So here we find ourselves on the brink of a new year. Somehow, though, the transition from the old year to the new year never seems jarring enough for me, and I find myself unintentionally carrying the same baggage from year to year, and not getting the fresh start that I so desperately want. Maybe you find yourself in the same situation and you just want a clean slate for your new year. I’ve done a bit of soul searching and discovered that the main reason that I can’t seem to shake the old year is because I have a lack of closure.
A lack of closure can obviously cause hurt. Whether it’s damaged friendships, severed family ties, or rumors we all want some sort of closure from a situation that has hurt us. Far too often in life, we don’t get the closure that we so desperately want. This makes us hang on to people and situations that we shouldn’t, and we’re all hanging on to something that we shouldn’t be. Now you’re probably asking yourself something like “How do I move on if I didn’t have any closure?” If you’re asking that, you’re asking the same exact question I’ve been asking myself for almost 17 years. Honestly, I don’t really have a good answer for you or myself for that matter. To be totally honest with you, as I write this I’m frantically searching my Bible for a verse on closure. I should’ve done this sooner, I know, but sometimes it’s almost like we enjoy not having closure. Without closure, we feel that we have a valid reason to be upset about things and whenever they resurface or come back around we feel like we’re entitled to bad mouthing whatever it was that hurt us, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Now, that I’ve talked a little about a lack of closure let me give you some ideas on how to combat your lack of closure this new year:
Practice the Biblical response to people who treat you badly:
Let’s face it, most of the time the reason we don’t have closure is because someone wronged us and was not the slightest bit sorry about it. Admittedly, this can be pretty angering, but don’t be too quick to retaliate. Romans 12:19 says “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,'” says the Lord. So it’s pretty clear that we shouldn’t take these matters into our own hands, the Lord will take care of matters in a way that He deems fit. He is a just God after all. Instead, we need to treat those who have wronged us like Jesus would. Proverbs 25:22-23 says “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” So, while this verse technically isn’t about closure, it sort of is. This is a reminder that no matter how someone has treated you or what they’ve done to you – your job, as a Christian is to be the love of Jesus to them. I guess what I’m saying is, should you cross paths with the people that have hurt you treat them like Jesus would. It can be hard. Trust me, I know. Being the bigger person 24/7 can stink, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – it is totally worth it. Taking the high road can save you from a lot of regrets.
A way to recieve some closure:
I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how to get closure lately. One way is talking through what hurt you with the person that hurt you. While this is ideal, a lot of times it just can’t happen for various reasons. In the cases where that can’t happen, I’ve been trying to figure out how in the world to have closure. As a writer, I pour my soul into everything that I write, and this got me thinking. What if I wrote a letter to every person that I don’t have closure with? Now, I’m sure this isn’t groundbreaking, people have done this before me, but something about being able to tell the people who have hurt me exactly how I feel, why I’m angry, and why they should apologize really intrigues me. If you choose to do this, in the words of Ernest Hemmingway “Write hard and clear about what hurts”. Be open, and completely honest. This letter is different from other letters, though. This letter you don’t send. Oh, and you most definitely don’t keep it! Keeping it would only encourage you to re-read it and stew over it more and more.(That is most definitely not the purpose of closure, it’s the opposite!) Burn the letter, tie it to a balloon and set it free, cut it up, bury it in your yard! Do something that signifies that you are done and moving on.This new year, don’t hang onto things you know that you shouldn’t. Allow yourself to let go and have a new start
This new year, don’t hang onto things you know that you shouldn’t. Allow yourself to get some closure and move on from past hurts. Embrace your fresh start, and make 2017 your best year yet!