Ep 20: Liberated from the Prison of Secrets
Secrets imprison us. Yet they're gold to the bearer and likely kept secluded for selfish reasons. We become bound by the concealed - especially when we make promises to others about keeping secrets hidden. They worry us and force us to wear various masks to keep up appearances. At their worst, secrets cause us to alter facts, tell white lies and be selective about truths. None of which result in amicable conclusions for the parties involved. Actually, secrets are even worse because they cause wars! I think we overvalue secrets and if we're not mindful, it's easy to become prisoners to them. And when that happens, we've got to free ourselves. But how?
By being liberated from secrets altogether - at least the ones that are about us. That doesn't mean running up and down the streets confessing your sins, yelling at the top of your lungs to any and everyone you see. No. I mean making a conscious decision that from this point forward, you will disclose who you really are, what you really want, and that people will take you as you are - good and bad. If you're not going to be straight with all the people you've denied the truth from, try starting with a clean slate in your new and future relationships, as they will be less subjective in forming their opinions about you. It's a refreshing feeling to know that you've exposed your skeletons on your own terms, in your own way and on your own merit, before someone else leveraged those secrets to their own gain.
The political landscape (our professional lives) is a cold world. Secrets create the distance between the heat source and the subject. When everyone in the room knows where they stand, the possibility of miscommunication becomes minute. The guards are down. The interests are laid out on the floor. Both edges of the sword are visible. Probably the best version of a secret - at least in business - is a trade secret (you don't want someone stealing your intellectual property and profiting on it without your knowledge).
And we can't forget about how secrets affect the relationship landscape (our personal lives). Infidelity. Lies. Betrayal. Lust. Jealousy. Etc. We commit horrible acts and don't confess up to them, knowing they will come to light regardless. We harbor resentment and suppress our feelings when truths are stowed away. Then we hide behind the notion that somehow, secrets just disappear. Eh! Wrong. They never do. They linger. Even long after we wither away. Don't know about you, but I don't want to be locked away in a (metaphorical) prison, right alongside my secrets, for the rest of my life. Of all the things I've no influence or power over, one thing I can wield is whether someone has a well-informed, concrete opinion on me and my actions, and that begins by uncovering secrets, peeling back the layers and getting to core essence of who I am.
You and you alone have that power to reveal as much as you want, to who you want, when you want. For me, the deepest pain I can cause to myself is elemental, not physical. Secrets can be elemental in discomfort. I'm enfranchised when I'm transparent, open, and unfiltered. And I believe you will feel similarly if you give it a try. C'mon. You'll strengthen your relationships, earn the admiration and respect you've been working your whole life for, and feel as free and untethered as a skydiver...plummeting straight to earth (sorry, couldn't help myself). Best of all, it's highly contagious. If you're going to spread anything, wouldn't you rather it be the truth/secrets if you're not a philanthropist? Life starts when the prison sentence of our secrets ends.