In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the six steps to finding closure.
First a quick update:
“HLN TV – Jason Young murder retrial”
Watch the TV interview and analysis I gave to HLN about the character of Jason Young following the testimony of mistresses and ex-fiancé in the retrial of Jason Young accused of murdering his pregnant wife Michelle. Two women say they had sex with Jason Young in the weeks before his wife’s death; Young’s ex-fiancé also says he physically attacked her. Watch it here.
“Whitney Houston & the new drug culture”
Listen to the controversial and forthright interview I gave to Jay Thomas SiriusXM radio about the new drug culture – ‘anytime something goes wrong take a pill’ – a strategy, paradigm and practice that perpetuates, enables and promotes drug addiction. Also, read the transcript of the interview I gave to Radio New Zealand National’s Jim Mora about Whitney Houston, celebrities, addiction and the “Impostor Syndrome”.
Now, let’s talk about the six steps to finding closure.
One of the great dilemmas we face in life is change. There is a part of us that longs for change and another part that fears the change and instead longs for consistency. This is the battle or conflict between two primary human emotional needs – 1 Security and; 2 Challenge.
(Read my article: “Getting your six needs”)
And yet, nothing ever remains exactly the same; things, situations, circumstances, jobs and people constantly change. Simply put, things come to an end; a door closes and we have the opportunity to open a new door and step through it, and into a new world or new experience.
But some of us refuse to close the old door or we put one foot through the new door but refuse to step all the way in and enjoy the new world.
We cannot enjoy a new experience while we hold onto the past and while we refuse or struggle to find closure on the past.
Closure refers to finding or achieving a comforting or satisfying finality or ending. Simply put, closure is about accepting what has happened and moving forward with a new enthusiasm for new possibilities i.e. finding joy and hope in the present versus longing for the past; enjoying with all of our senses what is happening right now versus being controlled by negative and destructive emotions and thoughts about the past.
Here are a few steps to getting closure.
1. Honesty – personal inventory
List all of your emotions – anger, guilt, revenge, regret, fear, disappointment, and so forth. Write “I feel…” List all of the benefits of the old job, relationship or situation. Note that it is most likely true that a large part of your identity and self-esteem were connected to that job or relationship.
2. What do you want?
What and whom are you holding onto? What are you afraid would happen if you were to let go? How does it benefit you (or protect you) by holding onto that person, situation or belief? In other words, what are you still trying to control? List what you now want. Most likely there is a part of you that wants to be heard, to be expressed. What do you want to say? What are you seeking – an explanation? Write it all down and hold nothing back.
3. New understanding and perspective
Describe in writing the relationship or job from your perspective and how you think the other person (or boss) might have perceived and interpreted the relationship or job. Consider who you are (personality, traits, beliefs, insecurities, background, programming, expectations, etc) and consider who the other person is (personality, traits, beliefs, insecurities, background, programming, expectations, etc.) Write and list what you imagine the other person might have felt or experienced in this relationship. List anything that might have been beyond the control of either of you.
4. Forgive (bless the other person)
If the other person clearly and deeply wronged or hurt you, then it will be a challenge to forgive them. But forgiveness sets you free and releases you of the poison inside of you. Forgiveness occurs by gaining new understanding and new wisdom – new insights into why they did what they did. Step three above “New understanding and perspective” aids the forgiveness process. You will ultimately arrive at the understanding that whatever they did or didn’t do was not because of you but rather, because of the way they learned to respond and react to your actions i.e. that we humans are imperfect and we all make mistakes and screw up. Buddhism teaches to pray for the happiness of your enemies – to bless them; Jesus when asked how many times a person should forgive his brother, replied “seventy times seven” i.e. unlimited forgiveness.
Our natural response based on our ego usually is that the other person was wholly wrong and we were wholly pure or in the right. However, unless we are children and thus real victims, we usually played a part in the outcome – even if it was failing to speak up or take action sooner. What role did you play in the outcome? What did you do wrong? Were you trying to sabotage the relationship or job? Why? Be willing to say to yourself that you made mistakes, that you were wrong. Be willing to apologize to the other person if it is appropriate and in the best interests of both of you.
6. New creation
What do you want to create now? What is the new beginning that you would like to shape? What is on the other side of the new door? List your new identity, your new vision. List what you have learned from the past and what you will do differently now; it might simply be saying “I love you” more often or speaking up in the moment.
The precise steps of the closure process also depend on the specific challenge and circumstance presented but in almost every case, there will be a need to go through the grieving process. Learn more about the about the grieving process in my article “Time doesn’t heal all”.
Some cases of closure might involve speaking to the other person, to hear their side and perspective, although, it might not be always be possible. There are documented cases where murderers have apologized to victim’s families resulting in emotional freedom and release for the families and; cases where victims have verbally confronted their rapist and have also found release by being able to express themselves and seek an explanation.
If you yearn for closure and to get over it, follow the process listed above and use my program, the “Get Over It” package.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.