It’s not about closing the door and locking something inside or away from yourself so that it can’t hurt you anymore. The word closure means to “bring order to something.” It connotes a type of fence, with wooden fence posts and boards or even barbed wire. It is a barrier with gates and used to both contain and keep out. It is linked with the earth but it is not impenetrable. Closure is not a locked room, like a vault. Closure is a living space.
Often, we may not get what we want from another person in order for us to feel we have closure. It may be because they are dead, out of our lives and unwilling or unable to talk, or that we have spoken to the person and what they say or how they respond to us is just not what we want or need.
Maybe it’s time to give yourself the gift of closure?
How do you do this?
For-give-ness has at it’s core “give.” Forgiveness is a gift that you give to someone else, to yourself, or to life. It is a gift of acceptance. Forgiveness accepts that you cannot change what happened to you, so you take what action that you can take: you move on. You feel the pain, the anger, the frustration, the disappointment, the loss. And then you take accountability for the choices that you have.
Acceptance is not a passive act. It is actively feeling and experiencing, and then deciding on the best and most helpful choices that you can make.
Order is not control. Control is about trying to make something happen, to bend it to your will. Maturity teaches us that the only person or thing that you can control is yourself… and even then you may have your days when you are sure that there is a Wizard of Oz somewhere in there and he is pulling the wrong levers! If you invest your energy and attention in attempting to make life line up with your expectations, you will only end up feeling frustrated and stuck.
Order is, instead, acceptance of what is. It is honestly assessing and then giving yourself permission to make the most helpful decisions that you can make. That is closure.
Closure does not mean the end of painful feelings or memories. It will not make you bulletproof, painproof, or hurtproof. You are a human being, not a bank vault. Closure will make you more flexible, more able to respond to life and experience. It will help you to be more present to yourself, your experience and your life. It will help you to live more by your values, rather than being driven by emotion or unmet expectations.
Why put your healing, your emotions into the hands of someone or something else? You may never get what you want or feel that you need. Give yourself the gift of closure, the gift of moving on. I share my mantra with you. I remind myself of it every day:
Accept your past
Make room for all of who you are
Care for yourself
Life, your life, can be big
If you enjoyed this article, I suggest that you see some of my other work:
I write articles that talk about the kind of changes I am trying to make in my own life. I hope that my writing also helps you. My topics include addiction and mental health recovery, relationships, and personal growth. I work as an Addiction Therapist, an Editor for the Good Men Project and freelance writer, and Adjunct Professor at City University, Edmonton. But what is most important is that I have a family and I am in recovery from depression and anxiety. My mental health experiences are part of my personal University degree, but they do not define me.
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Keep it Real
Photo by Jonathan Meddings