It’s done. The words that were said can’t be undone, and as much as it pains you to think it, it’s over. There’s no going back to what things once were, and you know that – in fact, you think you’ve even accepted it and made peace with it, but somehow, that chapter hasn’t ended yet.
Perhaps when you’re lying in bed waiting to fall asleep, or maybe in the shower as a tiny rivulet of water runs down your back, thoughts of everything finds you. ‘Find you’ being an understatement, of course. It’s more like they come rushing at you a mile a minute, slamming you with so much force that for a moment you’re caught wondering what’s happening.
A whirlwind of emotions you’d thought you’d finally overcome, lifts you up miles above the ground, and you see all the things that didn’t happen, and the things that could have been…and you question whether you have just been lying to yourself when you said had made peace with the past.
You had been so sure you had found the answer. That you had found closure.
Stop right there and repeat after me: the need for closure is a myth. It certainly is a very coveted, very human and therefore natural want, but need?
No. Think about it.
We all like answers: a detailed breakdown of what it was we did wrong, whether it could have turned out differently, what would have happened if you’d said this or if they’d done that. But you know, we’re like that with everything.
English teachers have lectured us since the beginning of time to not leave ‘loose ends’ in our stories, while motivational speakers have told us that we’re writing our legacies with our time on Earth. Books and movies have spoiled us with ‘complete’ endings where even the villain gets screen time to show us where they end up. We’re so accustomed to it, we want answers so that we can neatly catalog a particular story with all the boxes checked off.
We like to tell ourselves that it’s important because it’ll help us know what to do in the future, what not to do, what to work on and I won’t argue that that’s not a valid want, but that’s my point: it’s a want. Not a need.
It’s already over, isn’t it? You were hurt. They were hurt. There were tears. There was pain. There had been laughter. There had been joy…and along with everything else, it’s in the past. (Remember, ‘closure’ is the conclusion of something; not an indirect hopeful attempt at rekindling what had been).
You don’t have your ‘closure’, but darling, as hard as it has been, you have been living your life and the lack of ‘closure’ doesn’t change the fact that the sun still shines and the wind still blows. And it shouldn’t stop you, either.
We want closure, but we don’t need it to move forward.
Because we never stopped moving forward. Even if the steps were small and hard, nothing ever came to a standstill. We just didn’t see it because we were looking at the same closed door and nothing else.
Do you see it now?
You’re not a broken glass doll that can only be put together by the person who broke you: you’re capable of doing that by yourself. In fact, even if others can piece you back together, you’re the one who knows how to do it best, so you know, maybe that can be your ‘good enough’ reason to start piecing yourself back together.
By all means, pursue that closure if you’re the type that needs to check off all the boxes – but please, please, don’t hold yourself hostage thinking there’s no other way. Life’s too short for that and you don’t want to find that all the oceans in this beautiful universe passed you by while you stared at the mountain.
Tear your gaze away.
Pick up the toolbox.
You got this.