On my walk this morning, the guy whose lecture I was listening to touched upon the idea of “loose ends” when it comes to our stuff with other people.

Have you ever avoided a place or event because there might be someone with whom you have a “loose ends” kind of relationship? (I have.)

Have you felt stressed, anxious or out-of-sorts because of a loose ends situation? (I have.)

Have you been stuck because of a loose ends thing that doesn’t seem to make any headway? (I have been.)

Have you second-guessed yourself because of a loose ends situation you were or are now in? (Heck yeah.)

The talk made me wonder, how can we, on our own, forgive, let go, get the closure we need from a loose ends situation?

I happen to hate loose ends. I like everything tied up nice and neatly. I like set beginning and end points. I like lists and reasons. I do not do well with limbo, or unknown or in-between. 

But, alas, here is a newsflash: Life is messy. Things don’t always work or happen that way. Life is a series of loose ends. And some of them are never un-loosed. They just aren’t.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t wrap up things on our own. That doesn’t mean we can’t find resolution and an ability to move on on our own. Despite what happened. Despite what they said. Despite how it all shook out. Despite everything.

In fact, here is what I know: Your peace does not come from the other person. Peace is all about what we do with the information and the history and the emotions all on our own. Peace is about figuring it out on your own and being OK with what you figure out. Peace is about the ability to move on without regret and to look forward with the new lessons in tow.

Sure, I would love to live a life without loose ends. I would like to sit down and have a conversation with each and every one of those people and hammer it all out. But that isn’t happening.  Besides, the closure, the love, the forgiveness actually, ultimately, has little to nothing to do with them.

Those things are all about you.

In the book Eat, Pray, Love, Liz, protagonist and author, longs for closure with her ex-husband. She feels she cannot move forward with the loose ends and that he holds the key to tying up those loose ends. She becomes so fixated on seeing someone (or something) else as the key to her loose ends that she is unable to see or move beyond that.

Ultimately, and with some help from friends and from the meditative environment of an Indian ashram (the former of which most of us have, the latter no so much), she finds a different answer. A better conclusion. A new story. Or maybe none of it is new, but more of a remembrance. Whatever it is, it is the answer she waited to know. The key to moving forward. The bunny ears for the untied shoelaces. 

“You can finish the business yourself from within yourself. It’s not only possible, it’s essential.”

I wish that for me, and for you. Not the ability to finish the business yourself from within yourself — each and every one of us already has that ability. Yes, you already have that.

What I wish is the knowing, the awareness, the trust — that you can and will do this, when it is time, for yourself. That you will be able to see both the possibility and the essential-ness of this business-finishing power of yours and that you will grab it, despite the fear and question mark-ness of it all, and deal with those loose ends in a way that moves you forward in this ever-messy life of yours.

Yes, that.