This post is related to the first post of the year in my blog “What Will You Leave Behind?”. Closure in a way, is truly leaving behind something that you don’t want to experience any more.
Have you ever had someone who just dropped out of your life and you wonder what happened? Perhaps, you were the person who dropped out of someone’s life and they are wondering what happened? Ever regret not saying the proper thank you or goodbye? These types of situations are what we in coaching terms call “incompletes”. "Incompletes" are the secret little bugs that alone don’t cause much damage, but when you get a few of them over time, they can eat away some big holes in your life and feeling of well being.
Closures are about coming to terms with endings so you can move forward. Often times, people are regretful and have feelings of guilt when a parent or a friend dies and they never got to tell them, “I love you”, “thank you for being in my life”, “I am sorry”, etc. Closures can happen in person, by mail, or even soul to soul after one party has passed on. The point is not to have the receiver say, “yeah, thanks, that was just what I wanted to hear”. It is about the giver acknowledging the ending and honoring the relationship to say what they have to say to complete the cycle. It is similar to forgiveness in nature, it is not for the sake of the other person that we ask for forgiveness but for ourselves. Without closure we go through life carrying heavy loads on our backs or chained to our ankles, not recognizing why we are tired and drained.
Grief and allowing yourself to grieve not just the loss of a person, but a job or a marriage, is all part of closure. Often people don’t think that they need to grieve the loss of a marriage, especially if it was a bad one. However, whenever a phase or a relationship ends, it is also an ending of an identity or a past-time. In addition to missing the person(s) involved, you are also missing you and how you participated in that relationship. It is not about good or bad, it is just an ending that needs to somehow be acknowledged. I strongly recommend people create rituals for their closures. Perhaps you can honor your ending by treating yourself to a vacation, taking a workshop, going out with your friends, staying home in your pajamas all day and writing in your journal, etc. It could be anything, just do something so you can mark this event and then move on.
I have witnessed and personally experienced many "incompletes" that have gotten in the way of progress in life. So in the spirit of living a more fulfilling life in 2009, let’s bring closure to those pesky "incompletes". And if you are still not convinced, here are ten things that closures allow you to have or experience.
Top Ten Things Closures Allow:
- Moving on without feeling guilty, burdened, or empty
- A break in the cycle of repeating similar scenarios
- Attracting new, more fulfilling relationships
- Being more present
- Seeing the good and the bad (being more objective) about the relationship
- Letting go of an old way of being or an old identity
- The opportunity to start fresh with the same person (if you both wish and understand that it is different now)