How many of us huddled together on the playground and cupped our hands over a friend’s ear to whisper hidden words that we had never uttered before? We shared our innermost thoughts and dreams to our pals after they pinky promised to “never tell anyone so long as I live.” Perhaps we divulged our feelings for a classmate or confessed to something embarrassing. Whatever the reason, we decided to unleash the truth and almost immediately felt a weight had been lifted. There’s a reason websites like PostSecret are so popular. People need to let it out, to ease the burden of secret keeping and be honest, if not with others than with themselves.
As adults, we all keep secrets. It’s just the way it is. Some people hide feelings about their best friend’s spouse or what they did last Saturday night. Health conditions, past mistakes, and relationships are concealed under the cloaks of omission and lies. We portray rosy dispositions when we may be struggling with something that gnaws at our emotional core, but that we feel we must keep to ourselves.
We hide parts of our lives from those around us for so many reasons. We’re afraid of how people will react to the truth or how their opinions of our character will be changed once the secret is out. We worry that people won’t understand the truth or how/why we’ve tried to protect them from it. Maybe we’re even a little ashamed.