Plus, a sample closure letter for your benefit
Closure (n): a feeling that an emotional or traumatic experience has been resolved (Lexico)
Your workplace has laid you off, citing performance issues, which is rubbish.
The editor you’ve pitched your article ideas to hasn’t responded to even one of your numerous emails to them, despite their activeness online.
The person you’ve been seeing has ghosted on you, without bothering to say goodbye, just like how ViRu does to PiKu in my book PiKu & ViRu. (Buy/download, read, and review it here; it’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited!)
What’s common between these three scenarios?
All of these have the potential to leave questions in our heads. Questions for which answers are hard to come by.
We then make it our life’s mission to get these answers. After all, how can the mind possibly rest when there are gaps in its repository of information? It pushes and pesters us to get these answers so it can go back to its normal peaceful mode.
But no matter how hard we try, these answers elude us. We then seek them from various quarters, sometimes even from those who caused this stalemate situation in our lives, despite our negative emotions for them. And when these people are unable to deliver anything concrete, we go back to square one.
What if there’s a way for us to regain our peace and happiness without relying on these answers to come to us?
What if we can forgive someone without waiting for their apology?
What if we can bring closure to ourselves on our own without relying on another person to do so?
And there is a powerful way to do all this: through writing.
Words, when cleverly strung together, can shift and reorganise the information in our minds. And the matter of closure is no exception—when we can’t get it from another person, we can change the story in our heads by leveraging the power of writing.
There are several writing exercises that can help us here, and you can work in tandem with a therapist to figure out which of them works best for you, according to the situation you’re in.
One of them that seems to have clicked for me is writing a carefully and strategically worded letter by hand to the person you’re seeking closure from.
You pour out all our thoughts and feelings in this missive. The key is to write it in the present tense, focus on what you want, and keep things optimistic, constructive, and peaceful.
There’s no need to send this letter to that person. You can seal the letter in an envelope with that person’s name written on it and drop the lot somewhere random, leaving it to Nature to decide whether that person receives the letter or not. While there is a possibility of phrasing the letter in such a way that it works from the get-go, it’s always better to let it go somewhere outside.
By writing this letter, you aren’t pardoning that person for their actions. You aren’t letting them get away for what they’ve done. But you’re surely taking a step in getting rid of all the unpleasant emotions that linger for long and wreck your mental and even physical health.
Forgiveness and closure are very, very selfish acts. You’re doing this exercise strictly for yourself rather than for another person. You’re stopping this person from dictating and governing your emotions, and you’re taking your power back from them. You stop obsessing over them and lose all desire to get back at them.
Here’s a sample closure letter I’ve come up with. Do let me know in the comments how it turns out for you. As I said, run it by your therapist to see whether this format suits you. If there’s another writing exercise you need me to touch upon, do tell me. I’d be happy to devote a blog post or more to it.
Dear (the person’s name),
Hope you’re safe and well.
By writing this letter addressed to you, I’m getting over all the unpleasant feelings I’ve had for you (insert names of these specific feelings), ever since (describe the incident that caused these feelings).
By writing this letter addressed to you, I’m forgiving you and we’re becoming better friends than before. I’m realising that whatever has happened, is happening, and will happen between us is PERFECT, and so, I’m losing all my fears and regrets.
There’s only peace, security, and positivity between us—a win-win equation. I’m resuming being happier for you and prouder of you. I’m adopting the right mindset and attitude, taking the right actions, and having the right responses in any situations related to us.
This letter has also opened the gates for (an event or person you’re looking forward to).
All of the above is happening, regardless of whether this letter is reaching you or not, whether you’re being able to read this letter or not, whether you’re reading this letter or not.
I’m leaving it to Nature and the Universe to decide our fate.
Meanwhile, if you need someone to talk to, I’m always a phone call away.
Thank you, and take care.