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Swan

Secrets and Lies

Freedom to Think

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‘You are only as sick as your secrets’

This is just about the oldest wisdom shared amongst the clientelle of Alcoholics Anonymous. I think it has a ring of sense about it, and I guess (based in part on my experience of those that drink) that I can make a case for the logic that might invite a recovering alcoholic to address their shame with such a candid world view

But, and I guess I am spit balling here, would such a simple eight word mantra invite anything like the same rewards for all of us regular Joe’s?

I am thinking that secrets are never a good thing. I emphasise not rarely, not sometimes, not even occasionally, but never, not in the long run. I guess my evolving belief is that a secret is a kind of lie. By either definition I consider them likely to lead to ‘anti-trust’ and ‘anti-safety’.

‘To knowingly leave someone in a state of misunderstanding about something you believe is important to them’ – Al Turtle’s definition of a lie

My imagination pictures secrets as bell weights. In life I think these bell weights may seem invisible, or at least we may convince ourselves they are so. The bigger the secret the larger the weight.

Each of these weights are attached to each of us by a fine yet almost unbreakable gossamer thread. I see this thread as never fraying, nor breaking by circumstance, excepting only by the scissors of ‘sharing your version of the truth’.

I believe that in mainstream western society we are taught from birth that a secret or two (or a hundred) is the absolute norm; skeletons in the closet are a pre-requisite to emotional privacy, and a protection for our view of other folks feelings.

So in my mind each of these weights has a drag co-efficient, and I suppose my thinking is that co-efficient comes in two parts.

Firstly like any burden, the longer you carry it the heavier it becomes.

Secondly even if you do ‘come out’ you can only effectively cut the cord by sharing with those you believe would prefer on balance that the secret not be secret.

There is another point that wanders into my thinking, and that is that secrets appear to be quite addictive...........

So how to break the addiction? Carried since infancy, practiced and honed, and quite often invisible to each of us.

Well I thought I would turn back to AA and defer to their 12 step program, and I am gonna go with number 4 as a practical starting point in my view

4. ‘Make a searching and moral inventory of yourself’

I think a long look (and perhaps a piece of paper) at all those bell weights. I guess the next step, and life is a marathon not a sprint, would be to stop adding any more to that burden (tis just my thinking)

This too I guess comes in two parts:

First I think be clear with oneself. No more secrets, no more deceptions, however well meant we may consider them to be. Keep the significant folk in your life appraised of your life, world view and events (even when previous experience teaches you another small weight would be preferable over sharing (to my mind preferable = less immediate hassle))

Second in my view, lie begat lie, secret begat secret, and it looks to me almost like a law of nature that each new generation will mutate and outgrow the last (get heavier)
I wonder, perhaps that’s why some elder folk appear stooped and weary. Maybe upon occasion this is an Orgone (see Willhelm Reich mentioned elsewhere) reflection of long years towing weights down life’s journeyed path....

So next generation lies, I think them’s gotta stop too

Experience suggests to me at least that silence is not going to work, tis not a get out of jail free card, rather I guess a kind of ‘super secret’

And so to my view of the cure, alarmingly simple I think once you get to the start line.....
I recommend sharing, even when it seems ugly (this is only your training). I recommend revealing over keeping secret every single time.

I would ask you to consider the how and the when, but never as an excuse not to share.
Remove this option, in my opinion, and deal with what is left.

Shed some weight and pretty soon I believe two things will happen:

You will carry yourself lighter (I think folks ain’t nearly as unforgiving as our mind does suggest). And like any recovering addict the more one does this thing, like any new training, I guess the easier it will become.

My best guess is that this is an issue of re-training. I think it is ok to start small, or dive straight in. Tis my reckoning that in the end, when your mind (and body) begin to break free of the molasses of secrecy, and it’s supporting web of deception that inevitably enfolds those secrets.

I believe the recovering self will enjoy both the spiritual and the physical health that ensues, and in time moving forward will just get easier...........

As I write this I remind myself as I often do that this is an essay enfolding a mantra, one that is ultimately to myself, a re-programming I continue to work hard at.

Couple a things I guess I have recognised, or at least have an opinion on, within my current view of the universe

Sharing does not always make you popular. I do think though over time you will naturally move toward sharers and away from secret keepers simply because they, like you, will be more pleasing to be around

Sharing your inner secrets does not oblige those around you to match your stance, though it, I think, does invite

I also think for many sharing is patient work, I think it is good to gently advertise, and then wait until you are invited. Cos if they ain’t listening, however much you may want to you ain’t sharing squat.

‘A secret revealed, a lie repealed, a burden lifted, your freedom gifted’

I don’t believe that sharing your secrets, revealing your truest version of your life, to those who on balance you recognise would prefer to know is a route to ‘getting what you want’
But I do believe, for me at least, it is a path to my best version of me......................

Tis just my thinking
David Jackman
July 2014

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