I was going through my old inbox trying to find some info for a book I’m writing, and I came across this very disturbing email. It was a message I wrote to an ex-boyfriend after he broke up with me. It was basically a closure email (well, one of many closure emails).
Why disturbing? First off, it was all very mean and unfounded. I wanted him to feel the same pain I was feeling at the time. Reading the email over again makes me want to apologize to the guy! But what I found most disturbing was the fact that I quoted Jay-Z in the email. Yep, I wrote, “ In the words of Jay-Z, either love me or leave me alone.”
And that, my friends, is why the need for closure is never best expressed outwardly. Looking back, you’ll always end up feeling stupid when you finally find some sanity.
Closure. What is it and do you really need it? There are a few reasons why people seek closure. One, there is a need to get answers to something that was unclear from the past. Two, you are looking for forgiveness. And three, you kind of just want to tell that person they hurt you and you hope they drown in a puddle of remorse.
While these desires seem like they can be solved by someone else’s words, I believe closure is always an inside job.
When you’re looking for an answer from someone else who hurt you, their response will never feel like enough. They’re never going to give you exactly what you need. Because what you need is within yourself. You need to forgive them and set yourself free from the past, so you can fully enjoy the present.
Besides, that person’s approval or disapproval does not define you. Does it really matter what they think of you? It most certainty doesn’t dictate what you can become right now. The only approval you need is your own.
If you’re looking for forgiveness, start by forgiving yourself. Stop judging yourself. Chances are the other person has already moved on, while you’re just sitting around replaying past scenarios in your mind over and over again. All you’re doing is missing out on today.
If you’re looking for the type of closure that comes when you make the other person feel the pain you’ve been feeling…. Well, you know better. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Making that person relive the pain only reenergizes your own pain. And who wants that?! Instead, forgive and be thankful for the challenge that allowed you to grow. And by the way, that doesn’t mean you have to forget.
So burn his letters, delete his emails, throw away his old shirts, but don’t write him a note telling him you’re doing so. You may just quote a rapper and then feel like a big loser years later. I’m just saying!