Accountability for what they did. Some action to make amends. A second chance. We think that if we get these things from that person, then we can get closure and move on.

The problem with that is, these are all things we cannot control. But that’s ok, because the good news is that closure doesn’t need to involve anyone else but you.

Listen to my latest podcast, or keep reading below, to find out the truth about closure and a 4-step framework to help you heal.

Closure is not what most people think it is

This topic is a tender one for me personally. A couple of years ago I had a falling out with a friend. It was the first time anything like this had happened in my life. It came as a huge shock, and I had enormous grief over it. I didn’t feel like I had closure for a very long time, and it consumed me. I needed her to not hate me. I needed her to understand. I needed to say sorry. I needed her to say sorry. I needed her to be accountable for her actions. I needed to be forgiven for mine. When none of this was possible, I felt like I couldn’t move on. 

After a while I realised how detrimental, stressful, and debilitating it was to hold onto it all. I realised I had to find my own peace with things. And I began the process of finding my own closure within myself.

What I realised during this process is that closure really is an inner process. It doesn’t really require anything from the other person. Although, if it is possible to talk with the person, obviously we can find it helpful to do that, but it’s actually not necessary for closure.

Perhaps the most important thing to realise is that you’re not really ‘closing’ something, you’re healing something. The word closure feels convenient, very neat and tidy, and final. Like closing a door. Very black and white. The reality is though, you’re wanting to heal something and healing is not so black and white. There’s a lot of grey feelings. 

Healing is often messy and non-linear. There are times when things feel fine, and other days where the pain resurfaces, or you get triggered. 

That’s just how healing goes for humans. Healing is a bit messy and uncomfortable. And it always takes longer than we want it to.

Four steps to promote healthy healing

As we go through the process of healing old wounds and finding our strength again, there are steps we can take to support ourselves along the way. These steps help us learn, repair and grow wiser and stronger instead of staying stuck, struggling and stifled. 

1. Be patient, gentle and compassionate with yourself in the process

Instead of beating yourself up, pushing yourself to ‘get over it’ or ‘get past it’, be compassionate with yourself. Remember that healing takes time. If we can do that instead of trying to push that door of healing closed, we can bring a certain amount of soothing, comfort, and love to ourselves in the middle of it all. That means we’re actually likely to heal much faster.

2. Support yourself

Do what you need to do to support yourself in your healing process. This can take many forms. Perhaps it means setting healthy boundaries with others, or cutting off communication with someone for a while to help you let go of an attachment or an unhelpful relationship. It might mean not following people on social media. Or asking for what you need to help you move forward.

3. Use healing modalities

You could talk with a therapist or a friend or use any number of healing modalities to support yourself during the healing process. Anything that helps you nourish yourself, grow wiser and heal is wonderful. Put your focus on actively working towards healing and moving forward.

4. Embrace life

Even as your healing continues you can still enjoy life, try new things, have fun, and do things that light you up, bring you joy and inspire you. Perhaps trying new hobbies, making new friends, and doing things you really love.

These steps will help and strengthen you, but the main thing is to be patient with yourself. Allow healing to happen step by step, day by day. Know that you can still choose to live fully in the present even when you carry a bit of pain from the past.

This week’s mental strength practice

So, this week’s invitation for your mental strength practice is to practice healthy closure. If you still have stuff that feels unresolved, just remind yourself of the truth about closure. That it’s really about healing. Making peace with that fact as best you can, and practising healthy healing.

 I hope this is beneficial for you. May it be a source of comfort and strength in your life.

Join me in Headstrong

If you’re finding these practices helpful to your life, and you’re ready to take your mental strength to the next level, I invite you to join me in Headstrong. It’s my 8-week intensive mental strength program. Headstrong offers the best of everything I’ve learned in over two decades of mental strength training and teaching. It’s designed to get rapid transformational results and arm you with powerful tools and skills that will last a lifetime. This program will help you not only survive but thrive – even in tough times.

Learn more about Headstrong here.

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