A Pinkie just posted a comment in response to Fred Kraziese’s post God, Angels, Life and Moving On, and it inspired me to write a few words about the secrets that we keep. We learn to keep secrets from the time we’re very young. Your 6-year old best friend says, “I’ll tell you something, but you have to promise you won’t tell.” Next thing you know, you’ve entered into an agreement to hold a confidence that may weigh on your soul. We’ve all been there. And most of us have secrets that we keep from others, even those of us who may seem like an open book.
A friend who I’ll call Alexis once told me a secret about how her father molested her, year after year. She shared graphic stories about what he had done to her, how he had hurt her, what he made her do. I was the only person she had ever told. Her mother, her sister, her best friend from high school- none of them knew. We were in college at the time, and I was still very young and naïve. Alexis and I hadn’t known each other long, but we took a class that we jokingly called “Group Therapy,” because this small group seminar brought us to tears regularly and bonded us deeply. Her story left me with nightmares and great fear for her well-being over Thanksgiving break, when she was going home, where her father still lived. I didn’t know how to handle her secret, and I told someone else. I needed someone else to help me shoulder the burden. It eventually came between us. I think Alexis expected me to offer her something I wasn’t mature enough to provide, and when I told a therapist about her secret, she felt betrayed. Her secret weighs on me still. I hope she is okay.
Harboring secrets gnaws at our souls and robs us of our mojo. Sure, some secrets can be fun, like the surprise party you’re planning for your mother or the diamond ring you’re about to spring on your sweetie. But you know the secrets I’m talking about, the ones that eat your cells like flesh-eating bacteria and can literally make your physical body shut down. I see this all the time in my private practice in an integrative medicine center. The woman who has never told anyone about how she was raped manifests her trauma as chronic pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction. The one who didn’t find out she was adopted until she was thirty and now feels so betrayed by her family that she cannot open her heart to love. The lesbian who has been too frightened of rejection to come of the closet and has a plan for how to kill herself. The woman who never told her husband about her abortions and is now infertile and blaming herself. The woman who, until she met me, never told anyone how she abused her children and now suffers from depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic back pain. Secrets make us sick. They’re like a cancer that metastasizes through our bloodstream and seeks to destroy every normal cell in our body. I see it every day. The simple act of telling the truth begins the process of helping us release our pain.
Do you have a secret? When Fred told us about how he talks to angels, he trusted us with the task of holding the space for him as he processed his truth. We showed up and validated him. We told him we believe him, that we love him, that his secret is safe with us. What he did took tremendous courage, and it has transformed him by opening a door to truth, and with the truth, comes freedom.
About his experience, Fred wrote this:
“Writing this was a liberating moment for me on so many different levels. I know am free to acknowledge the existence of angels in my life every day, and as I said, they are everywhere — around us all the time. It took me a very long time to get to this point (50 years to be exact). But, now that my own secret is out, I am free to live and connect to the beautiful joyful life that is all around me. My encouragement to anyone holding deep wounds and secrets is to take baby steps. Allow yourself to breathe and feel. At some point, it does take an act of faith. But, the good news is that in a forum such as Owning Pink, taking that step to come out from behind your secret becomes easier, because this is a place where you are loved, where there is no judgment — only acceptance.”
We invite you to let your secret go. Tell a trusted friend, a family member, a therapist, a shamanic healer, a life coach, a doctor, an energy healer, a massage therapist- whoever makes you feel safe, loved, and nurtured. Here in this safe space, we invite you to tell us your secrets if that feels more authentic to who you are right now. You may post comments here under a pseudonym if you wish. You may join our Pink Posse community and write for the Posse blog. Your secret will be safe with us. We will hear your voice, honor you, and accept you, no matter where you are.
If you’re not ready to tell your secret, we honor that too. Take your time. As Fred said, take baby steps. Start by confessing your secret to yourself. Accept the truth about yourself. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. It’s the first step towards healing, and we are here to support you, no matter where you are on the path to awakening. Not every secret needs to be broadcast to the world. We need not shout it from the rooftops to heal. Healing lies within. Check in with yourself, and go at your own pace. We are here to support you in your process…
With a deep breath and a big PINK hug to you all,
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