- Mental Health
The burden of secrets
So many times in our lives, we have what we believe are “good intentions” in deciding to keep secrets from those we love. As children, we are taught that the idea of keeping secrets means that we are trustworthy and “good”. We think it is fun to be trusted with a secret because that means we know something that others don’t know. It’s a feeling of superiority to some extent. An example would be when our Mom or Dad would say to us, “Don’t tell your sister what I got her for her birthday – it’s a secret.” Or Mom would say, “Go to bed. I will finish your chores so you won’t get in trouble when Dad gets home from work and don’t tell him! It’s a secret!”
This ability to “keep secrets” as we grow up gives us a perception of ourselves that we sometimes misconstrue as being “honorable”. It gives us a sense of pride, sometimes a sense of entitlement, in that we choose to use our tendency towards being “honorable” as a way to avoid “hurting someone else”.
Sometimes, we get caught up in our own drama, our own emotional uncertainties, and we regress back to our thoughts of superiority as a child in the keeping of a current secret. We make choices that are not beneficial for our own peace of mind. The choices are not beneficial for the advancement of our success in life either. The secrets we choose to keep not only make us feel uneasy in our thoughts and heart, but they bring about a sense of anxiety and fear, knowing that if our “secret” is discovered, it may bring chaos and pain to those in our everyday lives.