Stressful Secrets

I’ve always struggled with keeping secrets. Secrets from my parents, lovers, and friends. I’ve kept my share of secrets in my life, I’m sure I’ll have a few more to keep.

Not all secrets are bad: surprise parties, romantic crushes and guilty pleasures (do I really need to share my love of Pokemon with everyone?). They can be harmless and even healthy.

It’s when a secret turns sour in your mind that keeping the secret isn’t as important as exposing it. Stress is probably one of the biggest side effects of keeping a secret.

One way to stay whole is to refuse to keep secrets from yourself. I know what it feels like to keep secrets. It’s trying not think about something that’s uncomfortable to think about, or taking a different perspective on something in order NOT to feel the way you feel.

The problem with keeping secrets like this is that you actually ‘need to know’ the things you’re trying not to know. You need to know, for example, how disappointed you are by what happened, or didn’t happen.

… How relieved you are to be free of debt…

… How angry you are at your spouse for ignoring your needs…

… Why did someone you haven’t heard from in years suddenly contact you out of the blue…

It’s important to know these things, because they’re true. And in a very specific way, the truth can set you free.

When you keep secrets from yourself, you break into two pieces: One piece that knows the truth (e.g., “I’m not happy in my relationship”) and another piece that doesn’t want to know.

As soon as that happens, you’re not whole anymore. You’re now divided in half, with tension between the two halves. It feels crummy because you know something’s not right inside. Why would someone lie to themselves and tolerate feeling less than whole?

The good news. You can choose right this second to let yourself off the hook! There’s no need to judge your thoughts or feelings. You don’t control them, they’re not even there by choice. And they’re not hurting anybody just by being inside you.

No one can see your insides. No one’s around to criticize. Stop judging yourself. Once you allow yourself to think and feel without judgment, you’re free to be 100% honest with yourself.

You’re free to be whole again. You’ll gain back all that energy that used to be spent keeping secrets from yourself.

Now … Is there something I want to tell you?