Life is filled with beginnings and endings.But before we can begin a new phase in life, we must get closure on the old.
Many of life's experiences call for closure. With closure comes a sense of completion to help us move toward new beginnings.
Completion doesn't necessarily mean finality. It is a transition. It is an acknowledgment that a change has taken place.
Why do we seek closure? Because we want an understanding of what happened. We want to know what we did or did not do. We want to tie up loose endings or sever the ties that bind. We may want to honor the ending of a certain phase of life.
Actually, we don't seek closure. We create it.
We create closure because of our desire to emotionally lay to rest feelings and issues that may be holding us back.
What happens when we cannot achieve closure? We are left to grieve, to pine for the past, and to hold onto connections with others that no longer serve us.
But all is not lost. We can still create a sense of completion in ways that allow us to consciously honor and release an experience so that we can move forward.
We do this by first defining any loose ends. What residual emotions are lingering inside that are preventing you from moving on? Usually it is some form of anger or guilt.
Give expression to those feelings in a constructive way. See them as a necessary step on your life's path. Acknowledging these feelings sets the stage for letting go of them.
Send forgiveness with blessings. Forgiveness unties the bindings that have been holding us back. Even if it feels contrived, empty, or hypocritical at first, keep sending blessings. Eventually, the anger or pain will lift from your heart.
Offer a heartfelt apology if you feel guilt or shame over what has happened, or if you are the one who needs forgiveness. Take full responsibility without offering excuses or qualifying statements.
Have a symbolic closure ceremony. People still hold funerals or memorial services for their loved ones whose bodies were never found. You can still have a "formal" way to say goodbye to relationships that were never resolved. Write a farewell letter, an apology, or a eulogy to that person and then burn it along with items that are reminders.
Creating closure is not an end but a new beginning. It affirms that we have done what was needed. We may never erase the memory, but we can grow wiser because of the experience, and we can use the experience to better ourselves and to help others.
Creating closure is about turning the end of something into a turning point where you will be ready for whatever life brings next.