Transitions are not easy, nor is embracing change. Sometimes changes bring finality. We have to let go of what once was and accept that the change has happened. Transitions lead us away from what is finished to something new that lies ahead. One door closes, and another one opens. Finding closure makes room for new possibilities.
So how do we find closure from the past?
- What or who am I holding onto? Why?
- Does holding on make me happy, or am I just missing or wishing things were different instead of how they actually turned out?
- Do I have any “unfinished business” that is keeping me from moving forward?
- Is “holding on” keeping me stuck?
- Am I trying to avoid dealing with loss I feel?
- What does letting go look like? What will I have to do?
- Am I afraid of the future?
- What do I believe will happen to me if I let go?
Be honest with yourself. It will pay off in the long run. The pain, hurt, anger, disappointment and loss will diminish once you’ve cleared the way to new beginnings.
It is important to take plenty of time to grieve changes. There is no set amount of time and no certain way to grieve. Everyone grieves their own way. Don’t let anyone tell you to “just get over it”. However, grieving should not go on for years. That’s just being stuck and still heavily invested in the past.
Create a ritual. Believe it or not, performing a ritual or “symbolic enactment” is a powerful tool to help gain closure. For example, when a relationship is over, what do you do with all of the meaningful items and objects, such as letters, pictures, etc., that were part of the relationship or event?
A “fire ceremony” is one way to let go of the past, but any number of rituals that you personally create can provide symbolic finality and closure.
Finding closure allows you to drop the emotional weights that hold you down. But sometimes, we don’t get closure. Yet we still need to move on. Once you let go and accept or make peace with once was, you can move optimistically ahead into your future. And hopefully, you will discover when you have moved on, you have gained new insight about yourself or the situation or events — even if they didn’t work out the way you thought they would.
- Searching for your life purpose?
- Looking for a new direction?
- Reevaluating your priorities?
What do you REALLY want to do with the next chapter of your life?