Secrets of the heart
What happens to the person who does not deal with the secrets of the heart? What kind of energy can a person bring to life who allows the past to clog the arteries of the mind? How confident can a person be who lives with the stress of exposure? And, finally, how capable of helping others are those who harbor their own need to hide from themselves?
Psychologists are confirmed in their opinion that what we spend our lives trying to keep secret is what stands to poison us most. It’s not so much what other people say about us that endangers us. It’s what we cannot admit about ourselves—even to ourselves—that most threatens to undermine our confidence, our competence, and even our sense of self-esteem.
The research is clear: Secrets affect the secret keeper’s quality of life. They take the spirit that should be expended on both giving and getting the best out of life and turn it inward.
The social and spiritual ramifications of the open life are totally disarming. Once I say, “I am an alcoholic,” what else can anyone say to embarrass me about that? When I finally admit, “My father died in prison,” what will they use against me? What can they do when they discover that I’m gay if I’ve already told people that myself?
Better yet, perhaps, what can obstruct my own growth and potential once I’m no longer hiding from the world? I have separated myself from the false image that has grown up around me.
There is no substitute for such a moment of spiritual rebirth, of psychological health, of public fearlessness. What can anyone else do to me now? What can they tell about me that I have not told about myself? It is a moment of new growth, of renewed promise. The world is mine to embrace again.
“Those who swallow a stone become a stone,” the adage says. And counsellors tell us that the struggles we hide only serve to consume our energies and sour our psyches. It’s time to put down the burden of silence, to live better and freer in the light than can ever be done in the dark places of life. It’s time to be ourselves. To be truly who we say we are.