On Seeking Closure

by Dandy

Do you need to close the book on an event that has caused you pain?  Is it a book you take out often and reread it in the hope of finding a different ending only to feel the same old anguish?

It is inevitable, there will be times when we hit a bump in our relationships, leaving us wondering what happened and why.  If you are in need of closure continue reading.

Loose Ends

What is behind that lingering feeling?  What thoughts are still tying you to this person?  Usually anger and guilt are the emotions felt.  Anger over what someone did to you, their lack of accountability.  Guilt over what you did (or didn’t do) to someone else and your resulting feeling of regret.

Acceptance

In order to free ourselves from anger and guilt requires acceptance.  To look at the truth for what it is without self-deception.  Accept your mistakes.  They happened, there’s no going back.

Forgiveness

Another thing that unties the binds that hold us is forgiveness.  In order to free ourselves from someone who has hurt us and all associated negativity is to forgive.  Our hatred has tied us to the person responsible for our anguish.  When the one who has harmed us or their negative actions come to mind, send them a blessing.  The first 100 times we try this it may seem forced or empty, but keep tying.  Eventually, it will turn into a habit.  Then peace will come to us.  Peace will replace anguish.

The Apology

If we have guilt or shame because we were the transgressor then apologize.  It’s not as simple as a, “I’m sorry.”  There must be genuine depth and full accountability.  No excuses.  An apology with an excuse is a false one.  Take complete responsibility for your actions.  Also no blaming.  Do not bring the other persons actions, behavior, or feelings into your bad choices.  Explain the underlying problem or issue, describe it, then tell them what you intend to do to rectify the problem, so that you can avoid making the mistakes again.

Symbolism

If it isn’t possible to have direct closure with the transgressor we can still have a formal goodbye.  This even helps if we did have a face to face meeting with the person.  Gather things that remind you of the person and burn them, or donate to charity.  Write a eulogy to the relationship and sy it out loud, then burn the paper it is written on.

Write it Out

It may be helpful to document the relationship with the offender, from beginning to end.  This can be very painful, but it will give us a broader perspective.  We may choose to keep the story or destroy it.  The very act of documenting and “closing the book” will help us to find emotional closure.

Start a New Book

The memories of the person we need closer from will never be erased.  But we can use the experience to our advantage, to better ourselves  and to help others.  If we are the transgressor, resolve to never make the mistake again, then go another step forward and help others to not make your mistakes.

Make the end of this relationship a turning point.  We can move forward in a positive new direction.

Remember, we must give ourselves time to heal.  The healing process never happens overnight.  Also visualization can do powerful things.  Whenever we think of the person send a blessing and visualize them in front of us, then imagine blowing him or her away with a breath.  Let them go.  Everytime we find ourselves we must do this visualization.  So take a deep breath and let them go.

Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be.  -Anon

About these ads

43 Responses to “On Seeking Closure”

  1. Hi Dandy! This is very timely! You have no idea just how timely. I am in the process of a job transition that is getting me back into a flow of life I always loved but made a lot of mistakes in. I am coming to realize some things about myself and my personality that I believe will help me to tackle my weaknesses better this time around. Sometimes, it can be tempting to keep past wounds open even with ourselves – ones we’ve self-inflicted because we were either too hard on ourselves or didn’t know any better – and it is paralyzing each time. As I face some truths about my weaknesses and learn to eliminate and manage them, I am hoping to close the book on the past mistakes and move on. Yesterday has already happened. The future is not here yet. There is only right now. Thanks for posting.

    • Bryan, I hope Dandy will excuse me for jumping in here with a response. I know a little of your background from your blog, so I really appreciate what you are saying here and I wish you the best in your new direction. (By the way, I have been having trouble with your blog–my computer keeps freezing when I go to it. Ancient computer. Anyway, I do enjoy reading it when I can get it to work.) Thank you, Dandy for letting me intrude here.

      • I love it when people jump in. This is the kind of dialoge I love!! By the way Bryan, I too have trouble with my computer freezing up when I try to leave a comment on your blog. I thought it was my computer too. Weird!

      • Thanks Galen and Dandy for your concerns. Actually, you’re not the first to tell me this lately. I am going to do some looking into it this weekend and may be making some much-needed changes. Thanks for your patience. Please don’t give up on me. :)

    • Hy Bryan,
      You’re comment really struck me. I love what you said about closing the book on past mistakes. Today was a rough day for me and I’ve made mistakes I’ve been brooding over tonight. I guess I need to take my own advice and seek closure on it. Everyday is a do over anyway. When I was writing this post I was thinking about relationships mostly. But really I need to seek closure on my past behviors, the ones that don’t serve me well. The weaknesses I still have. Thanks so much for wonderful comment Bryan and I do hope the job transition will be everything you need it to be. Self-awarenes is a god given gift! Take care Bryan and good luck!

  2. Dandy..YES! You nailed it.

    I have made peace with a few people that I really needed to let go. The process is so difficult. I especially love your “sending them a blessing” and I do continue this practice. You are right about it feeling phony at first, and also right about it getting easier.

    I like the letting it go activities also, of burning or writing things out. I have also used a paper shredder after writing things out, then recycled or used for packaging. In my mind, it is like turning something “ugly” into something that can transform, just like humans after a difficult goodbye.
    Thanks for another excellent read!
    Love,
    Jen

    • Hi Jen!
      Thanks for your comment. The process of closure is difficult and painful. But it is a gift we need to give ourselves. We need to believe that we are worthy of peace and forgivness. Closure can be ours! Take care Jen!

  3. Starting a new book is often hard. But with internal strength and perseverance, we can. It will take time to write out every chapter, but the feeling of liberation will motivate thee!! Great post dandy!

  4. “In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty”____Phil Ochs

    I can truely appreciate what Jen has mentioned above. My poem that I wrote a few weeks back was about coming to terms with an attraction and attachment that has gone wrong. It does come with the ending words “…and so now is the time for you and I to just let go.”

    I won’t shred or burn it, as the poem is in itself “beauty” being that it truely came from my heart.

    ” I love what you had to say about taking the high road. It is so true! Even though it may be hard to even find, when we are on it, we feel so much better about ourselves.”____Dandy

    Dandy…As I wonder whether I am “on the high road” out from my window in the distance of 50 miles are the snow covered Cuyamaca Mountains:

    … Questions? “What was the leopard ‘seeking’ at such a high elevatiion?” “How did he become lost?”

    In my heart I know with time, insight, and forgiving all will be well again…this is my blessing of love for her.

    • Hi Rand,
      Thanks for the beautiful comment! A big part of closure is wishing the other person well and meaning it. If we can do that, we are in a very good place. Take care of yourself Rand!

  5. All good points Dandy.

    Closure is important to me because it allows me to learn from an event. It also provides a place to move forward so the situation can be left in the past – where it belongs.

    Alex

  6. Dandy,

    I want to apologize in advance for being so graphic in my description.

    I would compare closure to be as vital and painful as removing a bullet that has pierced through your skin and is threatening your vital organs. The bullet has to be removed. Blood has to be lost. It is going to cause you some excruciating pain. Pain that can be so overwhelming that death seems like an easier option.

    But in order to heal you have to remove the “thing” that has caused the damage. You can’t survive by putting a band-aid over a bullet wound. So, I love your tips because they are exactly what is needed to put stitches over the wound and move on with the rest of your life. Great Job Dandy!!

    • Hi Frank,
      I couldn’t agree with you more! You cannot put a band-aid over a bullet wound. Closure is painful, but if the offense has been truely dispicable then indeed seeking closure can be overwhelming. But then dealing with the offense is overwhelming, so we may as well be steered in a direction that will lead us to peace. We do not have to be walking victims of our past. We do not have to be imprisoned to someone elses crime. Closure is a gift we give ourselves. Thanks so much for your great insight Frank!

  7. Dandy,
    Great post and also very timely for me, once again in my life. I have found even if a person in your life has died, you can still write them a letter explaining everything, wheather it’s “why did you leave me alone” or “this is what I think now”, read it out loud several times with feeling and then burn it and as I am being told repeatingly by my daughter, “it’s a speed bump in life, get over it”. Thank you once again. Your mother must be proud !!

    • Hi Mom,
      Thanks for that! Your comment made me smile! We deserve to be free of the things that pull us down. We all deserve to have people in our lives that uplift us. That’s what you do for me! Love you!

  8. Timely indeed, as other commenters have noted. Perhaps timely because so many of us have some loose ends. I thought that I had put a painful situation to rest until it recently resurfaced in connection to one of my kids. I find myself dealing not only with my child’s situation but also with my own situation that has been churned up again. Thank you for some clear steps to guide us to meaningful closure.

    • Thanks Galen! Yes when something gets churned up too often that is a great signal that we need to let it go and free ourselves from the negativity behind it. Closure isn’t easy, but we need to feel that we are worthy of having the peace that come with the closure. I wish you peace Galen! Take care!

  9. Hi Dandy,

    Wonderful post on closure. One of the best things we can do is accept what happened and forgive the other person. These two aspects are liberating. If we don’t come to the acceptance level, then closure will never happen. Thanks for sharing my friend :)

    • Hi Dia,
      You are right it is liberating to let go of past hurts. It opens our lives to a whole new perspective and a whole new chance at happiness. I like to think of acceptance of letting go of the wish that things could have been different. Our journeys up till now are what they are and we can choose a path of acceptance and peace. Thanks Dia!

  10. Hi Dandy,

    I remember the need for closure in my relationships years ago. My friendship with a dear friend of mine ended badly. But a year later, we met up again and slowly mended the friendship. At some point we went over the issues that caused the rift and resolved the matter once and for all. When that happened, it was like a huge load off my mind. I love the points you have brought up for closure.

    Loose Ends

    In my opinion, it is best to put everything on the table and resolve it once and for all if it is possible. To leave things unsaid would always cause us to look back in regret. It helps if we could do this in an objective manner. As far as I can, I try to live a life without loose ends when it comes to relationships. There are less regrets this way.

    The Apology

    If we have done something wrong, we should apologize sincerely and without excuses. Here, you have perfectly described all the steps from the apology to the action to rectify it. Done in this manner, this would be an apology deserving of redemption.

    Symbolism

    If a direct closure isn’t possible then we have to find a way to get everything we want to say out. As you suggest, we could write it out and burn it. Another important point is to look at what has happened as a necessary lesson to learn. That way, even though the price was high, it would not be wasted.

    Thank you for sharing this great article! :)

    Irving the Vizier

    • Hi Irving,
      Thanks so much for your wise observations! Getting closure isn’t always easy, but when we break it down and take a little at a time, we can say goodbye to the hurt and pain we’ve experienced. We also need to believe that we are worthy of having peace in our lives. Thanks so much Irving!

  11. Hello Miss Dandy! Let me start by displaying my appreciation for this post. It was really good!
    Starting a new book is an important part of our life journey. We have the choice, so we should use it. I can only imagine where I would be if I didn’t start new books, constantly re-creating myself until I found a plot that fit with what I wanted in life. Doing this has definitely brought closure to many negative things that used to be a part of my life. So, I completely second your pitch in this blog post. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Hi Jk,
      It sounds like you are definately the author of your own life. You’re writing your own plot! I like the idea of that. Saying goodbye to the negative things in life is something we can do everyday. I love the idea of everyday being a do over. Thanks for the great comment Jk. Take care!

  12. Closure is a big hurdle isn’t it Dandy? Often we know we have to end one story to begin another but that equates to change, saying goodbye, and leaving behind part of our life and who we are. To some that’s an obstacle so tough they spend years or decades avoiding overcoming and scaling it preferring almost the familiar inner pain to any potential new start. I know that was me. But the day when the sun shines beyond the obstacle is the time when you steal your strength and stride towards your destiny. It never hurts as much as when you are in a position that thinks so. Gorgeous post, truly gorgeous!

    • Hi John,
      That is such a lovely way of putting it. “The sun shines beyond the obsticle is the time when we steal our strength and stride towards our destiny.” Gosh I will write that down! Yes, whe we say goodbye we leave a part of ourselves behind – the part that was unwise and didn’t know better. We step into stronger versions of ourselves. I’ve seen people who have clung to bitterness for decades. Closing the door to the past frees us of resentments and anger. Thanks so much John for your wonderful comment!

  13. I use visualization methods such as a cord cutting exercise if I feel the intensity of the bond and am unable to detach and let go. Still it will be nice to complete the exercise with a physical closure. Doing a symbolic act, as you’ve suggested, sounds like a great idea! Hmm….interesting point about the loose ends. Something that I need into today?

    • Hi Evelyn,
      That is a great idea with cutting the cord. Vizualization is so wonderful. I wish more people used it. Once they start, then they’ll see all the positives of it. Thanks Evelyn!

  14. Man, closure rocks! Great read Dandy, there’s been a number of times when I can relate to your own situation, as well as the situations of the other commenters here. I’ve had times where I needed to get out of a relationship but didn’t have the courage. It was like cutting only half of a string, the other half just flails in the wind, dangling uselessly. That’s how things looked for me, useless and powerless.

    But closure is one of those where you can look back at the experience and say “Thank you for what you taught me about myself, but it’s time to move on.” Everyone will have these moments, where they need to let go and embrace the new :-)

    • Hi Stuart!
      That is completly what it is too. Embracing the new. I believe nothing new can come into our lives without shedding the old. It’s great when we get to the place where we want to move on and look forward to our own lives. Thanks Stu, for the great comment. I’m so happy you like my blog and the great dialoge that goes on here! Take care!

  15. This is like my third time stopping over your homepage. I always love the content and the way you write. Very smooth and instructive at the same time.

  16. Yes indeed, Dandy. A feeling of closure and completion is sometimes necessary to get on with the business of real living – fully expressing and participating in life! We simply cannot be our naturally soaring Self if we can’t drop those howling voices of the past. Working to genuinely forgive and sincerely appreciate is a Fine Art that will have us empowered and free to start anew.

    • Hi Rob!
      Thanks for your great comment. The work that we must do that requires authenticity means we have to finally face those demons – the ones that keep us from being at our happiest. Working on ourselves isn’t easy, but so important. Thanks Rob!

  17. Hi Dandy,

    Love the blessings part. That is really a great idea. These are great tips for moving forward. I have found writing a letter does help when it comes to closure if you can’t met with the person face to face, even if you don’t send it. Thank you for the reminder, because we all have to learn to say, “I’m sorry” or forgive a wrong. Sometimes we have to remember that we can forgive someone, but that doesn’t mean that we go back for more abuse. It is just a matter of forgiving them and walking away and as you say, “sending the blessing.”
    thanks again Dandy,
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie,
      I’ve written letters to people I needed to let go of and the feeling afterward was really extraordinary. This is a really valuable techniqe that works wonders on our Selves. Thanks for the comment, Debbie!

  18. Hi Dandy,
    Closure is a very important aspect of relationships so we don’t carry baggage around. I like the idea of starting a new book. Life is all about new beginnings. In each moment we have the opportunity to start a new chapter in our life instead of replaying old chapters. The ability to move forward without dragging old feelings with us is powerful and liberating.
    Thanks for the reminder. Loving blessings

    • Hi Andrea!
      I like the idea of starting a new book too. When we get to the place where we are ready to let go and move on, we step into a place of happiness relieved of our burdens. Thanks for the comment Andrea!

  19. I kind of think somethings are better left unsaid. Closure doesn’t always equal truth. Yesterday may have been difficult but sometimes you have to make it up in your mind that you are going to move forward and make some positive experiences. I was reading this Robert Greene book and he said when you have a hurtful or bad moment, study it, analyze it, and move forward. By doing this quickly the feeling or emotion it brings along will pass. You loose time when you dwell. Great post. New reader.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers

%d bloggers like this: