Monday, May 7, 2012

The secrets we keep...

A secret is defined as something that is kept from the knowledge of others or shared only confidentially with a few. We all have them. We all hear them. And we all share them. Some are small, insignificant even. Others are so big that if ever told, the effects would be tremendous. I myself am the keeper of quite a few. Some of which are mine, and some belong to others. Some of those secrets I have never told to another soul. I have kept them tucked away in my vault. Another skeleton added to my closet. Others, for one reason or another, I have told.

Secrets are a burden. The gravity of keeping something quiet, hidden from everyone else, well that can weigh a body down. In my experience, the bigger the secret, the more likely it is to get out. Benjamin Franklin once said that three could keep a secret, if two of them are dead. I know first hand how hefty the task of keeping a secret can be. I also know the terror of having a secret exposed, and the relief that comes, mixed with the fear, when the weight is lifted.

Not all secrets are bad. We teach our children the difference between good and bad secrets. We tell them that good secrets are ok to keep, but we must share the bad ones. Why then, do we as adults not follow our own advice? We tend to sit on the bad ones. We hide them and let them fester like a cancer, eating away at us from the inside. We wear these secrets like old, ill fitting clothes that, for whatever reason,we refuse to let go of.

In my younger years I had secrets. Awful ones that I believed would ruin lives, mine as well as others, if they were told. And they did get told, as secrets most often do. It was hard for awhile. Lives were changed. But I was relieved also. I felt like I could breathe deeply for the first time ever. Since then experience and age has taught me that just like we teach our children, you shouldn’t keep bad secrets. I never want to wear those clothes again. I’m not saying I run out and tell every little tidbit of information that comes my way, but I have learned when something is too big and too important not to tell. I recently read a book, “Water for Elephants” which was an amazing read by the way, and in it was a line that stuck with me... “With a secret like that,at some point the secret itself becomes irrelevant. The fact that you kept it does not.” I’m just sayin’.

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