Thoughts on Finding Closure and Moving On

[I realize that this topic is outside my blog’s stated purpose of providing “Insights and Thoughts on Functional Fitness and Sports Performance Training.” However, I believe that total health/fitness are made up of many domains including emotional health/fitness. In the interest of exploring a more holistic view of health and fitness that touches on the emotional domain (and allowing me to conceptualize some thoughts), I ask for your indulgence as I “veer off course” a bit. Besides, it is MY blog. 😉 — G.M.]

“I think it’s important to have closure in any relationship that ends – from a romantic relationship to a friendship. You should always have a sense of clarity at the end and know why it began and why it ended. You need that in your life to move cleanly into your next phase.” — Jennifer Aniston

Let’s face it — relationships end. Sometimes badly. Sometimes it is crystal-clear as to why a relationship ends. At other times you may not have that sense of “clarity” that makes it easier “to move cleanly into your next phase.” I suspect that this possible uncertainty as to why a relationship has ended is somewhat inevitable. After all, two people can possess vastly different viewpoints on any given conversation, situation or occurrence. It is possible that you won’t even have the opportunity to speak with the other person and have a dialogue (e.g., receiving a text that states, “I don’t want to see you again. Have a nice life!”). So where does that leave you if you lack “clarity” as to how things came to an awkward, crashing end? How can you move on when you have unanswered questions?

Truth be told, you may never understand exactly what happened. After all, without getting inside a person’s mind, can you really understand why they do what they do? Besides, people sometimes act in direct opposition to their stated thoughts and motivations (e.g., the person that claims to want to lose weight, but refuses to make the necessary lifestyle changes to make it happen). I am convinced that other people’s reactions to us have as much to do with who they are and where they are at in their lives, as it has to do with us, our actions, and who we are. This shouldn’t be construed to mean that it is all about the other person. A relationship requires the interaction of more than one person. It is just that you probably have a pretty good idea of what you think your contributions were, if any, to the end of the relationship.

Perhaps you don’t have to understand. You just need to find a way to move on and come out on the other side with the ability to love and trust again. Perhaps you just need time to grieve the loss. Perhaps you will always carry a scar. I once remember reading that a scar is proof you survived a traumatic event. Not to be labelled a pessimist (I consider myself to be fairly optimistic), but pain does seem to be inexorably linked to the human condition. If you live long enough, at some point you are going to be hurt or disappointed. Most of us will also experience a variety of positive emotions and experiences as well. Hopefully, the good times outweigh the bad. But there really isn’t a way to avoid hard times. You can distract yourself, involve yourself in other activities/pursuits, and surround yourself with friends/loved ones while trying not to focus on the pain, but at some point you have to come to terms with it. Of course, I strongly believe in the value of taking care of yourself
(e.g., eating well, exercising, getting your sleep, etc.) at times like these. I just don’t believe that you can skim past the hurt without eventually dealing with it (much like you can’t ignore a serious illness/injury). But with time (and perhaps some help), I believe you will come through on the other side; hopefully stronger and better prepared for whatever else life holds in store for you in the future.

You may leave a relationship without “clarity” as to why it ended, but hopefully in time you will find yourself in a better place where the question “Why?” is not felt so painfully and urgently. I don’t know if that is closure, but I think it is realistic.

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2 Responses to Thoughts on Finding Closure and Moving On

  1. Pingback: “Thoughts on Finding Closure and Moving On” | Under Carolina Skies

  2. gregmaness says:

    Reblogged this on Greg Maness' Under Carolina Skies and commented:

    Below is a link to a blog entry that wrote back in early 2014 on the topic of closure. I don’t know that I am any better equipped to offer any insights on the subject. I do know that how a relationship ends has a significant effect on how we process the relationship’s demise, how we view the relationship when we look back upon it, and what lessons we might take from the relationship. With time to gain some perspective, I have learned that ruminating on a relationship that ended badly is an unnecessarily painful exercise. I have also learned that denying someone the opportunity to say goodbye is hurtful and can wound someone for long after a relationship has ended. People make mistakes. I have made mistakes. Hopefully I learn from these painful lessons and I learn to be more kindhearted when possible. If I once cared for someone, I should probably try if to end the relationship in a manner that spares their dignity and allows them the best possible opportunity to process the relationship’s end. So ends the lesson. 😉

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