While a new year is a wonderful opportunity to start fresh, consider new possibilities and set goals, before turning your thoughts to a list of resolutions, you also need to look closely at the year that’s just come to a close. Before you can move forward, you must consider what brought you here to this moment. By looking at where you are now, you can decide what you want to carry with you as you face another year.
Almost more importantly, you can decide what you want to leave behind. If there are feelings, problems or pain that you’d rather not take with you as you move forward, read on to make sure you get the emotional closure you need to really evolve in the year to come!
Do I need emotional closure?
Sometimes we need to cut the cords that bind in unhealthy ways so we can grow and find freedom and forgiveness. The act of finding closure can include coming to terms with difficult experiences, freeing yourself from emotions, people or experiences that drag you down, or finding of forgiveness, tranquility and peace.
If an experience haunts you – large or small – with the ghosts or the conversations of the past constantly returning, reminding you of unpleasant experiences and weighing you down you need emotional closure. If feelings like anger, pain, sadness or regret become too powerful, you need emotional closure.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Is there some course of action I can take to bring an end to the pain?
2. If this plan of action were successful, how would I feel?
3. Do these feelings match up to how I ideally want to feel?
4. Is there any other course of action that would require less of me, but might give me the same result?
(For instance, would writing a letter to an ex… would it give you the same emotional closure as a meeting in person? If so, do what is easiest on you.)
It may be this easy
The next time your mind starts to have a conversation with the person you were hurt by, or you have unresolved issues with, simply stop and put a period at the end of your thought. Even say aloud, I am done talking about this. Forgive yourself and move on in your thoughts. It can even work if you start replaying a scene in your head that will not go away. Say to yourself, “This is the last act. The play is over.” It can be just that easy. Try it.
Write a good ending
Keep in mind, while there may be a need for resolution, the only good solution is one that will not create more problems. If the only course of action you can think of opens the door to other problems, it might not be the right moment or way to seek closure.
Whether it’s telling the person who hurt you about what you’re feeling, confiding in a therapist, close friend or personal advisor, expressing your feelings is key to achieving emotional closure. If you’re planning to meet with the person who is at the source of unhealthy feelings, it’s important to let them know why you want to talk. Make sure it’s clear that the meeting is an “emotional closure meeting,” so that it doesn’t come as a surprise to the other person. It’s important to follow your instincts. If you know at a gut level that the other person won’t be able to give you the closure you need (because they are angry or vengeful), don’t meet in person. You’ll have to find closure another way. Here are some suggestions:
• The age-old recourse of writing it out can be a great tool. Try writing a letter addressed to the offending person. Maybe it’s a letter you want to mail. Maybe it’s one you want to tear up or file away as a journal entry.
• While writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a great release, voicing them out loud can also have a liberating effect. When you have some alone time, reflect and meditate on what’s bothering you, and then begin saying your thoughts out loud. Whether you are talking to yourself or to the Universe, your voice has an exorcising power.
• Many times the conclusion we need is actually to forgive. Over time, forgiveness is the one sure cure for many emotional wounds.
Maybe next year…
Yet again, maybe you aren’t ready to put an end to your issue because you’re still healing. Or perhaps what you perceive as a problem is also providing something positive in your life that is preventing you from cutting the cord. Whatever the situation, finding completion can be encouraged, but it can’t be forced. If you’re just not ready to cut a cord, find forgiveness or let the past be the past, remember it doesn’t mean you’re a bad, lesser evolved or that you’re stuck and can’t grow – it just means you’re human and need more time to heal and move ahead in other ways.
The best thing you can do is to allow yourself more time and acknowledge that you will do so with an affirmation. Think, say aloud or write, “I am giving myself as much time as I need to find the peace I hope for.” The right time will come. Most likely, it will happen in the year ahead.
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