Today I was talking to a client about secrets. Secrets are deadly. They keep you believing that there is a part of you that isn’t acceptable to yourself, or anyone else. That is a lie.
Don’t get me wrong. I know it’s super scary to share your deepest secrets. I took almost twenty years to come clean about my parents. I would only tell my closest friends. Telling that secret lifted me out of the burden of shame. It was liberating.
But I still had other secrets. Secrets about things I had done when I was driven by fear and using alcohol to numb myself. Secrets so horrific to me, that I was convinced if you knew what they were, you would turn away in disgust.
When I started feeling free after revealing my parents murder-suicide, I realized those, too, had to go. I had to tell every secret.
Now, I am also a realist and understand our need for safety. So what I did was tell one secret to one person, another to someone else. Now, many years later, I have friends that know ALL my secrets. Gulp!
The time I got so drunk I rolled down a hill trying to get to a garden party while wearing white pants. All night people kept asking me if I was okay and I thought they were crazy. Until I woke up the next morning and discovered my clothes were covered in mud.
Or the nights I elevated my loneliness in ways I’m not proud of. Or the time I accused someone of something they never did and I knew I was lying but felt so bad about myself, I couldn’t admit it. Or the time I totaled my sisters car in the middle of the night on a drunk drive that I didn’t remember. When she asked me about her smashed up car the next day, I denied driving it. It wasn’t until I started to put the pieces of my night together that I figured out it was me. Yes, I just drove my sisters car back into the garage after taking it out on a midnight run closing the garage door as if nothing was wrong. (Can you imagine my sisters face walking into the garage and seeing her car totaled? Oh God!) Or the time I drank myself so drunk that I had to sleep in the office of a local bar because they couldn’t get me out. They literally locked me in the bar. You get the picture. (And yes, there’s more).
I’ve done things for all the wrong reasons all the while justifying them in my head that I HAD to do it. I had no choice. I was too broke. Too sad. Too lonely. Too something.
Now I know I was just afraid. But I didn’t know it then. I do now.
You are not alone. We all have secrets. I have just learned the freeing feeling of telling mine to someone I totally trust (like a therapist or coach or friend) or someone I never have to see again (the poor guy sitting next to me on the plane. Sorry guy ).
What are the secrets that are stopping you from moving forward? You know the ones that you are afraid if you get too successful or too happy people will find out and you will be ruined.
Do you keep secrets? How has keeping that secret affected your life?
Thanks for trusting me with your heart. 🙂