Thursday, April 1, 2010

Secrets

Doesn't the word alone fill you with fear?  Or anxiety?  Or even excitement?

I've been pondering secrets.  I'm not a fan.  I hate secrets.  I think they cause pain and isolation.  If I could change one thing about the human race, I would make us all telepathic.  It would take some getting used to, but once people found out that others thought and did the same things they did, we'd get over it.

Who does a secret belong to?  Who gets to decide when to share it?  If I was the only one involved, then it's obviously mine to do with as I please.  But what if it was a shared experience?  What if it's something I need to talk about, but it involves another person, or several other people?  What then?

It's a difficult thing.  Partly because we don't always know what another person will consider a secret.  I think most mothers have made the mistake of revealing something about a child we thought was cute, only to get in big trouble when our kid found out.

We think of secrets as something kids tell each other in whispers.  But those are the baby secrets.  The beginner secrets.

The longer life goes on, the more people we interract with, the more information we gather that should be kept confidential.

But what about stuff that shouldn't be?  What about the pain that we keep to ourselves?  Keeping it a secret usually means isolation and more pain.  We might get through it on our own, but at what cost?  Aren't we all here to help each other?  And isn't part of that sharing another's pain?

I learned this the hard way a while back.  When I was going through some horrible stuff, so much emotional pain.  I didn't want to tell anyone because I didn't want to burden them.  Even though I desperately wanted help, support, and understanding.  I didn't want to add stress to their lives.

But life has a way of teaching us the lessons we need to learn (sometimes over and over again).  It got to a point that keeping it a secret was no longer an option.  And I learned a wonderful lesson.  When our burdens, our secrets, are shared in the right way they do not add to another's burden.  That person does not carry the weight of them around.  When done in love, in a healthy way, with someone who is safe for you the two of you hold the burdens out in front of you together.  They are shared and examined.  They are made more clear.  And then you each take a part back.  Your load is lighter.  Much lighter.  And they take just the tiniest portion so that they can have this part of you.  But the bulk of the load is dissipated.  It vanishes.  It's like a chemical reaction that needed that other person to set it into motion.  Somehow, what is left is so much less than it was before.

In my experience, they never go away entirely.  For me, I need that small piece that's left for my own growth.  And I need the pieces I get from others' burdens as well.  I am grateful for the brave souls who risk and share theirs with me.  I am more because of it.

3 comments:

Kazzy said...

I like the way you talk about literally sharing burdens. I believe it. I want to share more, and absorb more.

Thanks for your honesty.

Bonnie said...

Fabulous thoughts. I've thought for many years that we are frequently busy trying to save ourselves, afraid to give away anything, sure we need to arrange all the ugly pieces of ourselves to be more acceptable before we put them down somewhere and walk away. And I think we often think we can carry someone else's burden for them ... both crazy silly ideas. There IS a good way to do it and I think you say so eloquently. The Lord has been that kind of friend for me, ... and I'm learning to let others be and be that kind of friend too. I'm glad you're feeling supported. But I don't want telepathy yet! I'm not strong enough to hear everyone's criticisms consistently!!

Jennifer Grigg said...

I'm good at listening. I forget it almost as soon as I get home, so you don't have to worry about burdening me.