We all keep secrets.
I’ve never in my life met someone who hasn’t kept a secret from someone. Maybe it’s a huge one like being a victim of sexual abuse or having a drug problem. But maybe it’s just a smaller one like how you really feel about something.
Why do we do that? It’s not harmless. Secrets make us feel like liars, like frauds, like inauthentic versions of ourselves. Even the smallest ones leave a dark smudge on our hearts. It doesn’t feel good to carry secrets around. And yet we all do it.
Sometimes we like to play the martyr card and convince ourselves that we’re just keeping that secret to protect other people. Protect their feelings, protect their reputations, protect their experiences.
Other times we tell ourselves that it doesn’t really matter. We don’t want to tell anybody, because that’s just giving the secret power over us. We don’t want it to matter so we bury it.
That’s all fine. Go ahead and do that. But the dark smudge stays. The weight remains.
We really keep our secrets out of fear.
Fear of judgement. Sometimes, we're afraid other people will judge us or feel judged by us. Other times we’re afraid of our own self-judgement. When we touch that secret with our thoughts, we feel shame. We see evidence that we actually are everything we fear to be. And whatever flavor that is, it all boils down to “bad.”
So we come to the conclusion that we can never tell. We can never share that part of us. We can never let anyone know that secret. And the dark smudge stays. The weight remains.
People join my 21-Day Heart Cleanse for a lot of different reasons. They want to become less guarded. They want to love themselves more than they do. They want to bring real healthy love into their lives. They want to move on from something painful or a relationship that isn’t working. Whatever the reason, they all go through the same process and that requires them to look back and reflect.
Guess what they sometimes find? Secrets. Which makes sense, of course, because the purpose of the Heart Cleanse is to do exactly that…get rid of those dark smudges. It can surprise them though. Secrets are buried underneath all kinds of things like revisions, rationalizations, even lies. They can be buried so far down that they’ve been forgotten, completely dismissed or ignored for so long the bearer of the secret doesn’t even realize they are still there.
Acknowledging our secrets can be painful.
Honestly, it can downright suck. But the pain can unlock liberation. Our hearts weren’t meant to wear those dark smudges.
And here is one of the most beautiful things I have the great honor of witnessing. The brave ones, the people that go all-in, they share their secrets. Sometimes with a person in their life and sometimes in the safe place we create together on Facebook. But either way, this is what they report. They feel lighter. The weight they’ve been carrying is lessened. Read that again.
They don’t have to share. It’s not part of the Heart Cleanse. But some do it anyway because they’ve committed to cleaning off the dark smudges. They want to liberate their hearts.
That’s the thing about secrets. No matter what you’re telling yourself about it, the dark smudge stays and the weight remains as long as you keep carrying it.
Excuse: You can’t share it because the world will know you’re “bad.”
Truth: You’re not “bad” and you never have been no matter what you’ve done or has been done to you.
Excuse: You can’t share it because it will hurt someone.
Truth: As long as you carry a secret, it’s hurting you.
Excuse: You don’t need to share it because it doesn’t matter.
Truth: It matters because you matter and your freedom from it matters.
Carrying secrets stands in the way of loving yourself.
So what can you do? Here are some possibilities…
First of all, acknowledge it. Look right at a secret you are keeping and say, “I see you.”
Then, tell it.
Take a baby step and write it down. Just telling it to a piece of paper will make the weight start to lift.
Take a bigger step and tell it to someone you trust, someone who will receive it with love and compassion (this can even be a professional).
Take a huge brave step and share your secret with the person you feel really needs to know this thing about you.
You don’t need to carry this around anymore.
Your beautiful heart was meant to be shiny and light, my friend.