To Seek Closure or to Not?
Updated: Apr 16
Closure. As you read this word, it has an odd sense of melancholy (what I really meant was sadness, but I wanted to use a fancy word) to it, doesn't it?
Typically it brings to mind either the end of romantic relationships or the passing on of a loved one. Events in our lives that meant the world to us and then suddenly, overnight, packed their bags and quit on us. It's a weird feeling, isn't it? To be on the other end of this, where people have quit on you and have either left without an explanation or one that absolutely makes no sense.
Ughhh, it's like this sticky-messy-region in our brain that we want to shut the door on and never open again. What's the harm right? Just like so many shut-doors in our brain, why would it hurt to add one more?- Recent experiences in my life are showing me otherwise.
(It's not as though I've figured out how to deal with closure, but I'd love to share the efforts I'm making to not let it hijack my brain)
As humans we have a tendency to try and interpret the things in our life in the 'cause-effect' format and that helps us a great deal.
'Sun comes up every morning- Earth is rotating'
'Car isn't turning on- Engine is busted'
'Why am I eating a gallon of ice-cream- I hate myself'
And so on. You get the drift.
But this way of thinking only holds true for objective realities. But what about the subjective phenomenon? Like-
Why has my partner blocked my calls and switched their Facebook status to single?
My parent had a healthy lifestyle, why did they get detected with stage 3 cancer and pass on?
Best of luck with that 'cause-effect' BS cuz that ain't getting you nowhere my friend. All you can do then is sit by yourself and like me invent reasons for why you weren't good enough partner or child. Even though this process is self-destructive, inventing reason seems to lull us into a false sense of comfort, because guess what? It's 'cause-effect' all over again. Only this time, it is pure fiction.
My experiments in dealing with closure have shown me another way. Not that it is easy, but just pondering on it often makes me wonder about how wholesome and holistic it feels.
What if you were to drop the whole 'cause-effect' charade all together? Why do you want to know everything? What if I told you being objective towards the process would bring you much more peace than over-intellectualizing it will?
Think of it this way. 'Something once was and now it isn't' (even though you're thinking that I'm being so insensitive right now, read on). Our human mind loves 'chatter', any and every kind. Drama is all the more delicious because there is all the more 'chatter'. We as a species are absolutely terrified of being 'thoughtless' and are constantly finding excuses so as to not be left alone with our minds. Go on, try it now, I challenge you. Set a 20 second timer and try to sit 'thoughtless', prove me wrong. If you're like me, you absolutely struggle to go beyond 0.334245 seconds, there's just something unnatural about it that you feel.
My experiments with closure haven't yielded results yet, but there are some days where I'm not trying to overthink reasons for why my relationship ended, days where I view it objectively, almost like observing my mind from a third-person perspective, I tell myself 'It once was and it now isn't', and guess what? I find myself being surrounded by this calmness and for a brief few moments, I actually feel so much better. And then suddenly the dam breaks and my emotions enter the party, mad at me because they weren't invited and hijack the entire process. And there I am back again, letting my emotions make me feel bitter, cross and jaded all over again.
I know I know. 'Emotions make us humans, how can we not feel, life is so unfair, why does it always happen with me', is what you're saying. I say that to myself too. But honestly ask yourself, aren't you just tired with overthinking reasons you weren't given? How long can you go on this road before you realize it's a circle and you keep going 'round and 'round?
But I'm not here to tell you to do this 'today' or 'right now'. You run around in circles for as long as you want, maybe that's necessary in some ways for you. All I'm saying is when you're tired of all the running, think to yourself that you have a friend in me, who's telling you that it's okay that you're hurting and all your thoughts and feelings are justified. But give this 'It was and now it isn't' thought a chance. Just sit with all your thoughts and tell yourself that for a few moments you want to disassociate from all the mental 'chatter' all the blame games and not think anything. Look upon the event as a third person who has no attachments with it, and sit silent and thoughtless.
In a strange way, it helps me breathe again. I hope it helps you too.
If you're looking to hear this conversation in a warm, safe-space between friends, go ahead and listen to our podcast on this topic. It's a candid fireside chat about our experiences with closure and how we battle our mortal need for it. If you're going through a tough time, I can promise that you'll end up feeling lighter and better at the end of it :)
You can listen to our podcast here: https://bit.ly/closure-podcast
This was Zee, signing out for the day!
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