The Truth Is, You Don’t Need Closure To Move On

When it comes to closure, we’ve all been lied to. Society has force fed us this idea that we need absolute closure before we can move on with our lives. We have this painted picture of a perfect sit-down discussion where everyone receives the clarity they were looking for all along. We share our story, shake hands, and move along with a grin and a sense of accomplishment. Then we are cured. The heartbreak feels less broken and the confusion seems less confusing.

It’s a lie.

Endings are messy. There are loose ends that are destined to stay frayed and unkempt, ones that we could never tidy up, no matter how hard we try. Closure doesn’t come to people who are still on opposite sides, shouting over the fence and hoping their story is heard and accepted. Usually, embarking on a path for closure just ends with more hurting, more rejection, and more frustration that things never really got sorted out like you hoped.

The good news is that closure is not some mandatory prerequisite to moving on. You don’t have to wrap everything up in a pretty bow and put it on a shelf before finding happiness. Closure is an elusive myth, and it’s time we stop begging for it.

You have to accept the fact that sometimes, the other person doesn’t want to hear your side. They don’t want to understand you. They don’t want to soften up. Sometimes they want to stay angry or be bitter about the mess you endured together. There is no room for agreeing to disagree, because they simply don’t want that. At the end of the day, that has nothing to do with you.

You can explain and elaborate your story until you are blue in the face and out of breath, but it’s no use. You can be as sweet and accommodating as possible and it still won’t be enough. If they are not ready to accept your side, you won’t find your closure. Sometimes, they’ll never be ready. Sometimes, you won’t be willing to accept their side, either.

So where do we go from here?

Well, ideally, we go forward anyway. Forget trying to leave things on a high note so you can feel better about how it all ended. You don’t need that. What you do need is to be confident in the fact that things turned out the way they did for a reason. Be confident that you are meant to move on from this, no matter how the broken pieces landed. It doesn’t matter if you wish you could go back and word things differently or change the way everything played out, because you absolutely can’t change any of it. Forward is the only direction to go.

You can create your own sense of closure for yourself, without permission from whatever is holding you back. You don’t need anyone’s approval or well wishes to learn your lesson and take it forward. Hold onto the good, whatever you can learn from this mess, and be thankful for those little silver linings. You are stronger now, you are wiser for it, and you will do better the next time around. These lessons will stick with you regardless of anyone else, and they can’t take them from you.

Not every connection is meant to be a forever one, and that’s okay. So stop waiting for picture-perfect endings before you allow yourself to carry on, because you can’t spend the rest of your life hoping for someone to cut you loose. You only find true closure when you decide that you are unapologetically ready for your next chapter to begin, no matter how the last one ended.

About the author
Colorado native, cult escapee. Follow Stephani on Instagram or read more articles from Stephani on Thought Catalog.

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