Perhaps you’ve had an experience in which you walked away from something or someone in your life, only to realize that an even better thing or person was waiting for you. Maybe you had to quit a job in order to have the time to start your own business. Maybe you had to leave a life partner in order to find true love. Or maybe you had to move out of your home town in order to figure out who you really are.
In all of these scenarios, the act of creating closure in one area of life creates room for the opening of another (potentially even better) area of life that is yet to be explored. Saying goodbye to a person, place, or way of life can be difficult, but it is this same pain of separation that widens our aperture for what could be possible—if we choose to see the opportunity.
The choice we all face
As we leave our old world behind, we step into the uncomfortable unknown with a choice: to take that step out of fear or to take it with curiosity. Fear closes us down. It shuts off our ability to exchange energy with our surroundings—including the people in our lives.
Curiosity, on the other hand, heightens our senses. It inevitably gives rise to awe, gratitude, and learning. What separates those who move through life out of fear and those who move with curiosity is a single decision: to choose to be curious or to choose to be fearful.
This decision affects many things in life, including our general level of happiness and fulfilment, our outlook on what lies ahead, and perhaps most notably, how eager we are to seek closure in our own lives.
To live a curious life is to constantly seek out the new. And in order to make room for something new, something old must go. A man who wants to take up mountain biking may have to give up watching TV in order to set aside time to ride the trails. A woman who wants to explore her sexuality may have to separate from a partner who isn’t making her happy.
We aren’t going to live forever
Energy and time are finite resources for human beings. There isn’t enough of either to allow us to do everything or be in two places at once. Thus, we must prioritize while keeping in mind we can change our minds at any time.
As we feel fear creeping in and telling us that it’s not safe to try something new, it’s vital that we recognize the fear for what it is and remind ourselves to adopt a curious mindset instead. To seek out closure in our lives in the same way pruning a branch helps the rest of the tree grow healthy and strong. Sometimes, making the hard decision can seem impossible, but once it’s done, there is a sense of overwhelming relief and joy at finally being free of the fear.
Look in the mirror
What area of your life may need pruning? Are you operating out of fear instead of curiosity? Fear of what may happen if you leave that job, that partner, or that way of life? Keep in mind the adage of “when one door closes, another one opens.” There is truth to this statement – you have one life, and limited time and energy available. How will you spend it?