Seeking Closure

I’ve read a number of posts dealing with growth and change. Comments have migrated into the topic of closure and it inspired me to write about that idea.

When I was younger, closure was a topic very important to me. I craved closure to know why certain things happened in my life. These situations included why my family of origin and family of choice both ended, why a girl would break up with me, why friendships would end, or why I wasn’t selected for a job.

Some things that are broken can't be repaired

Some things that are broken can’t be repaired

I fought tooth and nail to understand why. Why did these things happen? I spent a lot of time focusing on myself. What did I do wrong? Why don’t you want to be in my life? What was wrong with me? Can we please just talk about it so I can understand?

Broken hearts will bleed

Broken hearts will bleed

I finally learned that often times people’s actions and, subsequent reactions to us, are often not in response to something we have done but more so driven by their own experiences and insecurities. Thus, the reason I was never able to find the answers I sought is because they didn’t exist. Closure doesn’t exist. Closure is merely something we seek to help us rationalize actions that occurred, usually in an unfair manner, as a sense to understand what went wrong. We seek some sort of justice that will always fall short of our expectation. The reason we can’t achieve closure is because things just are. Occurrences in life are often random and happenstance. Those things that aren’t, are usually precipitated by others’ actions that are out of our control and often have little to do with us.

I’m not suggesting that our own behaviors and actions are never responsible for the situations we find ourselves in. But, if they are, and we are honest with ourselves and not play the blame game, we don’t need closure because we already know where we need growth and improvement.

dont-go-through-life-grow-through-life-quote-1

Image one courtesy of dns8donquixote.wikispaces.com

Image two courtesy of blogs.lawyers.com

Image three courtesy of www.picturequotes.com

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13 thoughts on “Seeking Closure

  1. Your post is timely for me. Last night a girlfriend and I were discussing some crazy things happening in our lives that there is just no way to make sense of them but human nature is such that we try to make sense of what is going on. Your sentence, “Those things that aren’t, are usually precipitated by others’ actions that are out of our control and often have little to do with us.” resonated with me. One of the questions we asked was, “Do I really have permission to figure out what is best for me?” I think your post says, “Yeah, you do!”

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    • Thank you! It has been a topic on my mind as well. I saw the play All My Sons by Arthur Miller last night and the play, along with some recent conversations with various friends, inspired me to write this post. If you haven’t seen the play, I would recommend it as it asks similar questions.

      I think everyone should figure out what the best situation is for themselves but also understand that it is an amorphous process as is our journey through life as we have new experiences, meet new people, change our expectations and age.

      We have created a society of “cause and effect.” If I go to college, I will get a good job. This is just one example. But, life often doesn’t work that way. Sometimes things just don’t work out. And often there are no answers to why. We fail. Things happen. People pass away. Sometimes the effect isn’t precipitated by a cause. It just is.

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      • Thanks for taking the time to reply, Jarrod. Acceptance of what is, right here, right now, in this moment, isn’t always easy. I like your perspective that the effect isn’t necessarily precipitated by a cause, but just is. It makes me feel better and I thank-you for that.

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      • Sure you got it. I always enjoy having you here on the blog. Your comments are always very insightful and challenge me. So, I say thank you for that.

        You are welcome. I’m glad my words made you feel better. The best advice I can give anyone is you aren’t alone in your thinking. We are all human and face similar parallel situations so it isn’t surprising we ask similar questions and have similar thoughts.

        I’ve tried to move past a number of the trials and tribulations I’ve encountered in my life but some have been very difficult to do so. I’m not sure if it is the loss of the expectation, the pain, or the sorrow but it is difficult when your brain tells you the right thing to do but your heart pushes back. I am the only one that can move past them and I often wonder if I will ever allow myself to.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that if we believe we experienced closure it is only because we’ve forced it so much that the alternative is good. In the sense that I believe I reached a closure, but only because my life is better than what it would have been had I chosen a different path. I actively sought something out. It wasn’t what I had been hoping for, but my life turned around for the better that I believed the closure happened because I no longer had an attachment to said event.

    But I definitely understand what you are saying. Closure never happens how we want it, if it happens at all. We can blame others for how things happen, but in the end it isn’t helpful. Whether they are actually to blame or not, if we don’t move forward we are then only hurting ourselves.

    It’s a huge thing to realize though and I believe can only be understood through experience.

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    • What are you seeking closure on then if you believe your life is better off now than it had been had you made the alternate decision? Is your assessment you life is truly better now or that you just believe it is? I know that sounds like a question that cannot be answered since you obviously didn’t live the alternate reality but, I guess I associate the seeking of “closure” more for events that are negative that we seek to reconcile, or as you pointed out, rationalize, in our minds for acceptance.

      It wouldn’t seem that closure would be needed for a positive event but perhaps it is from the prism I am viewing it from.

      Blaming others is easier than accepting responsibility. We have all been guilty of it from time to time. It stems from anger and resentment and the desire to deflect it upon someone else to soothe our egos and pride.

      And you are correct. We are the only ones being damaged when we blame others. We allow others to control us. I believe experience, as you discussed, and maturity, self-awareness, and introspection help us to grow from that.

      Thank you for being so open in your comments Chelsea. I really enjoy having you on the blog. Your thoughts are always so insightful.

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      • Maybe I didn’t phrase it correctly because I do agree with your idea of closure. In September I was searching for closure on a breakup where the relationship was supposed to be long term and move me to Germany and then it didn’t and I was left at a loss because I put all my eggs in one basket. I wanted closure in the sense that I didn’t believe my ex broke up with me out of lack of love, but fear of commitment and I found out just a few weeks ago that it was neither, just his dream was too big that he couldn’t handle distractions and it made me happy that he was so passionate. Yet I had thought by following him I could still follow my dreams and by moving all the way to Australia I realized I wouldn’t have done well in Germany. That here in Australia is where I am making my dreams come true. It was just helpful that I found something so soon afterwards that made me so happy about life instead of dwelling on what wasn’t there.

        I hope that makes sense?

        And thank you! I also love that you are such an active reader on my blog and always look forward to your comments and insights. You’ve really made me think of things in different ways!

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      • Yes, I recall you discussing the break-up on your blog. I guess my point is that whether the break up was by your accord, his, or a product of circumstances – you couldn’t be together. Asking why only seems to create more angst over the situation.

        In a situation of a break-up, closure usually means rationalizing that I broke up with a woman for reasons that are valid in my mind thus it was okay. And, if a woman broke up with me, I search for reasons of why she didn’t want to be with me – things such as it is her loss, she’s too busy, she doesn’t want the type of relationship I want, etc. The list goes on and on. Either way, it is obviously a self-comfort thing to look for these answers. While there is nothing wrong with seeking to grow from a situation, there is often no easy answer of why. Things just are and they won’t be anymore, in this hypothetical example.

        I think in your specific case you did the best thing possible. It didn’t work out. You carried on and chased you dream and now you are doing what is right for you. You aren’t chasing the idea of why that particular relationship didn’t work out or even worse, trying to change yourself to acquiesce to what you thought you should or needed to be to make that situation work.

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