6 Ways to get Closure from your past
I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. Is it important to get closure? Does closure really put an end to something? Are we all fooling ourselves or does closure really help? What does closure really even imply? You know, thoughts like these on closure.
My curiosity on my quest to understand closure, of course took me to Google and to Instagram stories. I asked a question on Instagram stories “Your thoughts on closure? Do you believe in Closure? Is it important to you?” and these were the answers I received – “Of course” “Yes! It’s so important” “It is necessary” “I always seek for closure” “I believe in them” “Closures suck!” “No such thing as closure” “Closure should be important” …and many more. But mostly the need for closure was affirmative.
Personally? If you ask my opinion, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t tried to seek closure one too many times in my life. My experiences led me to understand one thing. Closure is comforting. It’s a way in which we truly let go of someone or something or a painful memory. And that there are many ways to experience closure.
In psychological terminology, Closure or the need for closure is described as an individual’s desire to an answer for a confusing and vague situation. When we don’t necessarily have the answer, we become restless and irritable. People seek out closure to seek the answers to their questions and when they don’t get the answers they are in a state of ambiguity.
Closure is without a doubt is to do with relationships, the past, a bad memory or an event that brings nothing but pain and trauma. The past plays a dominant role when it comes to closure. It is in fact about the past and about making an attempt to move on, to try to understand something that didn’t work or end well.
In this article I’m going to share ways you can get closure from your painful memory or painful past.
Grieve – It’s quite normal right? To keep moving on instead of grieving about what happened. Maybe you didn’t grieve because you were in denial, feared loss, felt embarrassed, were angry. One of the primary ways to get closure is when you grieve about it. It usually depends on person to person and the event or what the situation was. Grief usually is implied when there’s a loss or termination of a relationship.
Talk about it – It’s important to talk. Clarify things especially when two people are involved. One of the most common ways to get closure is to talk about it with the person or people involved. Odds are you will get the answers you’re seeking for and things will resolve or you’ll gracefully part ways. Feelings matter when you’re trying to get closure from people. Sometimes people are comfortable to talk about it and sometimes they just want to bury the hatchet and start afresh.
Letter writing – This is highly effective when you need answers from someone or experience great deal of loss and sorrow and they aren’t around. Writing a letter addressed to the one you need closure from will help in getting rid of all the feelings of anger, guilt or regret. Sometimes a letter can be written to someone who is around but you’re afraid to talk to them directly and really need closure from them. It’s also your choice if you want to post them the letters or tear them to signify the closure.
Empty Chair – This is a technique used by Psychologists and Counsellors in their sessions. If you’ve ever visited a counsellor or taken session you might have experienced this one. Take two chairs facing each other. You sit on one chair and leave the other chair empty. Think about the person you want closure from and imagine him/her sitting on the empty chair. Imagine what according to you they are wearing, right from the clothes, to the colour. Once you’re comfortable, start having a conversation with them. Imagine the responses they are likely to give you and carry on the conversation telling them out loud everything you want to tell them which you couldn’t tell them when they were around or alive. This exercise is extremely helpful when you’ve had an ambiguous loss – a sudden death, unexpected death.
Forgiveness – This could be tough and, in some cases, very difficult but its if you want to really move on you’ve got to try this one out. Forgiveness doesn’t always mean to allow the other person back into your life. It usually means to you’re ready to let go of all that caused you pain and hurt and trauma. You forgive them so that you can move on without feeling stuck in the same situation over and over.
Therapy – Talking about your grief and loss to a professional counsellor will help in easing your pain and other feelings of guilt, anger and anxiety. It’ll help you get clarity and give you the guidance you need to move on.
Closure is personal and in some cases most people don’t give it too much importance. They move on without thinking too much and that’s okay. Closure allows people to move on and there isn’t any rule or strategy. Trust your gut above all.
I hope this article helps you the next time you want to get some closure. Apart from these if you’ve got a few other methods to help get closure share it in the comments below. If you like this article like it and share it with those who you think might need this a lot.
Pause, Breathe, Dream