When someone you care for leaves your life, on bad terms or with no explanation – it’s hard to accept that person really left – just like that, after everything you shared with them. You drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what went wrong.
It’s a horrible feeling to have unanswered questions about why a relationship has ended. All you want to know is how the other person feels, so you can understand why they lashed out, or left you, or did that horrible thing to you.
You question if you did something wrong and you wonder if they ever truly cared as much as you did to be able to let the relationship go so easily.
You feel like nothing and no-one except that person can truly help you, as only they can give you the answers you need to move on. Closure.Unfortunately, I’ve learned that sometimes you just don’t get to get closure.
Not the kind of closure you’re hoping for, anyway. Especially in this day and age, almost everything is done on social media.
Instead of resolving issues, you can just block and delete someone from your life so it’s like you never even met them. Much quicker and easier than meeting up and hashing it out over a coffee.
As painful and difficult as it can be, we have to learn to move on without closure – because it’s a part of putting ourselves first.
We don’t need to sit around and wait for someone to explain why they hurt us, or why they don’t want to be in our life anymore.
We’re strong enough to move on by ourselves.
We know we deserve to be treated better and deserve people in our lives that know our worth.
We have to accept when things are done and be prepared to truly move on so we can be in the right frame of mind to receive better treatment.
Here’s what I mean by that: let’s say your boyfriend or girlfriend of three years one day decides to piss off and leave you for someone else. No explanation.
You spend months going over and over it in your mind, wondering what you did wrong, wondering what why you weren’t good enough for him or her to stay.
You never truly get over it, because you don’t accept that you can without closure. More time passes and then you meet a great guy or girl, who really genuinely likes you and wants to treat you well. BUT:
You can’t accept that love because you’re still damaged from your past experience.
You can’t trust that person – after all, you trusted your ex and look how well that went for you?
You can’t believe that person really, genuine likes you for you because those unanswered questions you had after your ex left you still linger in your mind and cause insecurity.
This isn’t healthy.
And this is what can happen if we rely on someone else to bring us closure before we allow ourselves to move on.
So how do we move on without closure?
Step 1 – Acceptance
Not of what the person has done to you, but acceptance of the fact that not everyone that enters our life is meant to stay.
The Universe brings people into our life for a reason, and even if you wish you never met that person and feel like it was all a waste of time, believe me – one day you will be able to see why that person was a part of your story and your journey. Fill out a Relationship Repair worksheet to help you heal any unresolved pain from past relationships.
If someone has left your life, chances are they really weren’t meant to stay any longer. There are no coincidences in life, and everything happens for a reason.
Step 2 – Forgiveness
This is where it gets tricky. Having to forgive someone who didn’t ask for your forgiveness is in fact, incredibly difficult.
But without forgiving, we can’t move on. If we don’t forgive, we hold a grudge – meaning that person will continue to have an effect on how we feel, which means we stay in the same place. We don’t learn or grow from the experience.
Instead, we stay stuck in a place of anger and upset, waiting for a confrontation or apology we may never get.
Remember that everyone has their own struggles in life, their own issues and events unfolding in their life, causing them to act a certain way towards other people.
Happy people don’t hurt people (not intentionally, anyway). So if someone hurt you, they were unhappy.
Instead of being angry at the person who hurt us, we should feel compassion for them. What a shame that they are so unhappy, that they hurt an amazing person like you.
That doesn’t mean it was fair on you, or that you condone whatever they did. It just means that you recognise that it wasn’t really about you at all, and take comfort in that.
The thought of forgiving someone who isn’t even sorry seems impossible, but coming from a place of compassion makes it a lot easier to do.
Step 3 – Put that forgiveness on paper
Grab a pen and paper and make sure you’re not going to be disturbed for this bit. If you’re anything like me, you might feel a bit silly doing this at first. That feeling will pass once you really get into it.
What you’re going to do is write a letter to the person that hurt you (don’t worry, you’re not giving it to them!):
- telling them why they hurt you – essentially what you’d want to say to them if you ever did get that closure conversation
- And telling them that you forgive them – send them love and wish them happiness
You’re going to have to dig up buried feelings and re-live painful memories in this exercise. Be OK with however your body responds to that. If your eyes well up, let the tears fall. Don’t fight any feelings, because you need to be totally authentic during this process.
Once you’re happy that you’ve said everything you could have possibly wanted to say, take a deep breath, and truly feel the words you’ve written. Truly forgive that person and feel compassion for their unhappiness. Wish them well.
Think of that person, who hurt you so badly, smiling, loving life and finding true happiness. If that thought makes you feel happy, you know the exercise has really worked.
Next, destroy the letter however you want. Once you’ve done this you’ll be feeling happy and positive – I promise. When I finished doing this exercise, I felt such a strong feeling of lightness around my shoulders, literally like a weight had been lifted off of them – it was surreal.
I wanted to ride that wave of positivity and use it as an opportunity to attract some good things into the space I’d created once I had eliminated all the bad feelings. So the next thing I did was make a list of the kind of people I did want to attract into my life, and some hopes and goals I had for the future.
I lit a candle, turned off the light, and just watched the flame dance around for a bit. I thought about all the things I was grateful for and reread my list.
I sat still and just focused on the warmth and beauty of the flame, the sweet fragrance coming from the candle and my breathing, for 10 minutes. Then I blew out the candle and went to bed feeling incredible.
I wrote 5 forgiveness letters at once, and 24 hours later, 1 of those 5 people actually contacted me and apologised for what they had done. A few weeks later, the second person and I resolved our issues. I’m in a great place with them both now.
I know – it doesn’t sound like the type of thing that works. And to be honest, it probably won’t, unless you really do want to move on and create change in your life.
You have to want to let go. You have to feel so tired of being upset, angry, hurt and confused, that you’ll do anything to feel normal again.
You have to want change so badly that you’ll do this for yourself. It truly is a humbling and therapeutic experience – and I highly recommend you give it a try.
Sometimes you have to give yourself your own closure so you can move on and start accepting better into your life as soon as possible.
“If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho