Are there messages you’ve left unsaid, situations left incomplete, or wounds left untreated waiting to be healed? Do experiences flicker in and out of your conscious mind reminding you that they remain untended, tugging at you for resolution? In end-of-life work, this is what is referred to as “unfinished business.”
One of the most powerful ways to cultivate the experience of living unapologetically is to ensure that you take care of your unfinished business, not in the future but now. Throughout my experience as a bereavement counselor and hospice social worker, as well as my academic training in thanatology, I have seen how doing so will help you to live more freely and at a higher vibration. Finishing your unfinished business allows you to live unapologetically. As you know by now from reading this blog, living unapologetically is one of the most potent lessons modeled by the Goddess Inanna.
With her mastery over the Death Mysteries, Inanna is the perfect guide to help us take care of our unfinished business. In end-of-life work, it is common for social workers and chaplains to identify if a patient needs help completing personal and internal contracts. In addition, they may work with family members to determine if they have any unfinished business with the patient. Specifically, unfinished business comprises situations in our lives that we do not address because we are afraid of the outcome. One of the central expressions this can take is the feeling of regret. Regret not only blocks joy but also lends itself to the defense mechanism of denial or avoidance, which make it hard to live unapologetically.
One of the antidotes to regret is action, even if such action feels impulsive. In fact, throughout the mythic stories of Inanna, we see a goddess who doesn’t like to wait. There is a positive side to impatience, particularly when it comes to living unapologetically! Inanna doesn’t wait and let things build up. Instead, if there is something that feels unsettling to her, she acts with immediacy. Take inspiration from Inanna and take a closer look at what might be tugging at your heart. If it feels like there’s something you are avoiding, pause, drop into your heart and ask for clarity. Then begin to take steps to address it. For example, do you need to write a letter of apology to someone? Perhaps you need to speak to someone you cut off emotionally and open a dialogue of healing? Could you be ready to explore forgiveness? Do you have goals you have not yet actualized, parts of yourself you have not let out? Maybe it is quite simply trying something you’ve always wanted to try, like traveling to Egypt to follow an inner calling. Perhaps it is time to face and conquer an addiction, end a relationship that you know is over, or change careers to follow your heart.
In end-of-life work, I have seen a dramatic difference between the deaths of those who have taken care of their unfinished business and those who haven’t. It shows up at the end of our life in one way or another. In his song “Hitchhiker,” Neil Young echoes this sentiment with poignancy: “I tried to leave my past behind, but it’s catching up with me.” Clinically, leaving business unfinished can be the difference between complicated grief and grief that is considered normal. For a soul transitioning, it can make it easier or less easy to exit the body. One’s psychological state can have an impact on their physiological process. How can we be at peace, not just while we transition but while we live?
Taking care of your unfinished business requires courage and forethought. Although it may be difficult to address, the freedom that emerges upon its completion is powerfully liberating. It can help to work with a therapist or other skilled practitioner who may work energetically or in the Shamanic tradition to unpack something that is heavy and emotionally loaded. In addressing less weighty emotional transactions, try meeting them as they come up, thus ensuring nothing is left to fester or become an even deeper wound. Tackling this work limits a sense of regret and cultivates the experience of being at peace in your heart, thereby enabling unapologetic living. It is well worth it, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
Remember, there are helpers in both the seen and unseen worlds who can intervene and support you in this process. Ask for guidance if you need it, lean on a friend, use prayer, ask for assistance from your own Divine team or call on Inanna to help you finish your unfinished business now!
*Inspired by the wisdom of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna, this blog is an invitation to live as she does, like an Unapologetic Heroine.
Seana Zelazo, LICSW is a psychotherapist, spiritual coach and intuitive channel committed to helping us live unapologetically, by restoring balance within and without through the wisdom of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna. Look for her upcoming book The Return of Inanna: The Unapologetic Heroine in 2022. seanazelazo.com