If we take a moment to recall the days of our innocence, a secret could mean the surprise our Aunt has waiting for us after school, or the sparkly present under the tree that has our name stretched across the gift wrap. It could mean your best friend leaning over to whisper, “I want to tell you a secret,” and the secret is about a boy she thinks likes you. This kind of secret may cause anticipation, but generally feels good and can even cause a burst of laughter.
But the other kind of “I want to tell you a secret,” is the kind we think can’t be spoken in a sentence, or even told over a cup of coffee. It’s the kind that may take years to talk about. The kind we’ve carried throughout our lives that feels like a whisper of our personality, the dark parts we don’t wish to reveal. This secret can lock you into yourself and may rarely be noticed by us until one day it pops into our existence even though we were completely convinced we had buried it. It’s the kind we don’t speak out loud for fear we will end up being swept away by it’s persistence or else we think if those close to us knew, they just may walk away. This kind of secret feels bad.
So what do we do with the bad secrets then? If there was an easy answer to this question there would never be any need for counselors, pastors, priests and other people helpers. If the answer was easy, it would mean all the bad secrets could be spoken out loud without fear.
Friend, has your secret been making you afraid? Has it been showing up as the bully of your current existence? Has your secret been tearing at your soul making you wander or feeling like you’re unable to find the whole person you used to be?
For a moment, I’d like you to imagine the “you” before the secret. What was that person like? What if you asked that person to tell you about how you used to like to play? What are the things you enjoyed? What adventures did you look forward to? Did you like to have many friends or just one?
Now imagine going to a remote place, one that is full of things you love and the things you surround yourself with to relax. When you are ready, think about the secret you’ve been carrying so long. Unwelcomed, it’s popped into your existence. It’s uncomfortable and scary but you are safe. Your secret has snuck it’s way out for a reason. It’s not trying to be bad or good. It’s just that it doesn’t serve you anymore. It doesn’t want to live deep in your soul. Your secret needs a different place to live.
Friend, can you give yourself and your secret the gift of having its own place to live? You don’t have to provide or protect it anymore. In time you may want to share it with someone. It doesn’t have to be today. It doesn’t have to be this week. The big challenge in this moment is to acknowledge your secret. It’s lived with you a long time. It’s brought up a lot of bad feelings. You may need time in this moment to be alone, to write, or cry, or pray or listen to music. Whatever you do, just acknowledge it and if you are feeling brave, thank it for sneaking out and kindly ask it to live someplace else.
Give yourself time today to really think about this and if you want to, journal your experience.