Secrets are an interesting concept. There are many different kinds: secret pleasures, secret dreams, secret fears, secrets between friends, between lovers, between family members, secrets that are no longer secrets because a confidence is broken…
“If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.” – Khalil Gibran
Everybody has a couple, even ones they probably never intended, because it’s impossible for someone to know absolutely everything about us. After living in my body for 25 years, I can certainly attest to the fact that I don’t even know everything about me. Which brings us to the most dangerous kind of secret – the kind that you keep from yourself.
“In all secrets there is a kind of guilt, however beautiful or joyful they may be, or for what good end they may be set to serve. Secrecy means evasion, and evasion means a problem to the moral mind.” – Gilbert Parker
Of course, not all secrets are harmful – sometimes they’re for a good reason, like planning a surprise. But more often than not, the secrets that people feel compelled to keep for a lifetime begin to do more harm than good. They begin to feel like a burden, or a barrier between the keeper and the rest of the world. Some will literally eat away at you like a cancer.
“The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep.” – E. W. Howe
That’s why one of my favorite parts of the internet occurs each Sunday. It’s called “Sunday Secrets” and is part of the PostSecret project created by Frank Warren. According to the website, “PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.” The only rules are that the secret must be true, and it must be one that you have never previously revealed.
The postcards are then turned into books or traveling art exhibits, and 10 are selected each week to be featured on the blog. Warren and the PostSecret team also lead events at college campuses across the country, and have collaborated with 1-800-Suicide in order to promote awareness and help create communities of acceptance and forgiveness.
“If we knew each other’s secrets, what comforts we should find.” – John Churton Collins
I just really love this concept. I think it’s a great way to bring people together, and help us as individuals realize that we are not alone. Nearly everything you have felt has been felt by a million different people, on a million different days, in a million different places. Just because you feel like the only one, doesn’t make it so. And if we have the knowledge and strength to embrace this fact, we are capable of amazing heights of compassion, understanding, and love – not just for others, but for ourselves as well.
Couldn’t we all use a little more of that?
Are you good at keeping secrets – yours or those of others? What are your thoughts on the act of secret keeping in general? Are you a fan of PostSecret and/or the Sunday Secrets? What makes you like, or dislike, the concept?